Discipleship and Economic Wisdom: What’s the Connection?

At Made to Flourish, we seek to be a network of pastors who are connecting faith, work, and economics for the common good. A simple Google search will reveal that much has been written to help followers of Jesus connect faith and work. Much less has been written about connecting faith and economics. Many may even be skeptical that we should try to connect faith with economics in the first place.

This may be the case for many reasons. We may question its applicability, thinking that economics sounds like a long-forgotten college class. Or we may assume that teaching sound economics is necessarily partisan and therefore does not belong in the local church. For others, economics calls to mind spreadsheets and graphs and mundane data about the economy.

At Made to Flourish, we believe that following Jesus requires us to grow in economic wisdom and that the Bible teaches economic wisdom throughout its pages. For instance, themes of stewardship and flourishing, creating value for others, productivity, expanding opportunity, and taking responsible action (all economic themes) are rooted in the Biblical text. These topics inform how we engage our work and our communities and how we serve the most vulnerable among us.

One of the key resources we provide to those in our network is the Economic Wisdom Project: A Christian Vision for Flourishing Communities, which was the culmination of work done by theological educators from 27 different schools.  We highly recommend this resource.

This month, we will feature articles about economic wisdom and provide a few examples of people living out these principles. We encourage your feedback. And if you are a pastor and you have not joined our network, we would love to have you join us!

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Matt Rusten serves as the executive director for Made to Flourish. Rusten received his master of divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and has served in churches in North Dakota, the Chicago area, Kansas City, and most recently as pastor of spiritual formation at Blackhawk Church in Madison, Wisconsin. He and his wife, Margi, and their daughter, Olivia, live in Kansas City.