Funding Forward Learning Community

Wanted: Twelve Congregations to Dive Deep on Breakthrough Practices in Church Funding

You're invited to join a cohort of innovative church leaders discovering how to connect missional engagement with financial sustainability. 

Thanks to a generous grant from the Lilly Foundation, Inc., participation is fully funded and there is no cost to you. This is a powerful opportunity to dive deep into your congregation's financial structure, set yourself up for a sustainable future, and deepen your culture around money and mission.


The Faithful Innovation Learning Community is a 12-month "train the trainer" process to teach you how to help congregations in your judicatory, synod or diocese to adapt to the core challenges facing the church in the 21st century.

Through a dynamic peer-learning community of ecumenical leaders, you'll engage ancient spiritual practices and leading-edge innovation theory as you discover ways to join God in forming Christian faith in community.

Then, you'll learn how to facilitate the same type of experience for clergy, lay leaders, and everyday disciples in your judicatory system.


  • Gain a clearer understanding of the congregation’s current financial model and renewed sense of its mission in the community

  • Listen to community members, discern where the Spirit is leading, and determine what creative and conventional funding sources might be required to follow the Spirit’s lead

  • Engage in funding experiments that allow the congregation to deeply engage its community, live out God’s mission, and create more financial sustainability

In the Funding Forward Learning Community, you'll discover how to use funding opportunities to create deeper community partnerships and follow the Spirit into new ventures in God’s mission in the world.

How Does It Work?

Participants commit to a 12-month training process.

Tracing God’s Movement in Our Lives and Neighborhoods

Learn by Doing: Using Action Learning to Discover God’s Leading

Sharing Our Learning: Intentional Reflections on Our Actions

  • Monthly virtual training sessions

    A 2-hour training session each month—recorded for those who cannot attend live.

  • Engaging community conversation

    Join a private group in the Faith+Lead Learning Lab for ongoing ideation, collaboration, and accountability.

  • Expert coaching

    Go in-depth with a small group of leaders and a trusted mentor.

  • Selected resources, reading, and study

    Between training and coaching sessions, enter both the biblical text and expert material to discover new paradigms for ministry.


The 2020-21 Funding Forward Learning Community seeks a group of 12 congregations that can commit to a 12-month learning journey for one pastor and one lay leader. New start and redevelopment congregations are especially encouraged to apply.

We realize this type of financial and missional work takes trust and accountability between the faith leaders and their congregation. It's recommended that all participating pastors have at least two years experience serving their congregation.

Are You a Fit?

Faith Leaders

We are looking for faith leaders (clergy and lay) who are eager to:

  • Discern where the Spirit is leading their congregation and what funding sources might be required

  • Seek out creative and conventional funding sources that align with and further the mission

  • Take risks—personally and in their contexts—to learn and innovate in mission

  • Commit to participating in the monthly training and coaching sessions as well as an estimated average of 2-4 hours/week of experimentation, study, and peer engagement outside of the monthly sessions for the life of the 12-month program


We are looking for congregations who are willing to:

  • Suspend assumptions about what’s required to be and fund a missional ministry

  • Fundamentally rethink their congregation’s business model for ministry

  • Take risks and try experiments as they follow the Spirit’s lead

Key Dates

September 2020

Welcome Call

October 2020

Coaching Starts

September 2021

Training Ends

Apply to the Funding Forward Learning Community

The online application involves three components:

Tracing God’s Movement in Our Lives and Neighborhoods

Learn by Doing: Using Action Learning to Discover God’s Leading

Sharing Our Learning: Intentional Reflections on Our Actions

  • Pastor's current resume or CV

  • Letters of support

  • Question responses

Meet the Program Leader

Grace Duddy Pomroy

Grace Duddy Pomroy

Millennial stewardship leader and financial educator currently serving as the Director of the Stewardship Leaders Program at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. She graduated from Luther Seminary in 2012 with a Master’s of Arts degree in Congregational Mission and Leadership. She is the co-author of the stewardship book, Embracing Stewardship: How to Put Stewardship at the Heart of Your Congregation’s Life, as well as author of the 2013 ELCA stewardship resource, “Stewards of God’s Love.” She previously served as the Senior Financial Educator at Portico Benefit Services, Executive Director of Operations for Kairos and Associates and the Joshua Group, as well as the Assistant Director of the Center for Stewardship Leaders at Luther Seminary.