Work needed a new story. The idea that work is a necessary evil isn’t new. God designed work, from the beginning of creation, to reflect his own work in the world and in us. The goodness of this design gives purpose to our daily lives, even when it is difficult. We separate our lives into what many call the "sacred" and "secular." Church on Sunday, work on Monday.
If God created us as whole persons — persons who live, move, and have our being in a physical world with physical bodies and spiritual needs — our faith converges with our places of work. The sacred and the secular also converge, and God cares about how we live both our spiritual and physical lives.
Closing the gap between Sunday and Monday is why Made to Flourish exists. When Tom realized he committed what he calls “pastoral malpractice,” neglecting to disciple his congregants in the whole of their lives, that sparked a desire to help pastors around the country avoid the same mistake. In 2015, Nelson and a team of church, business, and private sector partners launched Made to Flourish in order to “empower a growing network of pastors” to better engage, equip, and encourage each other as they integrate a more robust theology of faith, work, and economics into their churches.
Like carpenters, plumbers, electricians, even teachers and artists, pastors require certain tools to do their job well. Pastors teach their congregations how to live as Christians, helping them better understand what the Bible says about how we live well in the world. But when it comes to Monday mornings either in the office, chasing toddlers, or in a technical field, pastors often lack the tools necessary to equip their congregants for where they spend most of their time every week: at work.
Pastors who engage with Made to Flourish will prioritize and strengthen liturgies, practices, tools, resources, and/or initiatives that equip congregation members to faithfully follow Christ in the everyday.
Churches that engage with Made to Flourish seek the long-term well-being of their communities by utilizing the congregation’s skills.
Churches will steward resources for the community with economic wisdom and initiatives will be created and sustained that provide opportunity and build capacity for all through collaborative partnerships formed with other churches and organizations.
The grand narrative of the Bible informs our lives and directs our mission.
God invites us to participate in his redemption of individuals and renewal of all things.
Essential for effective leadership and human flourishing.
Engaging in work is a primary way we image God.
Essential for glorifying God and loving our neighbor.
Uniquely designed and empowered to promote human flourishing.
Worship of God gets reduced merely to Sunday, in-church experiences, if the believers in your church miss how the act of worship should extend into their whole lives.
Spiritual formation becomes exclusively private, detached from the places, circumstances, and activities that form and inform the people in your congregation every day.
The marketplaces and the public squares are devoid of the public witness of Christians who can live out their faith in these spheres with specific and deliberate practices.
People who will likely never enter a church service or event are robbed of the gospel witness of the Christians who surround them, in nearly every aspect of life.
Neighborhoods, communities, and cities can’t thrive without generative contributions of Christian citizens who sense their calling to pursue the common good.
Our network represents all 50 states and are joined together by one unifying vision: To take the gospel in all its fullness to all dimensions of human reality. Become part of a community of pastoral practitioners from across the country who are learning from one another how to equip their people to follow Christ in all of life.
We believe our mission needs to be contextualized to the neighborhoods around us. That’s why we’ve created local networks in cities across the country—places where pastors are gathering together to share ideas, best practices, and form relationships with like-minded leaders who share a common context.