We are all innovators now. Only a year ago, “sustainability” and “innovation” described extracurricular activities for churches—mostly niche projects that had minimal impact on the daily work of ministry. Suddenly, in 2020, innovation is what we all do—ready or not. We are exhausted and disoriented by this newness, not just because innovation is unfamiliar to us, but because the shackles of normalcy are off, allowing us to hear God in new ways. Mere months ago, heeding these holy hunches would have been unthinkable.
As our institutions, practices, and assumptions about ministry (and ourselves) shed unnecessary weight in order to stay afloat, we are suddenly a much more nimble church than we were a year ago. We are awash in more possibilities than we can process. In this program, we will consider how 2020 is changing how we think about the church—and how it is surfacing new and long-forgotten possibilities for the work God calls us to.
This program is co-sponsored with the Western Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church.
Kenda Creasy Dean is an ordained United Methodist pastor and serves as the Mary D. Synnott Professor of Youth, Church and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary. She works closely with Princeton’s Institute for Youth Ministry and the Farminary (the seminary’s initiative in restorative agriculture and theological formation). In 2013, she founded Ministry Incubators with fellow youth pastor and serial entrepreneur, Mark DeVries, which helps Christian leaders create entrepreneurial ministries and engage their congregations in Christian social innovation.
Dean is the author of numerous books on young people and the church, including Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church, Delighted: What Youth Are Teaching the Church about Joy, and The Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry with Ron Foster.
Dean hails from a long line of Ohio farmers and Kentucky coal miners, although she herself is a P.K.—a politician’s kid. At 15 she attended a United Methodist church camp on Lake Erie that pretty much changed everything. A graduate of Miami University (Ohio), Wesley Theological Seminary (Washington, D.C.), and Princeton Theological Seminary, Dean served as a pastor and as a campus minister in Arlington, Va. and College Park, Md. before earning her doctorate in 1997. In addition to Netflix binging, Dean and her husband, Kevin, love digging their toes in the sand on the Jersey shore and hanging out with their hilarious grown kids.
This program is free and open to all interested.
0.4 Continuing Education units/credits will be made available upon request by emailing [email protected].