Understanding Impact 360 Institute’s Core Purpose (Part I: Why “Cultivating?”) by: Phil Alsup

Understanding Impact 360 Institute’s Core Purpose (Part I: Why “Cultivating?”)

I love being a part of our team’s work here at Impact 360 Institute. Our team provides an array of content, experiences, and mentoring both out of a stewardship of the vocation and lifestyle call that God has placed upon their lives and in pursuit of the Institute’s core purpose: Cultivating leaders who follow Jesus. Every strategy and action plan of our work here falls within that purpose. It is our desire to see followers of Jesus grow in their influence. By this we mean that each person Impact 360 Institute equips has the opportunity to influence others in a way so that God is magnified in a positive way in their lives. It is through this we believe the Gospel can be reflected and shared. A godly person will inevitably invite conversations which allow for the Good News to be shared and heard due in part to the fact that this person’s actions line up with their message of God’s love for all. It is to this end we pursue our core purpose at Impact 360 Institute.

Our desire is for each person Impact 360 Institute equips to have the opportunity to influence others so that God is magnified in a positive way in their lives.

As we look at Impact’s core purpose let’s take a look at the first word of the statement. Why “cultivate” and not other words such as “equip,” “grow,” or “train?” These are common words for groups seeking to teach important principles to others. Let’s look at three reasons why this language is important to Impact.

A leader without a solid set of biblical values is doing nothing of eternal significance and a person full of biblical knowledge without the tools to influence others risks simply being a talking head.

1) Cultivating reflects Impact 360’s values:

Impact intentionally chose “cultivate” because it tightly aligned with our values. The best opportunities to teach are often in proportion to the relationship you are able to develop with someone. Impact 360 intentionally carries a robust number of staff to student ratios for our on-campus experiences for this reason. We want our staff to be available and able to spend time investing in each person who comes to our campus. We strongly believe that life’s lessons and truths are best communicated in the context of relationships; therefore we seek to build ongoing learning communities with our students. It is within these relationships that ongoing mentorship may happen. As we cultivate the relationship our ability to influence grows.

2) Cultivating is evocative:

What type of mental image comes to mind when we use the word “cultivating?” I bet it’s something related to gardening. The word immediately calls to mind a strong mental image of care, labor, and purpose. That’s how Impact sees building disciples. We have an intentional curriculum meant to grow one’s influence through a stronger understanding of their faith. We often group these into two areas of study such as leadership and biblical worldview but in reality for an effective and godly leader these work in harmony. A leader without a solid set of biblical values is doing nothing of eternal significance and a person full of biblical knowledge without the tools to influence others risks simply being a talking head. Just as a gardener grows several different things in their garden Impact seeks to cultivate many different strengths in a believer both to grow their knowledge and their ability to use it.

3) Cultivating is ongoing:

You’ve undoubtedly heard the cliché “(Fill in the blank) isn’t a destination, it’s a journey.” While that may be overused it is true in any believer’s influence development. Life has a funny way of using your skills to get you to a new place, but often what got you there won’t help you thrive in your new role. What I mean by this is often we earn new levels of responsibility based on what someone saw in our work, but those same skills don’t guarantee we will be successful in our new assignment. It takes a new level of skill and determination to lead at new levels. At Impact 360 Institute we want to engage with young leaders over the course of several years, helping them to continue to grow and expand their ability to lead and influence while more deeply understanding the eternal principles to build upon. Our hope isn’t to just pass on a small bit of wisdom but have the chance to engage a young person through several critical seasons in their life. Life will always bring new opportunities and challenges and Impact 360 Institute wants to be there to help young adults grow as those come.

We earn new levels of responsibility based on what someone saw in our work, but those same skills don’t guarantee we will be successful in our new assignment.

Impact 360 Institute offers a range of biblically based experiences and content for all ages. It is our sincere hope that we have the chance to walk alongside you in your journey and have the chance to help cultivate the skills and gifts God has blessed you with toward opportunities for Kingdom influence.

Next: Understanding Impact 360 Institute’s Core Purpose (Part II: Who is a Leader?)


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