is an emergent Christian leadership initiative
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Uptick is a one-year leadership development track for kingdom leaders in the 23 to 32 year-old range. Each year, a small group of participants including both men and women, receives significant investment to prepare them for a life of Kingdom ministry, whether participants are paid or unpaid leaders. The center point of the year is a trip to a post-Christian culture to see how discipleship and mission are being effectively lived out. Before the trip, participants form a visionary attitude through reading and bi-weekly coaching. After the travel experience, coaching continues, to turn theory into praxis.
Young, emerging leaders are eager for investment now to help them realize their potential for the future. Whether men or women, paid or unpaid, all leaders need help discovering who God has called them to be and becoming that person. All leaders need a mentor to walk with them on the journey God is calling them to and support them along the way. The Uptick experience makes meaningful, spiritual investment into high-potential leaders who will generate significant returns for the Kingdom of God.
Through a conversation with a friend in the fall of 2016, Brandon Kelly, (Director of Transformational Ministries at the time), was connected with the Spence Network and the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) who have been running a program named Uptick for the past 10 years. This program is an intentional leadership development process for 23-32 year olds within the BGAV denomination. Brandon was invited to participate in the 2017 class of Uptick with the expressed intention of replicating his experience within the CGGC.
In the summer of 2017, Brandon took four young leaders from across the CGGC to Edinburgh, Scotland to pilot the Uptick experience. Based on feedback from participants, another pilot year occured in 2018 with some added elements. The first full Uptick class was launched in 2019.
Uptick is designed to invest heavily into the rising generation of leadership in the CGGC to position the denomination for Kingdom impact in the future. Through content centered on discipleship and mission, we hope to get ahead of the current state of the Church and be better prepared for the changing culture around us. Exposing participants to thought leaders and experiences that typically take a lifetime to acquire will allow them to reinvest in their churches, communities, and leaders to further the growth edge of the Church.