Where FiveTwo Network's Going in 2017
March 16, 2017

2017 Vision

A vision is a destination.  It answers the “Where?” question, painting a picture of where you see the journey taking you.  The clarity should be compelling enough that someone is able to see where your organization is going and decide to hop on the plane with you.

Thus our FiveTwo Network’s 2017 Vision.  As we seek to equip men and women Christian entrepreneurs who launch a variety of start-ups, here are this year’s stops along the journey.  Each of these stops will impact every element of FiveTwo, from our Digital presence to our annual O2 Conference to our monthly Local gatherings to our 2-year StartNew incubator.

We hope you will join us on the journey!

50% Lay-led Startups

The FiveTwo Network began as a network for church planters.  We still are.  But as the number of pastors declines, we must enlist the incredible resource of entrepreneurial lay men and women, equipping them to marry their faith and their start-up in such a way that Jesus is shared with employee and customer and community in financially sustainable models.

New people join new efforts.  New people will meet Jesus when those new efforts are led by men and women whose faith lives on the fore not buried in the back.

We need bold, courageous starters willing to try new methods of launching sustainable churches and non-profits and businesses. 

We need individuals willing to creatively bring the Gospel into their communities in new ways.

That may look like a trained layman under the authority of a local pastor helping start a congregation in a densely populated urban setting or sparsely populated rural location. 

That may look like a young business woman allowing her passion for the underserved to result in a community café in partnership with local social service organizations.

In the past, we might have appeared solely and especially for professional church workers.  No longer.  While church planters will always hold a special place in our heart, we also have a heart for entrepreneurial men and women who want Jesus at the center of their business or non-profit.

That’s why we have set a goal of 50% of the startups we work within 2017 to be led by lay people.

Are you one of those people?

50% Business and Social Enterprise Startups

FiveTwo Network began as a network for starting churches.  We still help plant churches.  And we help existing churches replant and remission themselves for their changing community.

We love helping more churches start and restart.

But as the culture grows farther away from the established Church, we need a variety of expressions of the Gospel launched into communities.  We need multiple new opportunities for people to experience Jesus outside of congregational walls. 

We need new preschools.  New homes for runaway teen girls.  New halfway houses for released felons.  New music schools.  New auto repair shops.  New pizza parlors and new coffee shops.

We need a variety of start-ups of various sizes and shapes yet possessing one singular focus:

connect Christ to employees and customers and communities.

The Lean Start-up methods we employ, along with the Business Model Canvas tool at the center of our training, work perfectly no matter the type of start-up your passion wants to start. 

We help you discover the start-up Jesus has placed in you, turning your passion into pay.

What business have you wanted to start but were unsure how to take the first steps?  What group of people would you love to help but have been unsure how to launch a non-profit that thrives for the long haul?

50% of the startups in 2017 will be business or social enterprise oriented.

O2 National Conference especially for Laity

To aid in our goal of equipping more Christian lay entrepreneurs, our annual conference shifts slightly this year.

First, a name change: O2, reminding us that “every fire needs oxygen.”  We want to fuel the fire that is your start-up.

Beyond look and name, however, O2 expands to incorporate especially those entrepreneurial laity launching and leading non-profits, social enterprises, and businesses.

Blending theology and best business practices, O2 is where entrepreneurial theologians and business leaders collide, resulting in startups that connect people to Jesus and His local church.

The schedule is changing slightly, kicking off Monday evening and wrapping early Wednesday afternoon. In-depth keynotes, story-oriented TED talks, and practical, how-to tracks all combine to equip Christian entrepreneurial leaders who want their faith to flourish in their start.  Pre-workshops will take place Monday afternoon.  Post-workshops happen Wednesday afternoon.

If you’re looking for a tribe to call home, especially a crazy, Jesus-loving, entrepreneurial tribe from a sacramental bent, then join us in Austin, Texas, this September.

Spring Scholarship Fund Launch

This Spring, around FiveTwo Day (May 2), we will launch a scholarship fund for participants in our 2-year StartNew incubator.

To make our StartNew training and coaching more accessible, 100% of all funds raised in our spring FiveTwo Day campaign will go into our StartNew Scholarship fund, used solely for StartNew participants.

Other incubators often include startup funds of one kind or another.  We decided to invest first in the training of the individual and her team. 

Remember, your financial gifts in our spring FiveTwo Day campaign will help individuals and their team receive two-years of training and coaching that leads to sustainable, sacramental startups.

StartNew Houston

In addition to launches every six months in Michigan, this April we will launch our StartNew incubator in Houston.  That means every April and October we will host a StartNew 3Day in Houston, helping a variety of startups thrive in the Texas/Louisiana region.

Now, our StartNew incubator is only 3 months away from you.

Teams from Arizona, Indiana, and Texas will join us in April in Houston.

Want more info? Click here.

From Michigan to Florida & Georgia

For the past two years, FiveTwo has assisted in the build out of a multiplication system in the Michigan District of the LCMS.  To date, we are working with 14 start-ups in Michigan, with more coming online this August.

Last fall, the Florida/Georgia district of the LCMS asked us to conduct a resource assessment and design a multiplication system for the area.  We are currently in that assessment phase, with teams visiting five metro areas of the district through May: Orlando/Tampa, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, Ft. Meyers, and Jacksonville.  Pending our findings, we hope to help a variety of startups launch in that district in the near future.

If your region would like to discuss a strategic plan for launching a variety of sustainable, sacramental startups, please give us a call.

The Wrap

When we arrive in January 2018 and look back, we intend to see how more and more Christian lay entrepreneurs have joined FiveTwo because they discovered practical know-how and great camaraderie to help their startups thrive. 

They discovered how Jesus multiplies resources so that the faith dreams they acted on resulted in communities being blessed and more people following Jesus.

That’s why FiveTwo Network’s here.

As you move through 2017, let us help you discover what Jesus wants to do with your five & two.

by Bill Woolsey, Executive Director, FiveTwo Network


  • Mark Rhoads

    I am very happy and excited about your new interest in lay led ministries. As I have seen the number of vacancies increase along with the decrease in seminary enrollment, we need new models for ministry. I would like to see more mission outposts. Does your O2 idea fit for lay people in established churches (ie buildings and property) that are vacant to reimagine themselves as a powerful force for gospel outreach? (Again, under the supervision of a local ordained pastor.)

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    • FiveTwo Network

      Hi Mark, thanks for your interest. To answer your question, a resounding yes! That is exactly what are looking for. We would love to have you attend our O2 conference and if you are interested in hearing more, please send an email to comm@fivetwo.com. I will make sure to get you in contact with someone who can answer any questions you have.

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