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The moment someone puts their faith in Jesus and decides to follow him they become a disciple of Jesus. And yet the call to discipleship is more than just one decision – it’s a lifelong commitment to obey Jesus’, be led by Jesus, become more like Jesus, and lead others to him.
‘The Greenhouse’ is a discipleship program at City on a Hill: Melbourne which seeks to intentionally train, edify and equip disciples to become more like Jesus, and help others become more like him too. ‘The Greenhouse’ is designed to offer something for every Christian who calls our church home, whether they are new to the faith, seeking to teach and train others, or somewhere inbetween.
The Greenhouse is not designed to replace your involvement in serving or Gospel Communities either – it’s designed to fuel it.

Program Components

The program is a 1 year commitment, which consists of 5 key components:

i. Training Units:

A key and significant component of the Greenhouse is a series of four tailored courses to help you grow in your love for Christ and your neighbor. These courses will involve a variety of engaging experiences, engaging classroom teaching, and practical opportunities to apply what is being taught.

  • Term 1: The Way of Jesus – Spiritual Disciplines: How do you spend time with God?
  • Term 2: The Word of God – Exegesis: How do you read the bible well and learn how to communicate it?
  • Term 3: The Story of God – The Creed: What do we believe and why do we believe it?
  • Term 4: Evangelism and Culture: How do we engage with the world around us in a way that points others to Jesus?

ii. Cohorts

A vital pillar in the success of this program is the creation of a learning community, or ‘cohort’, wherein the learnings can be unpacked, expressed and applied. Participants are more than just classmates – they are brothers and sisters, and so we want The Greenhouse to reflect and experience that reality as it provides an opportunity for brothers and sisters to walk the discipleship journey together. While some educational experiences can foster a culture of competition in order to motivate students, we seek to create a culture of learners who are invested in the learning of their peers, and disciples who are invested in the growth of the disciples around them.

iii. 1:1 Discipleship Partners

Many people consider that the heart of discipleship revolves around close-knit, life-on-life relationships. The value of these relationships for transformation cannot be overstated, which is why the program will ensure that participants are involved in a 1:1 discipling relationship with a mature disciple. These relationships will be aimed at encouraging participants in their broader discipleship journey, and ensuring that learning moves beyond a transfer of information to a life-changing transformation. This may be with someone new, or perhaps you already have this relationship; and we can provide tools to help this person walk alongside of you in this journey.

iv. Retreats

In order to build a deep Christian community amongst the cohort, and to provide opportunities to reflect on, practice and apply learnings from the Greenhouse, the program will include two retreats during the year – one during term 1 and the other during term 3.

v. Ministry Exposure Trip

Those who participate in the program will be encouraged to be a part of a Ministry Exposure Trip. This is designed to give further understanding to ministry and church life outside of our home church. To learn about church planting, and what ministry in other contexts look like.


During the program all of our teaching, training and experiences are shaped by four priorities.

1. Encountering the affections of the heart

One of the key areas of the program will be developing practices which lead to spiritual growth. The hope is that all the elements of the course will allow participants to draw close to our living God, repenting of sin and seeking after His righteousness.

2. Equipping the mind

Paul encourages the Romans: ‘do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds’ (Rom 12:2). In seeking to build resilient disciples who are able to resist assimilation into the world – he begins with the work of the mind. In doing so, intellectual development is not the end goal – transformation is.

However, it is clear that the mind – particularly the way the mind understands and appreciates the world and the things of God – plays an incredibly significant role in the transformation process.

Therefore, we will seek to teach units designed to help disciples understand, enjoy and stand firm in their faith. In doing so, we will disciple people in such a way that they can disciple others, and pass on what they learn.

3. Engaging the hands

The nature of the program will ensure that participants are engaged in a thoroughly practical and hands-on way. We want to take a holistic approach to our training, to ensure that we are producing disciples who are both hearers and doers of the Word. For this reason, each unit will involve immersive, practical experiences within the program, and each participant will be encouraged to play an active and vital role in the life of the church outside of the program too.

4. Experiencing the mission

Lastly, in developing holistic disciples of Jesus, the program will provide clear opportunities for participants to gain a wide array of discipleship experiences. This includes a ministry exposure trip, opportunities to partner with mercy ministries, discipling other believers, and specific opportunities to serve within the established ministries of our church.

Applications are now open for 2024

For more information, or to ask any questions email Greenhouse Director Emily Lancaster on