Atlanta Learning Community

Pastors and Congregational Leaders,

We at Made to Flourish believe that the local church has a vital role to play in God’s mission in the world. As fellow followers of Jesus who have given so much to your local congregations, you probably believe that too. But the question remains how effective we are in this mission. What does it really look like for a church to embody the gospel of Jesus in both word and deed? In what ways are we called to seek the flourishing of those both within and outside of our church walls? How can our churches effectively train and deploy a whole sea of congregant leaders to participate in God’s redemptive mission wherever he has placed them?

These are the questions (and others like them) that lie at the foundation of the mission of the church. But like many of the most important things, they tend to get crowded out by the “tyranny of the urgent.” Without thoughtful attention to these underlying questions, we might find our mission drifting and our effectiveness waning.

That’s where the Learning Community comes in. It is an intentional time to withdraw from the normal rhythms of life and ministry to focus on the important underlying foundation. Over the course of three sessions, you will learn from recognized thought leaders, visit with practitioners on the leading edge of this movement, and wrestle with your own practical plan for implementing these learnings in your own church community. And perhaps most significantly, you will do all of this while rubbing shoulders with others who are wrestling with the same issues in the same city/region.

The cost to participate in the Learning Community is $1500 per church.  If this cost is prohibitive, we also offer payment plans and provide scholarships for qualified churches.  The last thing we want is for money to be the barrier to your participation!  Just talk to us before you register and we’ll explore what the best option would be for your situation.

Learn more about our Learning Community on this webpage, including session overviews, testimonials, and FAQs. If you’re ready to take the next step, you can also submit your application.

We hope you’ll consider joining us for this unique and transformational learning experience!

EJ Lee and Travis Vaughn
City Network Leaders – Atlanta

Session Overviews

The Learning Community (LC) is a unique educational experience.  Over the course of three sessions, participating pastors and congregational leaders will learn from recognized thought-leaders, visit with practitioners on the leading edge of this movement, and wrestle with their own practical plan for implementing these learnings in their own church community.  And perhaps most significantly, they will do all of this while rubbing shoulders with others who are wrestling with the same issues in the same city/region.

Here is a brief snapshot of the content you’ll be discussing in the Learning Community:

Session 1 – Theological Foundations of Faith, Work, and Economics

Date: September 20-22, 2018

Description: In this session, we seek to lay a theological foundation for the whole project. We will explore the Grand Biblical Narrative (Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation) and its relevance to our world and our work.  We will see how our work is a central aspect of our call to love God and neighbor.  In the words of Steve Garber, “Vocation is integral, not incidental, to the missio Dei.”

Faculty Member: Dr. Michael Goheen 

Michael Goheen is Director of Theological Education (MTC) and Scholar-in-Residence for the Surge Network. He is married to Marnie and they have four adult married children and nine grandchildren.

Session 2 – The Church for Vocational Discipleship

Date: November 8-10, 2018

Description: Building on the Foundations from session 1, we now explore the ways in which this reframes the ministry of our local churches.  If our vocational callings are central to God’s mission in the world, in what ways are our churches aiding (or hindering) this goal?  How should a commitment to vocational stewardship affect the various aspects of local church life (preaching, liturgical practices, spiritual formation, evaluation criteria, etc.)?

Faculty Member: Katherine Leary Alsdorf

Katherine Leary Alsdorf Founding director of New City Fellows and co-author of Every Good Endeavor with Tim Keller. She served as the founder & former executive director of Redeemer’s Center for Faith & Work, coming to Redeemer in 2002 to establish the center to help nurture a meaningful integration between people’s faith and their professional work. She is co-author with Tim Keller of Every Good Endeavor. She came to Redeemer in 2002 to establish the Center for Faith & Work and help nurture a meaningful integration between people’s faith and their professional work. Prior to this ministry role at Redeemer, Katherine served 20 years in the high tech industry. In California, she served as CEO of Pensare, Inc., an online management education company, and CEO of One Touch Systems, Inc., a hardware/software products company. Before that, she was president of Private Satellite Network, a communications network, and services company in New York City. She also worked in various consulting, sales, and marketing roles, primarily in the technology sector.


Session 3 – The Church for Vocational Mission

Date: January 24-26, 2019

Description: The church is called to join God’s redemptive mission “far as the curse is found.”  This includes seeking the flourishing of the communities in which he has placed us.  In this session, we focus on the central role of economic exchange and the role of the church in fostering a flourishing economy.

