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What’s ahead for the coming year!

Date: June 6, 2024

So, we’ve talked about TryTank becoming a research institute, our upcoming AI summit, and our first large research study. Now I’d like to spend a few moments to talk about some of our other priorities for this year.

First, Faith formation. We have begun a pilot study to look at a theory I formed from my travels around the country: congregations that double-down on faith formation show more vitality and show growth (even during Covid). We are also exploring areas where our innovative frameworks can help evolve or create new ways for faith formation.

Second, young adults. Along with the research we are conducting around young adult families, we are also looking at ways of engaging with Generation Z. We have ample research that shows they are spirituality curious and seeking. But we also recognize that in large percentages, “church” is a toxic brand to them. How then, might we meet and engage them where they are? Those are just some of the questions we’ll be exploring.

Thirdly, lay leadership. As the church continues to decline in numbers we will have an even greater need for lay leaders to live into their baptism through the priesthood of all believers. But we need to be able to prepare and support people in the work. This is also very important for Latino ministry in our church.

Finally, as part of our pivot to be a research institute is the ability, and necessity to earn revenue to continue to do this work. The unfortunate reality is that the budget for TryTank has been cut for a few years. To make up the difference, we are hoping to fill a need as a respected place for rigorous research and evaluation of the mainline protestant church. This will allow us to learn more about the church through outside projects and earn revenue to support our work.

These are our four core areas for our fiscal year 2025.

The Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija, DMin, MBA
Chief Innovation Officer, VTS
Executive Director, TryTank Research Institute 

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