When, How, and Why did the Academy begin?
Flourish San Diego started in 2013 in response to a perceived need that the church needed to find fresh ways to embody the love of Christ in ways that our neighbors would actually experience as Christlike. The Academy was initially designed to help pastors and ministry leaders in their efforts to form congregations that integrated their faith with their whole lives, including the workplace.
Do you have theological or denominational affiliation?
Sort of and not really… in that order. We are somewhat generically Christian and mostly Protestant. We have participants from Presbyterian, Baptists (of varied flavors), Christian and Missionary Alliance, Anglican (ACNA), as well as community and independent churches. Generally we gather around the person of Jesus, the gospel, and our desire to participate in God’s redemptive agenda in San Diego. Geoff is “sufficiently Reformed and reluctantly Presbyterian.”
Do you think the church's work is evangelism or social justice?
Both. You’ll discover our love of 2×2 diagrams in the Academy. You will learn that there are ways of seeing the task of calling people to faith in Jesus as well seeking to address the needs to the “least amongst us.” We think it is also a gift to learn from churches that see the needs and challenges of our community from various perspectives, further enriching our understanding of the work before the church as well as appreciating the diversity of the church.
Why do you talk about vocation, calling, and work so much?
At the end of the day, we understand that the gospel frees us from the penalty of our sin… as well as frees us for the sake of others. A robust understanding of calling, vocation, and work gives meaning to our everyday and ordinary lives. The tragic idea that only some work is holy, reserved for a special class of people, leaves the vast majority of believers to settle for a faith that is somewhat “second class.” By recovering a theology of calling, we help people see how their ordinary callings are more sacred and potentially redemptive than they can imagine.
What are the key movements (and/or authors) you might be associated with?
Geoff has tended toward cross-cultural missionary endeavors and finds that you no longer need to cross an ocean to find yourself sharing the gospel to a person of a different culture… you just need to cross the street. So there is a missiological skillset at work to help contextualize a never-changing gospel to our ever-changing culture.
Toward that end, thinking about how the church can combat the current tendency toward self-preservation and instead work toward loving our neighbors has led us to find ways to practically mobilize Christians.
So we have friends in the “faith and work” and marketplace ministry spaces. We are associated with other ministries that are seeking to catalyze city transformation movements. We think spiritual formation is central to the task of discipleship.
Authors: Tim Keller, Amy Sherman, Dallas Willard, N.T. Wright, and many more.
Is there Pastor track?
Yes! We provide direction and coaching ot pastors and congregations into Vocational Stewardship for the Life of the World. For inquiries, contact Geoff.