Preaching for Change – Cohort Application Open!

As a regular preacher in the local congregation, I am increasingly aware of how formative our worship can be, and how many distractions there are that too often prevent Christ’s liberative gospel from taking root and being a catalyst for congregational transformation.

With excitement, I invite you to consider applying to join our new Preaching for Change Initiative. This initiative is designed to accompany Christian leaders through personal and communal growth that is centered on the proclamation of God’s Word.

NEXT Church believes that leading change starts with the cultivation of a deeper personal awareness for both leaders and the communities they serve. This preaching and worship centered initiative:

  • begins with the internal work of preparing the leaders and community for change,
  • builds upon an evaluative practice of accountability to the work we are called to do,
  • creates a collaborative learning environment to move communities toward wholeness.

Applications are due January 7 for self-created cohorts.


Announcing our New Preaching for Change Coordinator!

The Preaching for Change Initiative invites church leaders to engage in the power of worship and preaching to celebrate our radical call as people of faith. Our goal is to inspire individuals and faith communities to transform their surrounding neighborhoods and even the whole world.

Over the past two months, the Hiring Team (consisting of Shani McIlwain, Susan Thornton, Jen James, and Larissa Kwong Abazia) has been blessed to talk with many qualified candidates for the Preaching for Change Coordinator position. They have inspired us and stretched us. The discernment of the team weighed many factors while focusing on who was the right candidate for this particular rebuilding season of NEXT Church. On behalf of the Hiring Team, we are pleased to announce our new Coordinator for the Preaching for Change initiative! Watch the video below to learn more.


You are invited to join the conversation as we build this initiative. Check out some of the options below and keep up to date on our website.

Join the new Coordinator for two conversations happening in July. One conversation is for Pastors and one is for Ruling Elders. Reserve your spot in the Zoom room today.

Join a cohort for teams of pastors and church members drawing from community organizing, systems theory, and adaptive leadership practices to lead for change. Registration opens June 20.


With Hope —

Rev. Larissa Kwong Abazia
Designated Strategic Director

What’s Next for NEXT Church

We are grateful for so many supporters who attended our Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, December 13, 2022. NEXT Church leadership shared a lot of information about our future along with some exciting announcements. Check out what you missed!

Here are the highlights:
  • NEXT Church has shifted its staffing model to build a foundation for the future. These changes include hiring Rev. Larissa Kwong Abazia as Designated Strategic Director and promoting Jen James to Program and Operations Director.
  • The results of the Race Equity Audit were officially released to the public after months of internal work and sharing among smaller groups, including attendees of the 2022 National Gathering. The full report and its findings are available on our website.
  • In a strategic decision to create space for organizational discernment, there will not be a National Gathering in 2023. NEXT Church is committed to “strengthening connections across the Church” and hopes to gather church leaders again in future years in ways leading to deeper connections and greater impact.
  • NEXT Church is engaging in a season of listening, learning, and discernment. You can join us by registering for a Learning Circle as we unpack the values that shape us. Read more about the Learning Circles and register today.
  • We are delighted and humbled to announce NEXT Church has received a substantial grant from Lilly Endowment to fund our Preaching for Change project. This project stands at the intersection of who NEXT Church has been and the commitment to continually listen to the needs of Christian leaders in order to serve their communities and the world. Stay tuned for more information!
  • We hope you will consider engaging in the NEXT Church movement as we seek to financially ground the organization for the future. Our current goal is to raise $50,000 in the next 6-8 weeks. If you or your congregation are able to consider a gift now or pledge for 2023, we value your partnership.