Co-Creators Incubator

Why an Incubator?

It troubles us when we hear things like, The Church isn’t relevant anymore or There aren’t any new leaders.

It troubles us because it isn’t true. God’s work with and through God’s people persists; we may just need to assume a different vantage point. We believe Christian leadership has a vast definition and that ministry can – and often should – look different from how it has in the past. An abundance of fresh ideas wafts through our churches. Innovative thinkers feverishly scribble ideas into notepads. Mission-minded leaders constantly discover new ways to impact their communities for good.

God is planting seeds everywhere; we just need to look for them in some new places. The Co-Creators Incubator exists to water those seeds and help bring them to life.

The Co-Creators Incubator is a two-year integrative program for missional entrepreneurs that helps grow ministry ideas into viable ventures with a Christ-centered mission. The Incubator fosters a spirit of collegiality and collaboration amongst a cohort of Co-Creators, while providing them with resources to enhance and grow their ministries. In pursuit of partnership and sustainability, the Co-Creators Incubator will engage both the missional entrepreneurs as well as Creative Partners who may invest in the work of Co-Creators via financial or other means.

What is a Co-Creator?

An abundance of fresh ideas wafts through our churches. Innovative thinkers feverishly scribble ideas into notepads. Mission-minded leaders constantly discover new ways to impact their communities for good.

Co-Creators are mission-minded, creative, entrepreneurial people eager to put ideas into action. Co-Creators exist at many junctures in their journey — one might be ready to launch an idea or project while another is still in brainstorming mode.


involved in ministry (defined broadly)

Passionate about ministry


A fresh thinker

Willing to take risks





Engaged in work that fits within ABHMS missional framework

Willing to form a partnership with ABHMS and other ministry colleagues


Christian, but not necessarily American Baptist; willing to work with American Baptists

How exactly does this thing work? 

Through the Co-Creators Incubator, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) will bring together Co-Creators and Creative Partners to provide resources and support to nurture the growth of innovative ministry ideas.

Each Co-Creator will receive an initial seed grant and the opportunity to meet with the Co-Creator Cohort for two summits within the first year.

During the Kickoff Summit, April 12-14, 2021, Co-Creators were paired with mentors possessing expertise in entrepreneurship, theological framing, cultural competency, leadership development, program development, marketing, administration and law, and strategic partnerships. This time was one of storytelling, collaboration and experimentation.

At the second Launch Summit, Oct. 18-19, 2021, Co-Creators participated in Demo Day where they pitched their ideas to Creative Partners who may choose to provide ongoing support and opportunities for partnership. 

Co-creators cohorts

Cycle 2 Co-Creators

Monique Harrington

Monique C. Harrington

Way Club is a faith-based social club for high school-aged teenagers. The overall vision is to inspire the next generation of believers to have fun while being responsible citizens and active participants in Jesus’ mission to share the good news.

Ruth Alerte Jones

Dr. Ruth Alerte Jones

The H.E.M. Network is a faith-based ministry centered on spiritual wellness for women following pregnancy loss. It is designed to equip church leaders (lay and professional) to implement visible support for women as they navigate spiritual challenges related to their situation.

Contact Ruth at [email protected]

Jonathan Malone

Jonathan Malone

Wilderness Journeys offers multiple-day hiking and backpacking trips into the wilderness, with an emphasis on encountering and engaging with the divine. Participants have the opportunity to push themselves physically and emotionally as well as to experience the wonder of God’s creation.

Yolanda Norton

The Rev. Yolanda M. Norton

The Global Arts and Theology Experience (GATE) is an organization dedicated to promoting the wholeness, healing and development of Black girls and women through programs that promote womanist theology and the arts. GATE focuses on providing spaces for Black women’s stories, struggles and survival.

Dria Price

Dria Price

As shepherds of the Earth, Justevia wants to ensure that the vessels of our siblings in Christ are not overloaded with the unhealthy options that are advertised to the public regularly. As the company grows, Justevia plans to include people of all backgrounds, especially those underrepresented in the agricultural industry, such as Black, indigenous people of color and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals.

Alex Zarecki

Alex Zarecki

A musician, educator and chaplain from Massachusetts, Alex has struggled between the tension of writing songs as an artist and playing songs that make sense for his church. He intends to write new songs tempered for an array of contexts, fit for personal and congregational enjoyment. As a Co-Creator, he can accomplish this task with greater boldness.

Contact Alex at [email protected]

Past Cohort

Rev. Rebecca W. Driscoll

American Baptist Churches USA Minister for Environmental Justice

The Minister for Environmental Justice seeks to develop, implement and enhance the presence of creation care ministries as a prophetic Christian witness to and for the protection of God’s creation.

Email: [email protected]

Tony Gapastione

BraveMaker Media and Film Festival

BraveMaker invests in filmmakers to tell their stories and gather audiences to engage in essential conversations on diversity, inclusion and justice.

Email: [email protected]

Aria M. Kirkland-Harris

Ministry Consultant and Retreat Facilitator

This faith-based consulting practice lives at the intersection of theological formation, collective economics and ministry innovation.

Email: [email protected]

Rev. Dr. Suzanne Kershaw

Empowering “Tools”

Empowering “Tools” seeks to train women and girls in basic home and automotive repair and maintenance.

Email: [email protected]

Rev. Dr. Rachael B. Lawrence

KinderSpirit Inc.

KinderSpirit Inc. merges the joy and activity of early childhood music-movement courses with meaningful Christian worship in which young children and parents can be themselves while building meaningful community together.

Email: [email protected]

Alyssa B. Vásquez

YouBelong LLC

YouBelong is a movement that uses consulting and technology to connect individuals to local church communities because no one should do life alone.

Contact: LinkedIn

Get Involved!


Do you sense that is God up to something? Can’t get that crazy ministry idea out of your head? Are you thirsting for a laboratory to figure it all out? We’re here to help with that.

The application period is
now closed. It will re-open
in fall 2022.

Follow ABHMS on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram to keep up with this year’s cohort and for information on when to apply for future opportunities.

Creative Partners

A Creative Partner is an organization, congregation, or individual with a passion for mission and ministry, committed to investing in innovative ministries, and willing to take risks and leaps of faith in their commitment to innovative ministries. Creative Partners are open minded and willing to be in partnership with ABHMS and Co-Creators.

Interested in learning more about becoming a Creative Partner?