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Church Evangelism Institute

FAQ

What is the cohort experience like?

Cohorts involve 6-10 lead pastors and their key outreach influence leaders.  The cohort sessions involve a mix of teaching, videos, reading, discussion, reflection, assessment, planning, and prayer. Each cohort is led by a trained Church Evangelism Institute coach, most often a pastor who has been through the cohort themselves. In addition, lead pastors receive a quarterly coaching call as needed to help coach the gaps between learning and implementation. There are preparatory assignments between sessions, which involve reading, videos, reflection, and planning. There are preparatory assignments between sessions, which involve reading, videos, reflection, and planning with churches regularly required to apply the course material to their congregational context.

Cohorts either start in September/October or January/February. They meet nine months per year for two years with December, July, and August or June, July, and August off.  The monthly sessions are for two hours each in-person or online.  However, online cohorts meet for an in-person retreat during the last session of each year. The coach of the cohort works with the participants to identify suitable dates, times, and/or locations.

Yes, the lead pastor has to fully participate in the cohort. The research clearly reveals the importance of the growth and participation of the lead pastor in the church culture change process. Our process begins with the lead pastor modeling evangelism in a way others can imitate, and then migrates throughout the leadership and ministry structures of the church to bring about a lasting shift in focus toward the mission of Jesus and expansion of God’s kingdom.

The Church Evangelism Institute has created a 2-year curriculum, which draws significantly from the research, principles, and tools in You Found Me by Dr. Rick Richardson.  Other resources include Organic Outreach for Churches by Kevin Harney, I Once Was Lost by Don Everts & Doug Schaupp, The Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon, and other book excepts and related articles.

Lead pastors report, that among other after two years of cohort training, they have seen:

  • 100% growth in personal witness
  • 96% preach more hospitably to unchurched and non-believers
  • 89% report their congregants are sharing more relational faith stories with non-believers
  • 60% conversion growth among all churches involved

This type of culture change can take at least 3-5 years. To get churches far enough along to implement evangelism impact and change, we journey with pastors and churches for two-years in a cohort format. This helps bring churches to a tipping point of church culture change.

Cohort tuition is $1,800 per year ($3600 total) per church; including a lead pastor and a missional leader, plus any book purchases and traveling costs. Many churches find it easier to allocate that expense into their church budgets at a rate of $150 per month for twenty-four months even though churches only meet for nine months per year.

As funds are available, we are able to offer financial assistance additional to churches up to $600 per year, reducing the total amount to $1,200 annually ($2400 total). The approval process starts by completing a Scholarship Form.

Our vision is to see thousands of churches across the United States and beyond, develop communities where many people find their way to Christ and where every disciple of Christ is equipped and mobilized to make new disciples. Cohort fees are used toward this end, as we continue to sustain and build the necessary staffing, coaching, marketing, operations, IT infrastructure, organizational overhead, ongoing research, and curriculum writing to help mobilize pastors and churches towards even greater gospel impact for Christ and His kingdom.

Contact us by completing the Cohort Interest Form, or you can email sean.mcdowell@wheaton.edu.