Chicago 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!
Ben Dockery & Moy Mendez
City Network Leaders – Chicago
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
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: TBD
Session 2 – The Church for Vocational Discipleship
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: TBD
Session 3 – The Church for Vocational Mission
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: TBD
|SESSION 1||SESSION 2||SESSION 3|
|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 An Economic Actor||How Churches and Commissioned Congregants Revitalize Communities|
|VOCATION INTEGRATION EXAMPLES:||Individual(s) shaped by FWE Theology||Churches shaped by FWE Theology||Communities shaped by FWE Theology|
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