Young, emerging leaders are eager for investment now to help them realize their potential for the future. Whether men or women, paid or unpaid, all leaders need help discovering who God has called them to be and becoming that person. All leaders need a mentor to walk with them on the journey God is calling them to and support them along the way. The Uptick experience makes meaningful, spiritual investment into high-potential leaders who will generate significant returns for the Kingdom of God.
Through a conversation with a friend in the fall of 2016, Brandon Kelly, Director of Transformational Ministries, was connected with the Spence Network and the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) who have been running a program named Uptick for the past 10 years. This program is an intentional leadership development process for 23-32 year olds within the BGAV denomination. Brandon was invited to participate in the 2017 class of Uptick with the expressed intention of replicating his experience within the CGGC.
In the summer of 2017, Brandon took four young leaders from across the CGGC to Edinburgh, Scotland to pilot the Uptick experience. Based on feedback from participants, another pilot year will occur in 2018 with some added elements. The first full Uptick class was launch in 2019.
Uptick is designed to invest heavily into the rising generation of leadership in the CGGC to position the denomination for Kingdom impact in the future. Through content centered on discipleship and mission, we hope to get ahead of the current state of the Church and be better prepared for the changing culture around us. Exposing participants to thought leaders and experiences that typically take a lifetime to acquire will allow them to reinvest in their churches, communities, and leaders to further the growth edge of the Church.
Uptick is a one-year learning community for Kingdom leaders in the 23-32-year-old age range. Each year, a small group of men and women are selected for high-level investment by the CGGC. The main components of this investment are immersions, coaching, and books, all done through the lens of discipleship.
Participants will gather bi-weekly to process what God is saying to them and what they’re going to do about it. The vehicle used for this processing is called huddle and meets through video conference.
Participants will read through six books throughout the year to expose them to new thoughts and give them a vision of ministry.
The cost of participating in Uptick is completely subsidized through designated gifts made by donors.
In exchange for free tuition, Uptick participants are expected to provide their own travel to immersions and commit to the necessary time away from work, ministry, and family.
The currency is wisdom and power. Participants we look at how to grow spiritual capital personally by learning to listen to God and respond to what He says. They will also learn to go spiritual capital professionally by learning to lead a group to listen to God and respond as a community to what He says.
The currency is family and friends. Participants will learn to grow their relational capital personally by identifying the types of friendships and mentors they have and cultivating those relationships. They will also learn to grow their relational capital professionally by identifying coaches and networks that will help their ministry flourish.
The currency is hours and health. Participants will learn to grow their physical capital personally by developing predictable patterns that reflect their values. They will also learn to grow their physical capital professionally by identifying the focus of ministry and pruning elements that don’t bear fruit
The currency is concepts and ideas. Participants will learn to grow their intellectual capital personally by identifying their core vocation from the Five-Fold Ministry of Ephesians 4 and asking what they need to know for the next seasons. They will also grow their intellectual capital professionally by review their ministry through the lens of the Five-Fold and asking what their community needs to know for the next season.
The currency is money. Participants will learn to grow their financial capital personally by reviewing their budget and long-range financial goals. They will also learn to grow their financial capital professionally by understanding the foundations of development and fundraising so they can grow their resources for ministry.
To best prepare each Uptick class for the future realities of ministry, each year will include an immersive experience in a post-Christian context.
Participants will gain a vision for their personal discipleship and missional life as well as learn how to apply it to their professional ministry. They will also have the opportunity to practice street evangelism and visit missional communities.