Working Together to Make Urban Ministries THR!VE

For multiple generations, many urban Senior Pastors have operated with too little time and too few resources. Now, there is a way for pastors to equip their urban ministries for impact and sustainability. We call it the THR!VE Pastors Cohort. If you are a Pastor in Chicago, you are invited to apply to join the inaugural launch of a very exciting cohort experience right here in Chicago!

Resources for Sustainable Growth

THR!VE provides ministry resources that have never before been available to under-resourced churches and their Senior Pastors. Senior Pastors who participate will learn from one another and hear from a diverse group of local and national Christian leaders on our five focuses for growth: Ecosystem Development, Congregational Engagement, Racial Justice Reform, Resource Discovery, & Policy Formation.

As a pastor, your commitment of time and engagement over a period of five months and your one-time financial contribution of $200 will give you access to an estimated $1,500 in resources and a wealth of ideas. This low cost to you is made possible by our faith partners and donors. Your commitment to completing the program will be recognized with a certificate from Northern Seminary and the Grow Center for Church and Mission.

A History of Under-Resourced Urban Ministries

For nearly two decades, including my time in senior leadership at a prominent mega-church, I have watched with careful eyes how local churches within the urban context are being resourced. To my dismay, urban churches in general have been consistently placed on the backburner! While Pastors across America were hearing repeatedly the call and challenge that the local church is the Hope of the World, that hope somehow has evaded urban communities from a resourcing perspective. Consequently, that influential mega-church began to place a high premium on resourcing the urban church and its leaders, and some breathtaking partnerships were established in Chicagoland and even other parts of the world. As for the rest of the church world, it was a different story.

Furthermore, to add salt to an open wound, an increasing number of urban Pastors continue to wear multiple hats, serving as Tri-Vocational Shepherds for their churches. After faithfully providing leadership on Sunday mornings as the Senior Pastor, these leaders go on to work during the week, often as the Executive Director or Manager in the business world in order to provide for themselves and their families. Finally, throughout the week, they serve as a Community Outreach Organizer. I do not know about you, but I believe that is just too many hats for one Senior Pastor to wear under any condition. Unfortunately, it has become too common in the urban setting.

This model of multi-tasking Pastoral Leadership does not exist within resourced communities across North America. As a matter of fact, an innovative approach surfaced for resourced churches to hire Executive Pastors to manage day-to-day operations. This approach frees up the Senior Pastor to focus solely on message prep and deliveryinfusing directives to a management team, and vision casting to the membership. The resourced church can serve as a model for building a more solid and sustainable model of church management. This model currently does not exist within the urban setting, which may be why many church leaders are surprised to hear urban Pastors ask the question: Where is the Kingdom Equity for urban church ministry?

Friends, that is a huge question and one of the primary reasons behind the launch of the THR!VE Pastors Cohort. With our ministry partners, our collective mission for this initiative is to position pastors for AMPLIFIED and HOLISTIC engagement in their communities through cutting-edge, practical resources to enable healthy and sustainable local churches in the city. The THR!VE Pastors Cohort Leadership Team has assembled a dream team of highly sought-after and nationally recognized subject matter experts to serve as our instructors. We also will meet together over lunch once a month to share our experiences.

Pastors, if you are looking for that environment to elevate your leadership and church ministries, the THR!VE Pastors Cohort is designed for you. This advanced cohort experience promises to be the most strategic and important investment that you can make for your pastoral leadership and church ministry.

Please join the THR!VE Pastors Cohort today. You will be glad that you did!


Rev. Alvin C. Bibbs, Sr.

Founder & Visionary Leader