We’re all struggling with pandemic-adapted classrooms. An invaluable tool to help you adapt your classes for the new pedagogical reality is our library of Economic Wisdom Project Talks. To avoid losing students to “Zoom fatigue” in your digital or blended class, a key best practice is to switch teaching modes at least every 20 minutes. Cultivating real learning in pieces that small is a real challenge! Our 15-20 minute talks are not just rich and catalytic in content, they’re professionally edited to maximize viewer comfort and minimize fatigue. They’re easily accessible on our new EWP website to help your class stimulate theological insight.
And as the whole church is being challenged to rethink what “church” is and how to do it well, this is a great time to review our playlist on Pastoral Leadership. See below for our full list of videos on that topic.
In a rich and vivid talk that was one of the very first videos to enter our library, Charlie Self of Assemblies of God Theological Seminary describes how “faithful churches create flourishing communities.” He draws together a wealth of theological touchpoints, bringing examples that range from Dallas and Oregon all the way to Sri Lanka and Cambodia. He points the way to how pastors can equip people to carry out God’s mission in the world without compromising the God-given integrity and faithfulness of the church.
Self’s talk can be viewed on our new website featuring the complete Economic Wisdom Project Talks series. The Economic Wisdom Project takes an innovative approach to helping faculty and students develop a cohesive theological understanding of whole-life discipleship and vocational faithfulness. Consider how these visually stimulating talks might enhance your digital or blended classroom in the Age of Zoom Fatigue:
Drawing on Romans 14:17, Self organizes the church’s mission for human flourishing under three headings:
- Joy: As we experience the intimate presence of God in Christ in our own lives, this leads us out to perform our daily callings in our communities with hope and purpose.
- Peace: Having peace with God in Christ in our own lives leads us out to be agents of harmony and reconciliation in our communities.
- Righteousness: Embracing the righteousness of God in Christ in our own lives leads us out to bear witness for justice in our communities.
Self illustrates joy in action by sharing the story of a car mechanic who has been led to see his daily work as service to God’s world, empowering hundreds of people a week to carry out their good works all over the city – not to mention keeping dozens of people at the garage employed in this gainful labor. “Joy begins with God’s delight in his creation, and God’s delight in the people that he’s made. He does have some interesting kids, doesn’t he?” Self remarks. “This joy begins with our personal salvation. It creates a new fellowship as God’s people come together, worship together, share spiritual gifts. This joy overflows to Monday morning work that has meaning. This joy overflows as people wake up with purpose and a sense of calling.”
Peace in our communities is also empowered by the work of local churches in helping people realize God’s mission of reconciliation. Self shares stories of people from Baltimore to Cambodia experiencing a surprising power to overcome their divisions. “Christ Jesus on the cross created peace, bringing Jew and gentile, rich and poor together,” Self observes. “But that same peace also commissions us as peacemakers. Jesus said we are blessed when we are peacemakers….It requires humility and courage for the people of God, who used to hold people at a distance, to now embrace them as friends.”
The fate of two troublesome car salesmen illustrates the power of righteousness in action. They bullied a vulnerable single mom into buying more car than she could afford, but direct intervention from a pastor changed that situation to create justice. “This justice is rooted in the righteousness of God that comes to us through the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We discover in the scripture that we are right with God through the merits of Christ, and we remain right with God only by his grace,” says Self. “This justice also issues in practical advocacy for people in our neighborhoods.”
In closing, Self reminds us that when Dallas Willard addressed the Oikonomia Network shortly before going to be with the Lord in 2013, he said that he longed for the day when the local pastor was again regarded as a moral and intellectual leader in the community, and was a discipler of cultural leaders. Theological education that prioritizes joy, peace and justice at the heart of the pastoral calling is the best path back to that reality.
This video and others in the Pastoral Leadership series can be accessed on the Economic Wisdom Project’s new website. Come check out our entire library, and consider sharing an EWP Talk with your learning community!