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The Blue Collar Challenge: Connecting Faith and Human Labor
May 17, 2017 @ 10:30 am - August 16, 2017 @ 11:30 am CDT
Presenter: Kent Duncan
Contemporary blue-collar employees often fail to appreciate the biblical significance of ordinary human labor. Consequently, they perceive work as a necessary evil while frustration and alienation characterize time spent on the job. Empirical research suggests that blue-collar workers have a significantly lower sense of divine purpose, calling, and giftedness in relation to their work, and consistently see themselves as less connected to their workplaces strategically and relationally than do white-collar workers.
To address this discrepancy, a sermon series, discussion materials, and other work-related ministry resources were developed for use by Kent Duncan, pastor at Jefferson Assembly of God in Meriden, Kansas. Thirty-one blue-collar employees participated in a four-week process designed to challenge work-related misconceptions through the presentation of a biblical theology of work. The series concluded with a commissioning service created to acknowledge and celebrate God’s Kingdom-advancing purposes always present in all labor, including ordinary labor. As a result, workers reported a new understanding of their labor as God-ordained, already significant in the advance of Christ’s kingdom today, and made eternally valuable when refined and renewed through Christ’s redeeming work.
Join Kent Duncan, pastor of Jefferson Assembly of God in Meridan, KS, to learn more about this journey and how God might be calling you to connect faith to blue-collar workers in your church and community.
This course assumes you have a grasp of basic FWE theology. However, session 2 will review FWE theology from a different lens. This course is designed for any interested pastors.
This free series will take place from 10:30-11:30 AM CST on May 17, June 28, July 19, and August 16. Participants will receive a welcome email with a Zoom meeting link and instructions one week prior to the first session.We welcome your tax-deductible donation to continue the ministry of Made to Flourish.
Course Objectives & Participant Commitment
As a result of this course, participants will be able to:
- Identify the unique challenges of faith/work integration common among blue-collar workers.
- Identify specific cultural qualities typically present in a blue-collar context.
- Identify key biblical concepts that inform faith/work challenges for blue-collar laborers.
- Develop sermons, teaching tools, and other resources that will facilitate healthy faith/work understandings for the blue-collar believer.
The success of this course is heavily dependent upon the investment that each participant makes to the learning process. While recognizing that pastors are busy and often experience interruptions to their schedule that are beyond their control, participants are asked to make a good faith commitment that they will be fully engaged as part of this learning experience. This means that they will make a concerted effort to attend all the online workshops and to complete all of the readings and/or assignments. It is estimated that this course will require 1-2 hours of work per session outside of the online workshops. Because class size is limited to 30 participants, it is especially important for each participant to honor the group identity that is formed by each participant’s contributions and participation.
Join us for a 4-session virtual workshop, involving a live classroom setting, reflective exercises, and a customized plan of action! All sessions are held online via Zoom Meeting on Wednesday mornings, 10:30-11:30 AM CST. Participants will receive a welcome email with a Zoom meeting link and instructions one week prior to the first session.
May 17 – The Blue Worldview: A Taste of Blue-Collar Culture and Challenges
This session will introduce the participant to the world of the blue-collar worker, providing a definition of terms and a brief developmental history of blue-collar labor. More in depth, the session will examine the cultural qualities and work/faith related concerns of blue-collar workers revealed by recent research.
June 28 – Corrective Lenses: What the Scriptures Reveal About Ordinary Labor
This session will explore key biblical passages essential to a healthy theology of labor for the blue-collar worker, including consideration of God as One who works, equips for work, and generously rewards labor offered ultimately to Him.
July 19 – Sharpening Focus: Celebrating Labor in the Local Congregation
This session will focus on the development of resources for teaching and celebrating the value of ordinary labor—including sermon series, discussion materials, video curriculum, and commissioning services.
August 16 – Facilitating Change: Discussion of Action Plans
This session will give participants the opportunity to interact around the implementation of action plans developed following sessions 1-3.
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