Bing tracking

The Foundations for a Public Church

This video introduces you to the work of the Riverside Innovation Hub which is an initiative of Augsburg University’s Christensen Center for Vocation. The video is about 60 minutes long. It is the first video of a two part series. This video covers the foundations upon which our work is built. The second video explains the process we use to do this work. This blog will give you some context for the video.

At Augsburg University, we are very committed to the theological concept of vocation in which Christ frees and empowers each person to be co-creators with God in the work of healing creation. Or, in a nutshell, Christ frees us to participate in our neighbors thriving.

This freedom is a collective freedom and a personal freedom. Personal, yes but never private. Therefore, we want to help congregations identify and live into their collective vocation in their particular context so individuals might learn to do the same with their own personal vocations in their own personal contexts. We call this place-based vocational discernment in the common square for the common good. It is place-based because location matters. You do not need to travel far and wide to find your neighbor, suffering, or resurrection. They are happening all around you. Be committed to those things in your location. It is vocational discernment because we wonder together how God might be calling us to show up in this location to participate in good news. It is in the public square because this work of discernment must happen in relationship with our neighbors. We can no longer decide our congregation’s mission in a church board room behind closed doors. It is for the common good because it is more important that we invest in the thriving of our neighbors and our neighborhoods than our congregations.

We approach this work through a framework we call the Public Church Framework. It is not the only way to do this work, but we have found it a helpful way to frame the work. It is a framework because it is only a structure, like a bare Christmas tree, you and your congregation will embellish this bare structure with your own unique practices and ways of doing this work in your context.

This video is about 60 minutes long and will introduce you to the foundations this framework is built upon. We will be posting a second video which will walk you through the process of the Public Church Framework. We have included a PDF of the PowerPoint slides so you can take notes as you watch the presentation. Please contact us if you have questions or would like a follow-up conversation.