Table of Contents
Three Pathways into the Faith, Work, & Economics Conversation
Pathway One: Through the Marketplace
Pathway Two: Through the Millennials
Pathway Three: Through the Scriptures
Chapter 1: Pastoral Practice
Pastoral Practice One: Curiosity
Pastoral Practice Two: Workplace Visitations
Pastoral Practice Three: Prayer & Counseling
Chapter 2: Corporate Worship
Infusing New Language
Affirming All Vocations
Traditional and Nontraditional Sermons
Chapter 3: Discipleship/Spiritual Formation
The Basics, Book Discussions & FLOW
In-House Curriculum Development
Shaping Children, Youth and Families
Vocational Affinity Groups
Intensive Discipleship Schools
Chapter 4: Mission/Outreach
Nonprofits Make it Less Complicated
A Café: Prison-to-Work Training Ground
Entrepreneurship: Walking with the Old and Young
Appendix A: Participants
Appendix B: Most Cited Books
Rev. Stan Archie
Christian Fellowship Baptist Church
Kansas City, MO
Rev. Ryan Beattie
Bellevue Presbyterian Church
Rev. Brad Beier
Living Hope Church
Rev. Ken Duncan
Jefferson Assembly of God
Rev. Jason Harris
Central Presbyterian Church
New York, NY
Rev. Artie Lindsay
Tabernacle Community Church
Grand Rapids, MI
Rev. Jeremy Lile
City Hope Church
Rev. Jim Mullins
(and intern, John Crawford)
Rev. Tom Nelson
Christ Community Church
Kansas City, MO
Rev. Mike Reading
United Evangelical Free Church
Rev. Jay Slocum
South Street Ministries
Front Porch Fellowship Church,
Rev. Jon Tyson
Trinity Grace Church
New York, NY
Rev. Larry Ward
Abundant Life Church
I remember a wise mentor repeatedly reminding me of the need for leaders to have clarity of purpose and mission. One of his favorite phrases still rings in my ears. “If there is a mist in the pulpit, there will be a fog in the pew.” Good advice for sure, but what happens when there is fog in the pulpit?
A few years into my pastoral ministry, I was forced to confront this compelling question. In spite of my pastoral diligence, packed schedule, and the best of intentions, there was a dense fog in my pulpit. I faced an inconvenient truth. I had been committing pastoral malpractice. I had spent the minority of my time equipping my congregation for what they had been called by God to do the majority of their lives. Rather than narrowing the Sunday to Monday gap that many in my congregation were experiencing, I had actually been helping it widen. My impoverished theological vision was impairing our congregation’s spiritual formation, our contribution to the common good, and our local church’s gospel mission.
Pastoral repentance was in order. I am most grateful for Christ Community Church, a gracious congregation that was ready to forgive my failings and move forward, guided by a more robust theology of vocation. In Christian Mission in the Modern World, John Stott concluded that, “We must begin with vocation.” But what does this mean? I believe it means that we must see the entire biblical text as a coherent narrative of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation, revealing God’s design and desire for human flourishing. I also believe we must regain the transforming truth that the gospel speaks to every aspect of human existence, calling us to discipleship in all areas of life.
Scripture tells us that, as image bearers, we have been created by a working God – with work in mind. That means, in part, that we have been created with community and collaboration in mind; work is not an isolated activity, but an interdependent one. We presently live in a broken and fallen world where our work is not what it ought to be. The good news is that, through the redemptive work of Jesus, the work we do and the workplaces we inhabit are profoundly changed by the gospel.
For those of us who have been called to the pastoral vocation, the implications of a more robust theology of vocation and …discipleship reshape not only our thinking, but also our pastoral priorities and practices. Our reading diet will adjust to help us better understand the Monday world of our congregation. A pastoral visit to the workplace of a congregation member will become as common as a visit to the hospital. Our preaching will look and sound differently. Our discipleship and spiritual formation pathways will change. With a growing understanding of the church’s mission in the world, we will enthusiastically embrace our congregation’s everyday work life. We will grasp with new conviction and passion that economic flourishing matters and that a primary work of the church is the church at work. Empowered and guided by the Holy Spirit, the local church we serve will be more faithful to Christ and more effective in furthering the common good.
This is why my heart leaps with joy that you are carving out time to read and reflect on what pastors across the country are doing to help their people connect Sunday to Monday.
I am most grateful for the many opportunities to roll up my sleeves and serve the Made to Flourish pastor’s network. I pray that this book will inform your mind, strengthen your pastoral practice, enliven your worship experience, stir your heart, and ultimately shape the congregations and cities you serve. May our churches be all Jesus desires them to be, and may we who have been called to the pastoral vocation one day hear: “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master.”
Senior Pastor, Christ Community Church
About Made To Flourish
As pastors, we want our people to grow in their faith and embrace the life-changing truth of the gospel in every aspect of their lives. That’s the goal: to help people follow Christ in every area of life, for the flourishing of our communities, cities, and the world.
But one area where many of our people struggle to make the connection — and where we often don’t know how to equip our people as pastors — is connecting Sunday worship to Monday work.
Most of our lives are spent working (whether paid or unpaid), but rarely do churches consistently address this topic head on. By failing to do so, churches miss the opportunity to minister to their people right where they live. In addition, we may be ignoring an area where many people seal off their faith from their lives.
That’s where Made to Flourish can help. We are a community of pastors that provides training, resources, access to thought leaders, national events, and city network gatherings to help each other connect more meaningfully and deeply with our congregations on a topic that profoundly affects their lives — work.
By teaching your congregation how to connect their faith with work and the economy, you help them to fully follow Jesus in all of life.