Dallas 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!
Blake Schwarz and John Cruz
City Network Leaders – Dallas/Fort Worth
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: January 17-18, 2019
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: Pastor Artie Lindsay
Pastor Artie Lindsay serves as teaching pastor at Tabernacle Community Church, a multiethnic congregation in Grand Rapids, Mich. Artie was one of the lead architects in establishing the church. He earned a B.A. in political science from the University of Michigan before following God’s call into pastoral ministry. He moved from his hometown of Detroit to Grand Rapids, in the fall of 1995 to complete an M.T.S. at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.
Prior to establishing Tabernacle Community Church, Lindsay served as the associate pastor at Messiah Baptist Church in Grand Rapids from 1997-2002 under the leadership of Dr. Clifton Rhodes, Jr. Pastor Artie has a burden and passion for community revitalization, and he continues to work extensively in the community to address the very real physical, emotional and spiritual needs of community members.
Artie is married to Raquel, and they have three children, AJ, Victoria, and Alysa.
Session 2 – The Church for Vocational Discipleship
Date: February 28-March 1, 2019
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: Dr. Mark Roberts
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is the Executive Director of Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership. In this role, he is responsible for the mission, strategic direction, and operations of the Center. He also provides resources for the Center’s work as the principal writer of the Life for Leaders daily devotional and as a major contributor to the De Pree Center blog. With years of experience as a pastor and non-profit leader, as well as a mentor to leaders in business and other fields, Mark is deeply committed to serving leaders in the marketplace, education, government, non-profits, arts, family, and the church. He envisions leaders flourishing in every part of their lives as well as their leadership, thus contributing to God’s work throughout the world.
Prior to coming to the De Pree Center, Dr. Roberts was Executive Director of Digital Media and Senior Director of Laity Lodge for the H. E. Butt Family Foundation in Texas. A Presbyterian pastor, he served churches in California, with a sixteen-year stint as senior pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church.
Roberts earned his BA magna cum laude in Philosophy, his M.A. in the Study of Religion, and his Ph.D. in New Testament, all from Harvard University. For ten years, he taught a wide variety of New Testament courses as an adjunct instructor at Fuller, both in Orange County and on the Pasadena campus. He also taught as an adjunct for San Francisco Theological Seminary.
Dr. Roberts has served as a consultant to Christian organizations, including churches and educational institutions. In addition to preaching and teaching, he has spoken in a wide variety of conferences, retreats, and workshops. He often teams up with his wife, Linda, a licensed therapist, spiritual director, and executive coach, to speak at churches and retreat centers.
Session 3 – The Church for Vocational Mission
Date: April 11-12, 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.
Before moving to Pittsburgh in 2004, Cynthia was a principal in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, the co-founder, and principal of Genesis Christian Academy, and an adjunct professor at Concordia University in Ann Arbor. During her time in Pittsburgh, Cynthia was the principal of Pittsburgh Montessori, a PK – 8 the grade school in the Pittsburgh Public Schools from 2007 – 2013 and an adjunct professor at Carlow University. In 2013, she retired from the Pittsburgh Public Schools to pursue additional education and work in urban ministry.
Cynthia M. 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 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.
|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 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|
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