Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurialism in Church Leadership
In the book of Genesis God’s first act is one of creation; in the book of Revelation God promises to make all things new. Developing a rich theology of creation is at the heart of this course, which will invite you to consider what God is making new in your own ministry context, as well as to develop the tools necessary to move vision toward reality. Together, we will explore a six-part process of creation: void, hunger, vision, reality, identity, and growth. Rooted in the instructor’s experience as a church planter, the content of this course is applicable to any situation in which a new thing is coming into being: a new ministry at an established congregation, a community project, a not-for-profit startup, a church plant, or an established congregation that seeks to be more outwardly-focused. The course will be highly participative, including class discussion, experiential learning, case studies, and theological reflection. Readings will include selected chapters from Ancient Faith, Future Mission: Fresh Expressions in the Sacramental Tradition (Croft, Mosby, Spellers), Created and Led by the Spirit: Planting Missional Congregations (Dehmlow Dreier) and The Art of the Start (Kawasaki).
Rev. Emily Scott is a pastor and church planter committed to building communities of faith that dismantle fear and hate, affirm LGBTQ people, and confront racial injustice. Emily believes that Christian practice holds out rich possibilities that call us to reach out across boundaries in love, learn through discomfort, and build relationships that bring God’s realm close. Emily founded St. Lydia’s, a Dinner Church, in collaboration with friends and colleagues in 2008. St. Lydia’s practice of worshipping around a shared meal, reminiscent of worship in the early church, has become a model for vibrant, missional community building. Emily is a graduate of Yale Divinity School and received the Alumni Award for Distinction in Congregational Ministry in 2016. She was a selected speaker at Why Christian in 2015, and addressed over 30,000 youth at the Youth Gathering of the ELCA, also in 2015. St. Lydia’s has been covered by The Atlantic and the Wall Street Journal.