Seattle 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.

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.  Seattle’s culture is unique in the value it places on protecting the environment, establishing and preserving human rights, and connecting diverse populations. Seattle’s primary industries – aerospace, technology, manufacturing, and transportation/logistics – affect its culture as they form and shape the people who work in them. The Learning Community will be a time to reflect on the unique characteristics of Seattle’s culture, people, and economy, and for you and your church leaders to create a plan for human and economic flourishing that is relevant to your city.

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!

Paul Graves & Mark Mohrlang
City Network Leaders – Seattle

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: November 10-11, 2017

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: Paul Williams

Paul Williams is Research Professor of Marketplace Theology and Leadership at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. Paul brings prayerful and critical consideration, leadership expertise, and a background in economics, business, political philosophy and theology to the Church’s missional engagement with contemporary culture.

He is the visionary behind ReFrame, an innovative new resource for marketplace discipleship. He has held senior leadership roles – and helped pioneer new entrepreneurial start-ups – in each of the marketplace, church and the academy. He was formerly Chief Economist and Head of International Research for DTZ plc, a London-based multinational real estate consulting and investment-banking group, and has worked as an economic policy advisor for the European Commission and numerous national and city governments. His current research includes a spiritual theology of mission in which he develops an extended theology of exile to reflect on the challenges facing Christianity in the contemporary west. He is also co-editing (with Paul Oslington and Mary L Hirschfield) a follow-up volume on Recent Developments in Economics and Religion for Edward Elgar.

Session 2 – The Church for Vocational Discipleship

Date: January 26-27, 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 is the founder & former executive director of Redeemer’s Center for Faith & Work and 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: March 16-17, 2018

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: David W. Gill

David W. Gill is a writer and speaker based in his hometown, Oakland. California. He recently retired from the faculty of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton and Boston, Massachusetts, where he served as Mockler-Phillips Professor of Workplace Theology & Business Ethics and Director of the Mockler Center for Faith & Ethics in the Workplace (2010 – 2016).



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

Pre-Launch Dinner

Wednesday, October 30

Location: Bellevue Brewing Company

6:00 pm – Welcome
6:30 pm – Dinner & Introductions
7:20 pm – Introduction to LC Curriculum
7:30 pm – Logistics for LC Session 1 & Closing Prayer

Session 1

Friday, November 10

Location: Westminster Chapel – 13646 NE 24th St Bellevue 98005

4:00 pm – Participant Check-In
4:10 pm – Welcome – The Learning Community Journey
4:30 pm – Introductions & Prayer
5:00 pm –  Paul Williams: The Grand Biblical Narrative
6:30 pm –  Dinner & Discussion
7:30 pm – Resources: Theology of Work Project
8:00 pm – Closing Prayer

Saturday, November 11

Location: Westminster Chapel – 13646 NE 24th St Bellevue 98005

9:00 am – Welcome & Prayer
9:15 am – Paul Williams: Spiritual Formation – Nurturing Transformed Workers
11:00 am – Break
11:15 am – Local Speaker: Jack vanHartesvelt
12:00 pm – Lunch
1:00 pm – Introduction to the Vocation Integration Plan
1:15 pm – Small Group Breakout: VIP
2:00 pm – Large Group Breakout: VIP
2:15 pm – Break
2:30 pm – Local Speaker: Vickie Rekow
3:15 pm – Final Thoughts

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