PO Box 20322 Roanoke, VA 24018 info@restoringhoperoanoke.org ‪(540) 523-1098‬

Made to Flourish – Faith, work, and economic wisdom

“We empower pastors and their churches to integrate faith, work, and economic wisdom for the flourishing of their communities.”

What is human flourishing?  How do we as followers of Christ help others to flourish as God designed them to?  These are some of the questions that the folks at Made to Flourish address in the resources and events they provide.

The work of Made To Flourish is founded in a biblical understanding of God’s work at creation, the fall, redemption, and consummation. God’s mission is the renewal of all things – renewal from the results of sin which broke our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others, and with the rest of creation.  Through faith in Christ, we are justified and increasingly restored to the image of God, into Christlikeness.   The dignity of being a child of Christ is restored. 

Made To Flourish sees work as key to human dignity, a way to worship God as we create for good as He created for good.  Work is about contributing value to others, not compensation.  As we understand God’s design for work, we also understand that economic wisdom glorifies God as we skillfully and responsibly seek to always help others to biblically flourish through stewardship of God’s creation.  The mission of the Church, and the local church, then is to “join God in the renewal of all things, including individuals, institutions, cultures, and all of creation.” 

Made To Flourish offers curated and original resources for church leaders on the topics of faith, work, and economic wisdom.   These resources are broken down into topics for discipleship, pastoral work, preaching, worship, and mission and outreach.  You can view videos, participate in webinars, read articles or purchase books such as:

A unique feature of Made To Flourish are their networks of pastors around the country who are learning together to equip their people to take the gospel in all its fulness to all parts of human reality.  The national, regional, and 25 city networks offer tools, events, and training specifically on the topic of faith, work, and economic wisdom.  

City and National events are open to anyone to attend (and yes, they are now virtual).  These events are regional on timely topics.  Made To Flourish also works with 18 different churches around the country for pastoral residencies –  two years of hands on learning and mentoring for recent seminary graduates where they receive practical training in the realities of pastoring. 

Browse through their collection of resources, subscribe to their updates, or join their next webinar to learn more about connecting our everyday world of work to our faith.

The Art of Neighboring

by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon

In this easy to read book, Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon challenge us as followers of Christ to truly live the Great Commandment – to love our God with everything we have and to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Many times, this commandment is taken more figuratively where our neighbor is just anyone we meet along the road of life.  Pathak and Runyon though focus on the literal meaning of neighbor – those who live right next door to you. 

Block Map

The authors invite us to take the first steps in loving our neighbors by just getting to know them. Of the neighbors immediately around your home, do you know their names, some relevant information about them that would only come from a conversation (drives a red car doesn’t count!), or any in-depth information about them such as dreams, plans, beliefs? They give a simple tool in a block map to track your progress in getting to know your neighbors.

Pathak and Runyon address the barriers to getting to know, and love, your neighbors:  time and fear.  They also give first steps to take when getting to really know and love your neighbors seems overwhelming.  As you move from stranger to acquaintance to relationship, begin with small steps of loving care by sharing in small acts of kindness: tutoring a child, helping repair a mower, or inviting neighbors to dinner.

The ultimate (not ulterior) goal in loving your neighbors is to introduce them to a loving relationship with Jesus Christ.  Pathak and Runyon give simple steps in moving a relationship toward an open and sincere conversation about your relationship with our Father God.  They also address an important principle in community development – avoid approaching relationships as projects and you are the “superneighbor”.  Rather strive to work with your neighbors and not just do for them which means receiving as well as giving.

Being a good neighbor may mean knowing many neighbors yet placing boundaries so that you are close to just a few.  Neighboring will be messy. There will be times when you need to forgive and move one.   Don’t assume you are alone either. Enlist others, a partner or a team, to pool your gifts and love for your neighbors.

The Art of Neighboring would make a great read for a church community group. Six sets of discussion material are included at the end of the book, each one covering two chapters, with a Bible passage to read and study together as well as questions for discussion and action steps.  You can also find more resources at their website www.artofneighboring.com

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