The American religious landscape is in the midst of a tectonic shift, as the fastest growing religious group in America is “Nones” (those who identify as having no religion), and thousands of houses of worship have closed each year for at least the past decade. And yet - despite these alarming trends - there is an emergent groundswell of innovative spiritual practice, communities, and ventures taking root across the country.
Founded in 2016, Glean Network sought to bring together the leaders who were prepared to reimagine their ministry in light of these shifts, and to offer them tools, experiences, and coaching to support them in their journey. Most importantly, Glean Network has offered them a community of fellow travelers with whom to walk, reflect, and dream.
Just as our network, our participants, and the institutions they have founded and/or led through transformation have all grown over the past few years, so too has our set of offerings. While Glean Network’s initial focus was on spiritual entrepreneurship, we have since added opportunities for individual leaders yearning to reimagine their ministries, innovation teams seeking to reinvigorate their institutions, and seminary students preparing for the uncertain but exciting road ahead.
Our call at Glean Network is to help you recognize, reframe, and reimagine yours. We hope you’ll connect with us, consider a learning opportunity, and take your next steps in faith with us.
What's In A Name?
At the heart of each of our offerings at Glean Network there lies a simple overarching structure: Recognize, Reframe, Reimagine. Whether our participants are focusing on their inner calling (Shift, Seminary Course), their institutions (Spark), or their entrepreneurial ventures (Start), the steps are the same, but the results can be profoundly different.
During each of these three phases our participants are invited to notice shifts that had previously gone undetected, to identify opportunities that others may have glossed over, to lift up latent gifts that the marketplace has ignored, and - most importantly - to reenergize their drive to serve - in new ways - a world that thirsts for courageous leadership.
Glean Network creates space for leaders to constantly ask: what have I missed? Where is there opportunity for growth? What needs have gone unmet? Where are the gaps, and how might I fill them?
The concept of “gleaning” - both in reference to the ancient fields of Israel and to a piecemeal learning process - is embraced throughout our work. There is no “one-size-fits-all” process for innovation in faith, nor is there a magic wand for transforming an institution or solving a societal challenge. But we believe wholeheartedly that when leaders commit themselves to the process of Recognizing, Reframing, and Reimagining their calls, their institutions, and how they might better serve the world around them, the gleanings are rich, nourishing, and sustaining.
Lastly, we think of gleaning as an act of love. One of the great love stories of the Bible - between Ruth and Boaz - began with the act of gleaning the fields. Our hope is that our own shared “gleanings” will equip a generation of faith leaders to more wholeheartedly love the communities they serve, the timeless needs they seek to fulfill, and the worlds they dream of bettering.