Training Urban Leaders to Engage the City

The City to City Incubator is a two-year program to serve, train, and develop church planters and church leaders who promote church planting in Metro KL.

Each learning module addresses the specific needs of urban planters, including skills in thinking theologically about ministry, and growth in the various areas of urban ministry. It is designed for church planters to go through the program during the critical phase of launching their congregations. Although it is designed for church planters, the material great for developing mission-minded church leaders. They get practical help on writing their action plan, the philosophy of ministry, crucial ministry development, and preaching, among other topics. Ideally, this training is accompanied by coaching to encourage the planters to perform to the maximum extent of their giftedness.

Training Style

An effective urban church planter / leader must be proficient in 4 critical competency domains:

  • Living inter-connectedly with a gospel dynamic (Personal—Interpersonal domain)
  • Communicating grace and truth in a way that forms and engages disciples (Prophetic domain)
  • Creating a missional culture (Priestly domain)
  • Executing visionary leadership (Kingly domain)

Each Incubator learning module involves time for peer-to-peer coaching, personal spiritual formation, application of ideas to real-world problems and hands-on training that combines both theology, church planting theory and insights from adult learning theory.

The training involves 16 modules, each one involving reading, ministry exercises, and 12-16 hours of classroom engagement.

To be invited into an Incubator training cadre, it is preferred that the participant be involved in an urban church plant or have ministry involvement in an existing church.

Each session contains three primary elements

1. Gospel community building. This involves:

  • A time for planters to get to know each other and bring the problems they face to the learning community for support and counsel;
  • Gospel dynamics addressing the practicalities of gospel living and
  • Kingdom-centered prayer with and for one another.

2. Theologically informed thinking.

  • Research has indicated that a key competency for church planters and pastors is “reflective practice” (some call this ortho-praxis), which is the ability to apply the insights of theology and the social sciences to the everyday concerns of ministry life.

3. New skill training.

  • Each session is designed to strengthen the core competencies required for church planting.

Course Details

Year 1

This module focuses on understanding how the work of Jesus Christ changes everything we are and do, as individuals, as a community, and as ministers of God’s grace, as opposed to “just trying harder” to apply biblical principles to my life. Though the gospel is the life-giving message of redemption that we always preach, as well as the dynamic that causes on-going redemption in our lives and communities, few pastors understand how to consistently apply it to their life and work.

Though we endeavor to care for the church planter’s personal life every time we meet, this module gives the topic special treatment. The effective leader knows how to do self-leadership and self-care before he or she leads others. This module focuses on the character of the leader as well as understanding your unique leadership style so you can manage yourself and others in order to more-effectively engage in the work of the kingdom of Christ.

This module focuses on understanding the unique globalized, urban context in which we live and how that understanding can help us communicate and develop ministry forms which are meaningful to the people we are reaching. Far from ‘capitulating’ to culture or ‘watering down’ the gospel, contextualization aims to make Christ alive and dynamic in the given situation where you are planting your church.

This module aims to help learners develop the skill of consistently and winsomely presenting Christ to others in a host of new situations, so that communicating Christ becomes an integral part of the culture of the new church. Emphasis is placed on developing “evangelistic pathways” and networks of relationships which boot off of a culture of hospitality in the new church as well as how to think about evangelistic events, process evangelism and the training of others in your church.

There is a lot of talk today about “being missional”. Practically, what does that mean for a new church? This module helps participants understand the unique characteristics of ministry in the global city and helps them develop a balanced, missional culture in their church so that the good news of Jesus is expressed in every element of church life and reaches out in holistic ministry.

It’s not enough just to understand the gospel; we need to be constantly experiencing the renewing work of Jesus Christ, making us new and sending us as people in his redemptive mission. This module helps participants experience gospel renewal through sharing, case studies, guided prayer and learning activities, centered around the twin truths of repentance from the reality of indwelling sin (idolatry) as well as joyfully resting in the Father’s adoptive love.

Learners will develop skill in understanding how people change through the application of grace and truth (instead of the more common practice of religious moralism) as well as how to develop programs for spiritual formation and leadership development. They will jointly participate in actually developing one program of leader formation that they can use in their new church.

The heart of the ministry of Christ’s kingdom is expressed in prayer. Since the Holy Spirit is the indispensable agent of any true ministry, the church is called to express it’s life, and do it’s work, through the agency of prayer.  Through prayer the gospel renews us, we learn more deeply of God’s priorities and we receive new empowerment for what he is sending us to do. These kingdom concerns are reflected in the model prayer of Jesus. This module trains church planters in kingdom prayer by practicing it.

Year 2

The effective church planter/leader knows they cannot plant/lead a church by themselves. Instead, they become leaders and pastors of gifted Christians who do the work of ministry. Thus it’s important for church planters to know how to assess people’s strengths and weaknesses and how to develop systems of relational training and oversight that guide people to their place of most effective ministry.

Effective church planters/leaders know the value of ministry teams—most of the work in a new church is accomplished through a “willing few”. This module addresses the specific skill set of recruiting, developing and directing teams that build the church and that reach out in service and evangelism.

This hands-on preaching practicum aids participants in finding Christ in every text of Scripture and in developing the confidence that beholding Christ in the gospel is what transforms us. Participants analyze model sermons, as well as their own, and practice constructing gospel-based sermons that make Christ the resolution of the problems which affect our urban, and many times, skeptical listeners.

This module is a hands-on practicum that helps learners develop the skill of “applying Christ” to listeners’ hearts and minds so that they change in a biblical way, instead of through resorting to moralistic or ‘feel-good’ applications of Scripture. Issues such as “growth in communication skills”, “finding your voice”, “how to study” and other practical matters of homiletics are addressed.

In this module, church planters/leaders practice how to understand the conflict and differences of perspective that so commonly disrupts the life of young congregations and how to bring truthful and powerful communication skills to the people they work with. Time is given to practicing how to have a gracious and wise “difficult conversation” with a person with whom you need to interact.

Every few years we recognize our need for renewal: physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually. But we learn that we need more than personal renewal. Churches need renewal as well. This module equips participants in the continuous spiritual renewal of their congregation by understanding the theology and relational dynamics of renewal, as well as the practical ministry issues involved in effectively planning for and bringing renewal into the life of the congregation.

This module helps learners focus on specific growth obstacles and opportunities in order for the church to mature to “the next level” of ministry fruitfulness. Attention is given to personalizing a plan as well as how to engage in strategic planning for sustaining ministry effectiveness.

This module helps learners develop the skills and understanding needed to manage vision and purpose in a growing church so that it keeps focused on what it’s supposed to be and do and achieves long-term fruitfulness. Time is given to developing purpose and mission statements, facing long-term challenges as well as developing personalized strategies for leadership in the new church.

Where do you go from here? (2 Months after completion)

Details of the next Incubator will be updated when available. 

If you have further queries, feel free to write to us at