The gospel speaks to all of life, connecting our Sunday worship with our Monday work. Yet pastoral and lay leaders alike often struggle to make the heart-changing, relationship-changing, and action-changing applications of the gospel to the work lives of their congregations. Writer and social commentator Wendell Berry has noted that the quality and significance of our work is largely determined by our understanding of the story in which we are a part. What is the good news story of work revealed to us in Holy Scripture? How does this story inform our thinking, fuel our imaginations, deepen our relationships, and shape our priorities? Our post-conference aims to help both pastors and workplace professionals grasp a robust theology of vocation that shapes what they do each and every day.
Schedule | Wednesday, April 10
What is work, and how do we see it through the lens of Holy Scripture? From Genesis to Revelation we can trace a gospel-centered vocational theology. Yet a biblically faithful theology of work is often overlooked, misunderstood, and distorted in our churches. If we are going to better integrate our faith and our work, we must reframe and wholeheartedly embrace a faithful theology of work.
How does a pastor help his congregation better understand the ways God is using work to refine and shape the people in his church and how God is using his church to bring the shalom of the gospel into the world? A robust theology of work will reframe the pastor’s priorities and practices, in preaching, liturgies, and missional priorities. Sermons can be crafted and illustrated with work in mind. Sunday liturgies may honor the calling of congregants to specific spheres of culture. The church’s mission will expand to support the equipping and nurture of congregants for faithful presence at their places of work throughout the week.
What are the primary ways a good theology of work practically changes the church and its mission in the world, including: evangelism, career decisions and choice of vocation, approaches to leadership and power, and stewardship of opportunity and influence. Our speakers will talk from experience about how their own lives and the lives of those they’ve helped equip have changed as a result of deeper theological grounding and gospel application.
Having founded Center for Faith and Work in 2002, Katherine Leary Alsdorf served as its executive director until December 2012. In this role, she set the vision and strategy of the Center’s core programs, developed lay and staff leadership, and guided strategic partnerships. Prior to this ministry role, Katherine spent twenty years in the high tech industry in California and New York. She was CEO of Pensare, an online management education company; CEO of One Touch Systems, a hardware/software products company; and President of Private Satellite Network, a satellite services company. Katherine assisted Tim Keller in the writing of Every Good Endeavor, has been published in Comment magazine, and speaks frequently at conferences. She lives with her husband, John, in Washington Heights.
Bob Doll is chief equity strategist and senior portfolio manager at Nuveen Asset Management. He recently served as BlackRock's chief equity strategist for fundamental equities. He and his wife, Leslie, live in Princeton, New Jersey, and have three children. He is choir director at his local church and holds leadership positions in the NYC Movement Project and in the Global Executive Leadership Forum within the Lausanne Movement. He serves on a number of boards, including the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, Word of Life Fellowship, New Canaan Society Advisory Board, Kingdom Advisors, Cairn University, and the Wharton Graduate Executive Board.
Greg Forster (Ph.D., Yale University) is the author of five books and numerous scholarly and popular articles. He is a program director at the Kern Family Foundation and a senior fellow at the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. He also the editor of the group blog Hang Together and a regular contributor to The Gospel Coalition, First Thoughts, and other online resources. His writing covers theology, economics, political philosophy, and education policy.
Tom Nelson has served as senior pastor of Christ Community Church in Kansas City since 1988, when he launched the congregation. He graduated with a master of theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary and received his doctorate from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Tom is the author most recently of Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work. He is also a conference speaker who calls the evangelical community to walk deeply and authentically with God. Tom and his wife, Liz, have two children.