Trinity’s Center for Transformational Churches Hosts Faith at Work Summit 2018
Trinity CommunicationsOctober 22, 2018
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School’s Center for Transformational Churches (CTC) hosted the 2018 Faith at Work Summit on October 11–13. It gathered nearly 450 church and marketplace leaders and is considered the premier event of the faith and work movement in the United States. The stated purpose of the Summit’s organizers is to provide an opportunity for leaders from the church, academy, and movement organizations to learn from each other and work together to extend Christ’s transforming presence in workplaces around the world.
Greg Forster, who is director of the Oikonomia Network (its national office is located on the campus of Trinity International University) and visiting assistant professor of faith and culture, served as the chair of the organizing committee for this year’s Summit. Donald Guthrie, executive director of the CTC and director of the PhD program of Educational Studies at TEDS, also served on the organizing committee.
“Because people spend most of their waking hours working, discipleship in all of life demands discipleship in our daily work,” Forster said. ” The faith and work movement is one of the most important ways in which the Holy Spirit is awakening the church to the danger of anemic discipleship and the possibilities of making it a daily way of life to follow Jesus.”
The Summit’s target audience are those at the center of the church’s work in assisting and equipping “the 70% of American Christians who are unsure how their work serves God and the 60% who lack clarity about their calling,” statistics that the Summit presents on its website. The intent, according to its website, is not so much for it to be a celebrity-speaker event, but a gathering where all in attendance participate, share new ideas, and create lasting partnerships.
“It was so good to see so much energy directed to a new future for the church in embracing faith and work as the ‘New Normal,'” said attendee Dave Evans, author of the NYT #1 bestseller, Designing Your Life (2016).
This year’s theme was “Putting our Faith to Work at Work,” and it focused on topics such as what it means to imagine God as a worker, grappling with the disruption of work, and what the resources of the movement have to contribute to specific industries. Plenary speakers ranged from across the spectrum of leaders in various industries—from philosophers, medical doctors and engineers to pastors, economists and financiers.
“The Summit afforded me a foretaste of not only the new heavens and new earth because of the increasing diversity of attendees,” said Luke Bobo, director of curriculum and resources for the pastors’ network Made to Flourish, “but [the Summit] also served as a booster shot of vitality for my work and imagination.”
This is exactly the sort of vision Trinity’s Center for Transformational Churches was launched to cast.
“CTC develops Christian leaders, congregations and communities that empower gospel change through whole-life discipleship,” said Forster. “We were honored to host this summit, and we challenged the movement to get specific about what it means to work with Jesus in diverse contexts, to think about how work is changing in the new economy, and to draw more deeply on the Bible to reimagine the meaning of our work.”