Faith that Matters in the Twenty-First Century: Heaven is great, but faith needs to matter now

Event Date: October 24, 2017
Time: 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
Cost: Free for clergy
CEU's Available: 1 CEU

The Ecumenical Center is an approved provider of continuing education by the State of Texas for the following: LPC, LMFT, Social Workers.

In an increasingly secular age, believers want their faith to matter, not just in life beyond the grave, but in this life, right now, each day, in all we do. Though we’re glad for the hope of heaven, we yearn for a faith that makes a difference in our daily lives and in a world desperate for God’s justice and peace.

One way faith can matter in the twenty-first century is through the integration of faith and work. Since most of us spend more than half of our waking lives at work, a faith that really matters must matter at work, no matter what we do.

The widespread yearning in this century for faith and work integration raises many questions for clergy. Is this popular desire something authentic Christianity can meaningfully address? If so, how and on what theological basis? In what ways will pastoral work be different in a time when members expect their faith to be relevant in workplaces that are often so different from churches? How are lay people essential partners in effective pastoral work?

The Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts will address these questions from the perspective of a Christian pastor and biblical scholar who is now directing a seminary leadership center. He will present a new vision for pastoral ministry that prepares congregants to experience a faith that matters, especially in the marketplace. Though focusing on a new pastoral paradigm, his message will also challenge and encourage those who, though not serving in official ecclesial roles, are deeply committed to the flourishing of religious communities and to forging a faith that matters in the twenty-first century.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will see with greater clarity how much believers today want their faith to be relevant to their work.
  2. Participants will understand how the relationship of faith to all of life, including work, is grounded in the core theology of the Bible.
  3. Clergy participants will be encouraged to adopt a new paradigm for pastoral work, so they might better equip their congregants for integrating their faith with their work.
  4. Lay participants will recognize how essential they are if the church is to become an incubator of faith/work integration.
  5. Participants will be inspired by several stories illustrating how faith makes a difference in the workplace and in the wider world.

About the Speaker

After earning his Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard University, the Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts spent twenty years as a parish pastor and an adjunct professor. Then, he served for seven years as Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence for Laity Lodge, the Hill Country retreat center of the H.E. Butt Family Foundation. In 2015, he began as the Executive Director of the Max De Pree Center for Leadership at Fuller Seminary. Mark is the author of eight books, most recently a commentary on Ephesians published by Zondervan in the Story of God series. He is also a devotional writer, whose daily devotions, Life for Leaders, are emailed to more than 4,600 subscribers. You can learn more about Mark and his work at

Mark is married to Linda Roberts, a marriage and family therapist, spiritual director, and executive coach. Mark and Linda have two children, both of whom graduated from Boerne Champion High School. Nathan is working on his Ph.D. in Film and Visual Studies at Harvard. Kara is teaching high school in California, while earning a master’s degree in education. Mark and Linda now reside in Pasadena, California. They have fond memories of their seven years in the San Antonio area.


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