Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Multiplying Cohorts

up/, our new downtown cohort, got off to a great start last week thanks to Rebecca Murphy who coordinated the evening, Nanette Sawyer, who hosted us at Wicker Park Grace, and all the others who came to share their stories and contribute to the conversation. I can't wait to see what "emerges" from this new network of friendships.

In many ways up/ is the result of a vision that I and many others share for multiplying these kind of conversations in the Chicago area and around the country (and the world). I am convinced that we are at the leading edge of a global spiritual revolution, and as with all revolutions, it begins with small groups of like-minded people gathering to share passions and ideas. Out of this are birthed friendships and networks that can change the world in both large and small ways.

That is why up/rooted exists, and it is why I would like to see even more cohorts birthed out of it. Right now we have groups meeting in the north suburbs, the west suburbs, and down in the city (some steps have also been made towards a south suburban group, but nothing consistent has developed there yet). We have also helped birth a cohort in Eastern Iowa.

However, there is so much more potential for new groups. Right now there are no cohorts at all in Wisconsin and some of you from there have driven down to attend up/rooted. Why not start a Madison, Milwaukee, or Southeastern Wisconsin cohort? We also have folks that occasionally drive from Chicago Heights and even Valparaiso to attend cohort meetings. Why not instead start a Northwest Indiana cohort? Or perhaps some of you are or know students at UofI or ISU or Bradley. Why not help get an Urbana-Champaign or Bloomington-Normal or Peoria cohort started? Or maybe you're not anywhere near Chicago but would like our advice on how start something where you're at. We'd be glad to help.

It honestly doesn't take much to start a cohort. All you need is three or more people, one of whom is willing to coordinate a day, a place, and a topic every one to three months, and then just start spreading the word to friends, pastors and others who might be interested (flyers at local colleges or coffee shops can be surprisingly effective as well). Beyond that, we can lend you the use of the up/rooted website and email list (or help you create your own) so you can start promoting your events on the web. I can also get you set up on the cohorts listing so that others in your area looking for this kind of conversation will find you.

If you share this vision for multiplying the conversation, are outside of or on the fringes of the Chicago area, and are possibly interested in helping to start something in your area, please let me know. Just email me at and we can start talking about the possibilities.

I can't wait to see how this revolution grows!

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