UMC LEAD/The LEAD Conference (LEAD) is excited to announce the execution of a three year joint operations and fiscal sponsorship agreement with The Missional Wisdom Foundation (MWF), an unaffiliated 501(c)(3) religious organization.

While LEAD’s leadership and mission will remain independent, MWF’s existing structure and oversight will provide LEAD with numerous organizational benefits, including the ability to receive grants and tax-deductible donations. LEAD and MWF will also explore opportunities to collaborate where such efforts would be beneficial for, and align with, the missions of both organizations. LEAD remains responsible for raising all funds related to The LEAD Conference and project operations.

LEAD is also now governed by two volunteer project managers who are supported by an eight-ten person advisory board. Brandon Lazarus will continue as the Project Manager for the LEAD Conference and Rob Rynders, co-founder of LEAD, is now the Project Manager for a new “LEAD 2.0” leadership cohort experience that is currently under development. Current advisory board members are:

Nathan Adams
Daniel J. Del Rosario
Breanna Illéné
Luke Lingle (Missional Wisdom Foundation)
Kristen Marshall
Kim Montenegro
Lydia Sohn
Kate Smith

Near the end of the three year partnership agreement LEAD will explore becoming its own independent nonprofit organization, will become a part of the MWF, or will explore other avenues of organizational viability.

Brandon Lazarus, Project Manager for the LEAD Conference believes that “The Missional Wisdom Foundation’s strong history of creative experiments and learning opportunities make it a natural partner as LEAD grows and adapts. In the midst of uncertainty about the future of the church, both LEAD and MWF are moving forward in hope rather than fear.”

Larry Duggins, Executive Director of the Missional Wisdom Foundation believes that “LEAD does a fabulous job of creating connections among innovators within the church. We are excited to bring our educational platforms and resources into the mix with the hope that together, we can help more of those innovators move forward to realize their God-given dreams.”

The LEAD project managers and advisory board will meet April 23-26 in Seattle, WA. The board will continue planning for the 2020 LEAD conference, continue development of LEAD 2.0, and discuss LEAD’s future in light of the actions of the 2019 General Conference. The next LEAD Conference will take place January 12-15, 2020 in Seattle, WA.

For questions or to learn more about LEAD or the MWF please contact us.

About UMC LEAD: Founded in 2012 LEAD creates space for Christian leaders to be vulnerable and courageous, connects them around their hopes for the future, and equips them to bring those hopes into reality.

About The Missional Wisdom Foundation: Founded by Elaine Heath and Larry Duggins, The Missional Wisdom Foundation experiments with and teaches about alternative forms of Christian community.