Made To Flourish exists to equip pastors with a more integral connection between Sunday faith and Monday work, in order to empower them to lead churches that produce human flourishing for the common good.
That’s our mission. Now, what exactly do we mean by that? And how do we carry it out?
What Do We Do?
Here’s another way to state our mission: We help pastors learn how to connect faith, work, and economics so they can disciple their people better to live for Christ in all areas of life and advance the common good.
We want to help you learn a solid (and interesting!) theology of work. We help you see work in the context of the biblical storyline and how God considers work and economic activity good and meaningful. There is no sacred/secular distinction–the work of Christians in the marketplace and social sectors is just as important as the work of pastors and staff inside the church. This is a crucial truth to grasp in order to understand how God is carrying out his mission in the world.
And we help you connect this theology to the everyday practices of your church and ministry so that you can truly equip your people and live this out.
Why Do We Do This?
You have probably noticed that there is a growing hunger among Christians to understand how their faith relates to their work. There are many ministries that are helping to address this need. Yet many approaches leave out something central to God’s plan: the local church.
What’s unique about Made to Flourish is that we focus on pastors. We believe that pastors have a key role to play in the faith and work movement because Christians miss out on something crucial when their church does not support them in faith and work integration.
More than this, part of the work of the pastor is to equip people for all-of-life discipleship. That includes equipping people to study the Bible for themselves, pray, encourage and assist one another, and do all of the other activities we commonly think of as part of the Christian life.
But it also includes equipping people for a place where they spend the bulk of their time, yet which we often overlook: the workplace! What does it mean to be a Christian at work? Does work matter in itself, or is it just a platform for evangelism? How should our faith affect the way we go about our work?
Christians need to know the answers to these questions. But where are they going to find them? Their pastors are intended by God to play a key role in this.
That’s where we come in. We know pastors themselves need to be equipped in this task, and we don’t want to leave you to do this alone. We equip pastors to disciple their people in a robust theology of work.
How Do We Do This?
How, specifically, do we equip you as a pastor in faith and work integration?
We do this by connecting pastors to one another and providing them with a growing library of online resources, access to thought leaders, and in-person training in best practices.
1. Online Resources
We have an extensive and growing library of resources on our website to help equip you with a solid understanding of faith, work, and economics and how to integrate this into your church. Our resources range from articles on the theology of work, to stories of the impact that faith and work integration has had in people’s lives, to sermon helps that show how you can make these truths come alive in your teaching — and much more.
2. An Interactive Community
Upon joining the network, we plug you into a local network where you can interact with pastors in your area. Each local network has routine lunches, training events, and other gatherings so that you can learn and implement these truths in community.
We also host an annual national conference and send out a monthly newsletter to help keep you up to date with the best resources and opportunities in your area and around the country.
3. Access to Thought Leaders
In addition to our online resources, we also have many online training opportunities, from webinars to virtual workshops to live Q&As. These opportunities allow you to drill deeper in application and provide access to thought leaders so you can learn directly from the best.
4. In-Person Training
In each of our regions we do learning communities that enable you to come together over three sessions for more intensive training on faith and work integration. These communities are taught by leading faculty in the faith and work movement, including Steve Garber and Amy Sherman.
Our aim here is to take you from knowledge to practice. We help you integrate the biblical teaching on faith and work into your pastoral practice and local church so that your congregation can be fully equipped.
We also help some churches establish residency programs for the training of future pastors in faith and work integration.
Through these sorts of initiatives and more, being a part of the Made to Flourish network enables you to:
- Gain a renewed understanding of work
- Explore the implications of the biblical view of work and share best practices
- Develop practical ways to empower your congregation to connect faith and work for the common good
- And do this in a community of fellow pastors
What Are the Results?
As you disciple your people in a more integrated theology of faith and work, we have seen four chief benefits that are central to the mission of the church:
1. God is More Fully Worshiped
Worship is not just something that happens for an hour on Sunday. We are to worship God with our whole lives (Romans 12:1-2), and our work is a key part of that. When Christians know how their faith and work relate, they are able to do everything–including their work–as worship.
2. People Grow More Spiritually
Work is one of our greatest opportunities for sanctification and growing in our faith. Yet, we are cut off from this opportunity when we treat our faith and work as isolated categories. On the other hand, when people know how to live out their faith in the workplace, they grow spiritually in remarkable ways.
3. Gospel Plausibility is Increased
Doing our work from biblical motives and standards shows that being a Christian makes a real difference in the world. This gives credibility to our profession of faith and makes it more likely that people will consider what we have to say about the gospel. This impact, on the other hand, is diminished when we don’t let our faith fully inform our work.
4. Gospel Proclamation is Advanced
Because of the amount of time we spend at work and the web of interactions it creates, the workplace is one of the chief ways we carry our faith into the world. Work is about more than evangelism–it matters in itself. Nonetheless, we should not overlook the fact that the workplace gives us an incredible opportunity for sharing our faith–if we know how to do it tactfully and appropriately.
How Can I Join?
We would love for you to be a part of the network. There are no dues or fees involved. We exist solely to provide you with relationships and resources to strengthen your ministry. We do ask that you enthusiastically share our core values and mission, which you can find in our terms of membership agreement.