INCUBATE

Why the SENT Seminar is for Everyone

November 10, 2020

Rev. Scott Woolridge, SENT 2020 Participant 

The SENT Seminar is for everyone. If you are called to engage with the community around you, the information offered at the SENT Seminar will be a rich resource for your journey.

In September, I attended my first SENT Seminar offered by the National Benevolent Association. I had heard of this event in the past and wasn’t sure who was invited. I’m grateful they were willing to share their wisdom about social entrepreneurship with a diverse group of attendees.

They invited an impressive group of leaders to share their expertise on the variety of facets of forming and maintaining a social enterprise. In every presenter, I saw passion and purpose. There was humility, joy, and generosity. Their words were inspiring and practical. We could see the possibilities in our own context. It was exciting to dream about what could happen here.

The workshops taught the how-tos of starting a project—discerning our “why,” creating a ministry/business plan, getting funding, creating meaningful partnerships.
This information will be life-changing for congregations as they move out into their neighborhoods. We were encouraged to listen and learn in our surroundings and look for partners as we explore the needs of our communities. This is what thriving congregations do!

One eye-opening moment for me came in the realization of creating for-profit entities that parallel the work of the congregation. We can make money to bring the change we seek and support other ministries as well. Talk about clever stewards!

I look forward to sharing the lessons of the SENT Seminar with the congregations in our Regional church. I know they will be transformational! It’s as though we’ve been handed many new pieces to the puzzle for congregations serving in their communities. They don’t have to re-invent the wheel. The examples, the knowledge base, and the helpers are ready and waiting to minister in a new context.

I’m deeply grateful to the NBA social enterprise staff who made this event possible and extended the gift of grace to include us.

 Rev. Scott Woolridge, Associate Regional Minister has served the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Illinois and Wisconsin for thirty-one years. His staff responsibilities include the transformation of individuals, congregations, and communities.

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As the health and social services general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the National Benevolent Association partners with congregations, regions, general ministries, and a variety of Disciples-related health and social service providers to create communities of compassion and care. Founded in 1887 by six women responding to the needs of the day and on their doorsteps, for more than 130 years the NBA has continued to serve "the least of these." Learn more at www.nbacares.org.

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