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TryTank experiments have started

January 21, 2019 

Hello friends.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr day. I hope that you are able to be away from work and maybe even participating in a service project.

In this issue of the newsletter, we are happy to present to you the first experiments we're working on. It's exciting to see things that were just ideas a few weeks are starting to come to life. 

As we commence our work we are starting to see it as a spectrum. We are doing some things in technology, some in congregational development, and some in leadership. This is not so much to tie us down but to better define our efforts. And it keeps us looking at the whole spectrum of the possibilities, not just one area, in all always seeking the Spirit.

Now on to the newsletter.

With gratitude, 
Fr. Lorenzo

Our first experiments
Here they are, in no particular order:

Latino Ministry in a Box
Using multi-site technology to create a Spanish-speaking congregation taking small steps.

Idea Festival  
A festival of ideas for church growth and innovation. Seeking to create a '"primordial soup" where the right elements (folks) can bump (meet) and create new ideas beyond the “adjacent possible.” 

Assistant Skill
Creating a prayer leader out of Alexa or the Google Assistant to help people pray at home. (By the way, did you know that people of color are much more interested than whites in smart speakers?)

Christian Soul Cycle 
Taking the basics of a regular Soul Cycle group fitness class and making it full-out about Jesus and then sharing a liturgical meal after.

Connected Congregation
Using available technology that allows for fun and incredibly easy points of contact between the congregation and its members leading to more engagement with the church and higher attendance.

Listening Project
Conversations with 100 leaders who have grown and maintained their congregational growth. Leading to the "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Church Growers." Some will be basic, but we also hope to find surprises. 

Be our partner
Remember, we are looking for experiment partners. Might that be your congregation? See below and let us know.

Looking for those trying to do Latino Ministry...
We are looking for 10 congregations who have been thinking about expanding to reach the Latino community but have no idea how to do it. If this might be you, hit replay and let us know.

Do you SoulCyle?
We are also looking for a priest who can LEAD a cycle group fitness class. If this is you, please let us know. Hit reply and express your interest!

Market Research Question 
We're thinking of a project to train those who lead vestry retreats, Can you hit Reply and let us know:
1- who leads your vestry retreats?
2- How do you find those people? 
3- Are you satisfied with the outcome?

Looking to Connect?
The more you engage with folks, the more they are likely to come to church more regularly. That we know. We have a technology that we think can help with more (and fun) engagement. And we want to try it in 10 congregations around the country. If you are interested, hit reply and let us know. 

As always...
If you have an idea for an experiment that we may want to do, please share! Once again, hit "reply." We'd love to hear from you. 

Until next week!


About us
TryTank: An Experimental Laboratory for Church Growth and Innovation is a joint project between Virginia Theological Seminary and the General Theological Seminary. The TryTank offers a much-needed inventive approach to the challenges facing the Episcopal Church. Working in partnership across the Episcopal Church, the TryTank works to understand the forces threatening the church in order to identify creative ways to equip future leaders to reinvigorate the church.

Copyright © 2019 TryTank Experimental Lab, All rights reserved.

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