What Is the Common Good?

You may have noticed our tagline in the top left side of our site: “A pastors’ network for the common good.”

It strikes some as an odd phrase—the common good. What is that? And why would it be so important to us that we include it in our tagline?

Simply put, seeking the common good means pursuing actions and conditions that allow all individuals in a community to flourish. It is an idea that is rooted in Scripture and can be found throughout the biblical story.

As one of our seven core values, we’ve stated it like this:

We are committed to being a community who seeks the common good of all. This has been God’s will for his covenant people throughout history. God’s promise to the children of Abraham was to bless them so that they might be a blessing to all nations (Gen. 12:1-3). While in exile in Babylon, God’s people were to seek the peace and prosperity of the city in which they lived (Jer. 29:7). We also live in exile (1 Pet. 1:1, 11), and are called to seek the good of all people (Gal. 6:10), imaging our Heavenly Father who is good to all (Psalm 145:9) and sends rain on the just and the unjust (Matt. 5:45). We love the cities in which we live and seek to pursue the common good.   

We believe this is especially important as pastors lead congregations in an increasingly pluralistic, post-Christian society.

As a network, we seek to be a community of pastors who are becoming increasingly whole and effective, so that we might lead congregations that flourish, so that the communities in which we live can flourish. In seeking common grace for the common good, we bear witness to the living God, and in seeking the prosperity of the cities in which we live, we will also prosper.

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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.