But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
The Association of Ministry Houses is a collaboration between two ministry house programs: The Pink House (InterVarsity) and the Micah Project (North Fresno Church). Students who are accepted into our ministry house programs will commit to ten months (Aug to June) living in one of the three intentional communities, engaging urban leadership in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty in Fresno, California. The houses are distinct but cross-pollinate in curricular activities in order to create synergy for the next generation of young leaders.The core values of our ministry are Biblical Community, Urban Ministry, and Leadership Development.
Our goal is to equip missional urban leaders who will practice a holistic Gospel (including reconciliation, Biblical justice, and evangelism) while they live in synergistic Biblical community in the context of a marginalized community.
Residents become involved in volunteering for various ministry agencies or churches that are focusing on the urban poor, committing a designated number of hours per week to serve there. As much as possible we do this as a team.
Residents intentionally practice the “one anothers” of the Bible, learning to live an inter-dependent life. We become a family, forming close friendships, relationships of accountability and partnerships in the gospel. We pull together to keep the household running. We pray and study scripture together weekly.
Residents participate in local, regional, and national conferences, conventions and meetings in order to meet others engaged in similar ministries, and to acquire new skills, perspectives, and motivation to serve Christ amongst the poor.
The organizing principles, beliefs, values and methods that drive us are a rich combination of models, ranging from John Perkins’ “Three R’s of Christian Community Development”, Bob Lupton’s understanding of relocation and city-building, John McKnight’s theories of community building, Jim Westgate’s and Harvie Conn’s urban theology, and a host of national leaders ranging from Tom Skinner, Dr. C.T. Vivian, Chris Rice & Spencer Perkins, Ray Bakke, Ron Sider, H. Spees, to name a few. Our educational philosophy centers on a few key principles, including inductive discovery, group discussion, hands-on learning environments, exposure to practitioners and working models, and mentoring.
In light of common values, common work, and a common ministry model, the Association of Ministry Houses is committed to developing a movement of urban leaders who will mobilize for the transformation of Fresno and the cities of our world. In partnership we believe that essentially we are better together.
We believe involvement in this Association will produce bottom line cost saving, higher quality results and a lower work load for all. We anticipate outcomes that produce dynamic and fruitful participant leadership, creative and resourceful relationships between Directors and ultimately, the mission moving forward in a stronger and focused manner.
It began as a simple experiment by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship staff in 1991 in getting college students out of their well-controlled campus environment into the real world of urban America as a form of discipleship training. We wanted them to learn about God’s love for the city, meet Christian leaders who were making a difference in our toughest neighborhoods, and craft a discipleship that would make a difference in an increasingly urban world.
The Fresno Institute for Urban Leadership began with a short service project (FUMP – the Fresno Urban Ministry Project) that combined the chance to live, serve & sweat together with the chance to study the Scriptures. They partnered with World Impact, an inner-city mission and church planting organization. The next year (1992) an alumni of this urban project decided that they wanted to serve year round in the Lowell Neighborhood, Fresno’s highest crime, highest poverty community, so started a tutoring program – The Wise Old Owl Tutoring Program – which later expanded to a second site. In 1993, the Fresno Urban Internship program (FUI) was launched which placed students with agencies such as Habitat for Humanity, World Impact, Evangel Home, and other places where they could get exposure to God’s work in the city. These summer internships also contained a demanding curriculum. That same year, Randy White (FIFUL’s founder) and his family moved to the Lowell Neighborhood where they lived with students and began to learn ministry from the inside.
In 1995 Randy partnered with First Presbyterian Church to salvage the 1548 L Street 4-plex property with a vision for continued incarnational ministry. The Pink House was born and hundreds of students have passed through this 10 month program focused on urban ministry, leadership development and biblical community. In 2010 the Pink House birthed a sister program called The Hub, in partnership with Highway City Community Development Corporation. Although the program didn’t last long-term, it sparked a movement, and InterVarsity leaders invested in a new generation of ministry house directors. In 2013 The Micah Project of North Fresno Mennonite Brethren Church was born, followed quickly by Casa Shalom of The Bridge Church in 2014. The association continues to consult with ministry programs across the nation.
In a unique inter-denominational partnership, these ministry houses located in different parts of Fresno, unify for the same purpose of raising up leaders for the city. We work together for our recruitment and student acceptance process, we gather weekly for training, prayer, community and learning on Tuesday nights, and we celebrate what God has done in and through us.
This level of partnership enables folks to get a taste of what a ministry house looks like.
– One-time fee $250.00
– Edited Curriculum – and bibliography
– FAQ – List of most commonly asked questions including, student requirements, length of program, time, sample week schedule, sample partner agencies, Staff Directors job requirements
– Consultation meeting – dream, ask leading questions and pray
This level of partnership fills out more of the information needed but still allows partner to be autonomous. Fee $500.00 with a minimum of 4 consultations @ $50.00 / hour. All above, plus:
– FAQ – List with Sample documents attached in addendum (sample application, interview questions, rental contract, Lifestyle/Risk management agreement, move-in requirements, Job Description)
– Financials – Sample budget & fees
– Consultation – Annual Training for Directors
– Equipping – Discounted rate for local conferences ie: CityScope Study & Tour
– Evaluation – sample document
This level of partnership reaches for mutuality and high levels of integration among staff, students and programmatic elements. Annual Fee $1500, for two years. All above, plus:
– Full Curriculum – unedited version
– Retreat Curriculum with sample schedule and topics
– Consultation – on-call support
– Fundraising Training
– Speaker Sharing – access to Staff as guest speakers
– Regular facilitation of group gatherings of ministry house participants
– Recruitment – sharing applicants
– Equipping –
– Director’s gatherings for best practices
– Training (sample topics: Cross-gender/ethnic discipleship, Conflict, and Urban Ministry- gangs)
Annual Fee $1200
In light of common values, common work, and a common ministry model, the Association of Ministry Houses is committed to developing a movement of urban leaders who will mobilize for the transformation of Fresno and the cities of our world. In partnership we believe that essentially we are better together. Once established as a reputable program (programs must partner at Level 3 for at least two years and show development in benchmark categories), you will be invited to join Level 4 as a contributing partner. This is an opportunity to stay connected to pivotal leaders, equipping, shared training and consult various start-up programs.