For five months now, the Chicago Cohort has been discovering what it means to internalize a gospel identity, call, and mission in their lives. We've had teachers like Pastor Oscar Muriu from Nairobi Chapel and Pastor Daniel Hill, the author of "White Awake" speak on the issues of the Global Church and Race in Chicago. Through these opportunities our cohort members have been able to engage with world-class speakers, connect with mentors, and spend time getting to know one another. As we've dove deep into these topics, we are also beginning to start planning our "Action Plans", which is an individual practical application that allows for each cohort member to take what they learned from the cohort experience and begin implementing those very ideas in their vocation, church, and city.
We hope that by challenging our cohort members to create an Action Plan each one will be able to take small steps towards becoming a leader and impacter in their city. For a city like Chicago, the difficulty in encouraging and investing in young leaders to impact their vocation and city is that the distractions and options of involvement is at an all-time busy level. Their schedules are filled with travel, work, volunteering, friends, family, and much more; which makes the greatest cohort challenge to actually be commitment and consistency. In a similar way, Chicago is an extremely transient city. For example, our Chicago Cohort from last year, which had about 15-18 consistent members, has already seen 10+ of them move to different US cities and even global cities because of work, marriage, and school. Thus, this creates a unique challenge to creating a leadership cohort in a city like Chicago, but the potential opportunity to send them out and use Chicago as a laboratory of learning is even greater.
At this point of the Chicago Cohort year, many are looking forward to the GCG Retreat, which is in Seattle this year. They are all looking forward to getting away, learning from local Seattle speakers, and meeting the other cohort members from Jakarta. If you are able, please continue to pray that this cohort year finishes well, and that as we look to revamp our Chicago Cohort for Year 3 that God would allow us to find the right candidates to invest well in. We still have much to learn on how to best equip and prepare future Christian professional leaders in Chicago, but it is definitely a task worth fighting for.
Noah Chung, Chicago City Director