There are many programs that help Christians understand their calling to work outside of the church. Here are some examples of workshops directed at marketplace Christians.
Where Do I Fit in God’s Jigsaw?
Avonhead Baptist Church in New Zealand hosts a series of Sunday evening services and mid-week workshops aimed at high school and university students who are about to graduate. This series titled Where do I fit in God’s Jigsaw? addresses themes related to career and life planning. After running this series for young people, the church discovered that a number of mid-lifers and people facing retirement are also looking for help in this area. An ongoing hope is that people graduating from this course can be trained to offer it to others themselves.
New Directions Workshops
Willow Creek Church has offered a 9 week workshop for people who are in transition and exploring new directions in their career. Bob Buford’s ‘Halftime’ resources have also been widely used in American churches for mid-lifers.
Adult Education Modules
Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York runs regular classes lasting five weeks that deal with faith and work issues. These series include topics such as: Why Work? Vocational Decision Making, Leadership, Work and Cultural Renewal, and Ethics. Some churches stop other small groups for a few weeks to enable members to attend such classes.
An increasing number of churches have developed Fellows programs to offer intensive training and resourcing for selected workplace Christians over 9 months or one year. Some large churches have developed their own programs, for example Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York which created The Gotham Fellowship, a nine-month program for 42 adults who are employed full-time in New York City and have at least two years of working experience. The typical class comprises 50% men and 50% women between the ages of 25-35 working in fields including law, finance, education, government, non-profit, design, medicine, and the arts.
Other churches have combined to offer Fellows programs, sometimes in partnership with a seminary or parachurch ministry. Examples of this include the Cascade Fellows in Seattle and the 5280 Fellowship in Denver.
For more details on Fellows Programs see:
- Gotham Fellowship
- Cascade Fellows with Fuller Seminary
- The Fellows Initiative
- Trinity Fellows Program
- 5280 Fellowship offered to emerging leaders in the Denver area through Denver Institute for Faith & Work and Gordon College
Exploring Work as Play