I was asked by Fuller Theological Seminary, my alma mater from which I earned three degrees (M.Div., D.Min., Ph.D.), to explain to doctoral students how I was able to write four books and contribute a chapter to another during my Ph.D. work. Here is the video explanation that might be helpful to any current D.Min or Ph.D. students wishing to share the insights they are learning.
Commentary by Prof. B.: My students in Transformational Leadership have the opportunity to hear in Oxford the author of this article, Michael Moynagh, personally explain the shared economy strategy of the Fresh Expression Movement. Read this article for a good introduction. First is a lengthy video followed by a short article.
(Drawing from his experiences, both as the Director of Research for Fresh Expressions and as Editor of Share–a collection of resources out of the Fresh Expressions phenomena–the Rev. Dr. Michael Moynagh (based at Wycliff Hall, Oxford) shared with assorted members of the Trinity community the impact that this, more than 10 year pioneering movement continues to have throughout the United Kingdom; April 11, 2013)
Just as the pieces of broken bread – in their different shapes and sizes – belong to the one loaf, we see that in all our diversity we belong to each other because we each belong to the one body of Christ.
Phil Potter, Team Leader of Fresh Expressions UK has likened the ‘mixed economy church’ to rivers and lakes. Rivers flow, bubble with energy and bring new water into lakes. Lakes are deeper and more tranquil. Just as rivers and lakes need each other, new forms of church flow into the existing Church and are enriched by its depth and traditions.
Four Methods that Mix Things Up
In some cases, a mixed economy church develops when new believers have a blended church experience. They attend both a fresh expression and an established church. There is nothing in the Bible to say that you can’t belong to two local churches! Rather than consumerism, this is about commitment – to more than one Christian community.
Shared events between an established church and a fresh expression can also lead to the development of a mixed economy church. The two communities can share social events, study groups, short courses, outreach or occasional acts of worship. Both will have a richer church life for having shared together.
One place to start might be for a fresh expression to look out for opportunities to serve its parent church. Might it provide the refreshments for a church study day, for example? There is nothing like loving kindness to open others’ hearts.
A third expression of the mixed economy occurs when emerging Christians connect to the church at large. This can happen through events run by local churches together, or through regional and national conferences and training events, or through accessing Christian resources and making connections online.
Fourthly, the mixed economy develops when new Christian communities cluster together. In an English cathedral city, a small team hosts a monthly Sunday breakfast for people in the neighborhood who don’t attend church. Up to 60 have crammed into a house!
The Birth of a Mixed Economy Church
A house is crammed with people who do and don’t have a church. They’ve gathered around the breakfasts are other events, such as ice cream parties in the summer and hot chocolate parties in winter.
These individuals start to ask questions about spirituality and faith, they are invited to a weekly meeting at which the core team eats together, plans, prays and studies the Bible. If a person enjoys it, they are invited to join the team.
Within two or three years, the team grew from 8 to 18 people. It multiplied into two cells. The cells meet from time to time.
Now, picture the same scene after five years:
Some of the cells will no longer be new. They will represent an established church. As new cells keep being added and cluster with these older cells, they will give birth to….a mixed-economy church!
If you lead a fresh expression, keep connecting to the wider body! Existing churches may be refreshed and energized by the new life you bring. Your fresh expression may be deepened by the wisdom and experience of established churches.
Commentary by Prof. B: I encourage my students to do yearly 360° reviews of their leadership. This includes asking direct reports to anonymously evaluate them on a Likert scale and track changes. But what questions should be asked? The following study yields 10 suitable questions you should include to ascertain if you have “bad boss” behavior.
How Can You Tell Someone Has Horrible Leadership Skills? This New Study Just Revealed the Top 10 ‘Bad Boss’ Behaviors
by Marcel Schwantes, Inc. Magazine, 9/9/17.
…Pursuing reconciliation … does not mean that having white skin is inherently sinful or that appreciating historically “white” cultural particularities is necessarily problematic. However, this is not the way white identity has functioned in modernity. Since at least the days of colonization, whiteness has been presented as the universal “good.” In this sense, “whiteness” names a way of being in the world, a sociopolitical order that is best understood as idolatry. Pursuing reconciliation demands that the altars of whiteness be cast down and its high places laid low.
Here are 5 practices in which white folks must engage if we are to seriously pursue reconciliation:
We must repent for complicity in systemic sin.
White folks must repent for histories of slavery, subjugation, segregation, and a racialized criminal justice system…
We must learn from cultural and theological resources, not our own.
Rather than gravitating toward books and sermons from “white” sources, white folks must listen to other interpretive trajectories on those tradition’s terms…
We must locate our lives in places and structures in which we are necessarily guests.