Faculty Member: Dr. Cynthia Wallace

Cynthia M. Wallace is the Executive Pastor of Bible Center Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She also serves as the Executive Director of The Oasis Project, which is the community and economic development division of Bible Center Church. The Oasis Project has several out-of-school time programs, a transportation company, property maintenance, and management business and two food-related venues, Everyday Café and Oasis Farm and Fishery.

Dr. Wallace earned a bachelors degree in behavioral sciences from the University of Chicago and a masters degree in educational administration from the University of Michigan. She has a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling from Geneva College and a doctorate in school leadership from the University of Pittsburgh.

Cynthia has extensive experience as an elementary school teacher and administrator. She has also taught future educators as an adjunct professor in the teacher education departments at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan and at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Cynthia is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and works part-time as a therapist with children and families in the community of Homewood. Beyond her academic and professional pursuits, Cynthia has been married for over thirty years and is the mother of four adult children.

TOPIC: Theological Foundations of Faith, Work, and Economics The Church for Vocational Discipleship The Church for Vocational Mission
TEACHING THEMES: Insight for vocational stewardship from each of the four Biblical paradigms of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation A critical evaluation of church culture, including its mission, liturgy, pastoral practices, discipleship, and communication systems A critical evaluation of church ministries/outreach and community engagement
LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Biblical Understanding of Vocational Stewardship Transforming Church Culture Individuals and Churches on Mission
SPIRITUAL FORMATION EMPHASIS: Whole Persons: Personally Transformed Workers Whole Churches: Churches for Whole-Life Discipleship Whole Communities: Discipleship “For the Life of the World”
ECONOMICWISDOM: Foundational Biblical Insights The Church as AnEconomic Actor How Churches and Commissioned Congregants Revitalize Communities
VOCATION INTEGRATION EXAMPLES: Individual(s)Shaped by FWE Theology ChurchesShaped by FWE Theology CommunitiesShaped by FWE Theology

Learning Community Retreat 2 | November 8-10, 2018 | Atlanta, GA
Perimeter Church – Uptown Auditorium 9500 Medlock Bridge Road | Johns Creek, GA 30097

Thursday, November 8

Location: Buca di BEPPO | (2335 Mansell Rd., Alpharetta, Georgia 30022)

7:00 PM Welcome Participants
7:00-9:00 PM Welcome Dinner

Friday, November 9
Location: Perimeter Church – Uptown Auditorium (9500 Medlock Bridge Road, Johns Creek, GA 30097)

8:30 – 9:00 AM Participants arrive *Continental breakfast available
9:00 – 12:00 Session One | Perimeter Church

  • 9:00-9:45 AM The Learning Community Journey Recap (Travis Vaughn)
  • 9:45-10:45 AM Church as an Economic Actor in the Community (Dan Steere)
  • 10:45-11:00 AM Break
  • 11:00-Noon “Mapping Your Church’s Institutional Assets” [Appendix D] (EJ Lee)

12:30-1:30 LUNCH | The Role of the Church in Equipping the Next Generation (Sho Baraka)

1:30-3:00 Session Two | Perimeter Church

  • 1:45-3:30 PM Spiritual Formation: Churches for Whole-Life Discipleship (Travis Vaughn)
  • 3:30-3:45 PM Break
  • 3:45-4:30 PM Church group process regarding Spiritual Formation

3:15-4:15 PM Spiritual Formation in Vocational Living (Darryl Ford)
Introduction to the Vocation Infusion Plan
4:15-4:45 PM Church Teams Discuss Dimension I

5:00-6:30 Dinner | Twisted Taco | 9700 Medlock Bridge Rd. #110, Johns Creek, GA 30097

Saturday, November 10
Location: Perimeter Church – Uptown Auditorium (9500 Medlock Bridge Road, Johns Creek, GA 30097)

8:30-9:00 AM Participants Arrive *Continental Breakfast available
9:00-10:45 AM Session Three | Perimeter Church | Katherine Leary Alsdorf

  • 9:00-9:15 AM Welcome to Day 2 (EJ Lee)
  • 9:15-10:45 AM The Church for Vocational Discipleship I (Katherine Leary Alsdorf)
  • 10:45-11:00 AM Break
  • 11:00-12:30 PM The Church for Vocational Discipleship II (Katherine Leary Alsdorf)

12:30-1:30 PM LUNCH | Church Discussion: Vocational Discipleship – In context

1:45-2:45 PM The Church for Vocational Discipleship II – cont’d / Discipleship Q & A (Katherine Leary Alsdorf

2:45-3:00 PM Closing Announcements

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