Christian theology and ecclesial practice has often understood itself as being “host” to the world. White Christians often enter unfamiliar places not as guests, but as self-appointed arbiters of divine hospitality. How different it would be if white folks practiced withholding judgment about what is “needed” in specific places and structures…
We must tangibly submit to non-white church leadership.
…White Christians desiring to practice reconciliation must not unilaterally start churches, plan worship services, design cultural events, and organize community activities and then invite “others” to them. Rather, white folks must join churches or ministry associations in which they are a minority and which are led by non-white folks.
We must learn to hear and speak the glory of God in unfamiliar cadences.
If white folks practice being guests and submitting to non-white leadership, we will begin to hear God spoken about in ways with which we are not familiar. Rather than jumping to evaluation of previously unfamiliar modes of discourse, white folks must learn to “sit with it” for a while, to join in and experience the praises of Jesus in ways that may be initially uncomfortable…
Watch this video for my short explanation of why and how you can use outside scholarship to foster a more holistic, creative and effective leadership plan. Plus, you will demonstrate to your professor that you have a working knowledge of what scholars have said about each week’s topic.
Here is what I said in an article I wrote for adjunct instructors about this: “Graduate education differs to a degree with undergraduate education in that graduate education tries to foster thinking and application that is “higher” on Bloom’s taxonomy of learning domains.”
So, we as professors are trying to encourage students to think at higher levels as charted on Bloom’s chart of learning.
To see the difference, look at the words associated with the higher domains, such as “analyzing (level 4), evaluating (level 5) and creating (level 6).” I think you can see that you can’t be analyzing without comparing 2+ views on the topic. And you certainly can’t be evaluating or creating without looking at 2+ views on each topic.
Therefore as a professor, I give my students a rule-of-thumb in my syllabi that “analyzing, evaluating and creating” in my courses requires a rule-of-thumb use of 1-2 textbooks and 2-3 outside sources for average, i.e. “B-level” work. Therefore a student who scores better than a B would be expected to use 3+ textbooks and 4+ outside sources. Students had told me this rule of thumb greatly helps.
So dig into other views on each topic you’re studying by skimming articles, books and videos on each topic.
To help you do this, I created ChurchHealth.wiki as a great place to find those articles. You can just “search” for a topic and you will find hand-picked articles I have curated for you because they are relevant to the topics I teach.
Students often request the “independent study” or IP option as a replacement for a course that isn’t offered within a reasonable timeframe.
However the title “independent study” can be misleading if it gives the impression that the student is going to just independently write up the assignments required in the course.
Rather the term “independent” connotes that a student will “independently” take an existing course syllabus and add to it learning activities that would equal and compensate for a 4-8 hours of classroom interaction each week.
Wesley Seminary provides students a form to fill out for an independent study that includes these stipulations. In the middle of the form are four boxes to be checked regarding additional material that must be attached to the application.
The four checked boxes and attachments indicate what additional learning activities the student has added to the syllabus to make this an “independent” study.
Remember, an independent study does not only mean that it’s done independently. But it also means that the student has “independently” created a course based on the provided syllabus which adds roughly 4-8 hours a week of student work that would have been part of the online or onsite discussion/interaction.
It isn’t hard to do, but an “independent study” does require the same amount of work as a course that has interaction with other students and with a professor. Thus, the student independently creates assignments and learning activities that compensate and equal the amount of time the student would have spent conversing with other students and faculty in a course that was taught live.
Here are ideas a student can use to create the 4-8 hours a week of work that would have been part of the online or onsite discussion/interaction in a live course.
First, remember that during a live course the interaction with students and professor would result in the following benefits:
The student would be learning from other students about different contexts.
From the professor they would be learning about the latest books and articles on the topic.
To compensate in an IP, a student might undertake the following ideas based upon the numbered bulleted points above:
The student might interview people from various contexts (this is called primary research, where students go themselves to learn about something first-hand).
The student would independently find and skim tools from the latest articles and books (that otherwise a professor might bring into class discussion).
The student would demonstrate each week that they are evaluating, comparing creating and synthesizing ideas into a new, original plan that is indigenous to the student’s context. Be sure to read more about these higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
In terms of serving the poor, I think Wesley used transformational thinking in that the churches were not providing health and wellness measures. Wesley believed that providing remedies for those who could not afford doctors was serving the poor as required by God. The notion of the serving poor as a work of the church was not new to Wesley, but making it mandatory for Methodists was new. For most it was an option. For Wesley it was a necessity. – quote by Liz Wiggins, DMin in Transformational Leadership, 7/24/17.