“The Ekklesia Excelerator™ was not just an event, but it was a launchpad for how to unlock maximum spiritual impact as a Christian marketplace leader—in Cincinnati and beyond,” said Chuck Proudfit, founder and president of At Work on Purpose.
CINCINNATI (PRWEB) April 08, 2019
More than 50 leaders from around the globe gathered in Cincinnati, Ohio for the first ever Ekklesia Excelerator™. The intensive, three-day Excelerator, held March 27 to 29, focused on discovering, sharing, and planning how to steward resources to positively change communities and nations.
The first-of-its-kind, interactive experience was hosted by best-selling author and international transformation pioneer Ed Silvoso of the global Transform Our World (TOW) community. TOW is a group of marketplace and ministry individuals working together to solve systemic challenges of communities and nations.
“The Ekklesia Excelerator™ was not just an event, but it was a launchpad for how to unlock maximum spiritual impact as a Christian marketplace leader—in Cincinnati and beyond,” said Chuck Proudfit, founder and president of At Work on Purpose (AWOP).
AWOP, which helped organize the Excelerator, is the nation's largest citywide marketplace ministry, with more than 10,000 community members in the Cincinnati area.
Proudfit, who is also a member of the executive leadership team for TOW, explained that the Excelerator was a model for what will be expanded globally throughout the TOW network.
“With a focus on social entrepreneurship, this was an opportunity for leaders to learn the ‘how to’: how to harness your leadership position to disciple your company and your industry, and how to forge a community of leaders to lift up the spiritual climate of an entire city,” added Proudfit.
The Excelerator included interviews, stories, and practical application from marketplace leaders and TOW faculty; breakout sessions for deep learning; an experiential visit to ORCA Coworking in Mason, Ohio; and a live painting of Jesus by Mike Lewis. (Lewis, who was also interviewed, is founder of Jesus Painter Ministries, an organization that uses live art to present the life of Jesus at events around the world.)
Silvoso emphasized that today, transformation is happening all over the world. “Transformation is about sharing your gift in your sphere of influence—in the marketplace,” he said. “Ordinary people are doing extraordinary things that are transforming companies, cities, and nations,” he added.
Silvoso suggested that in order for social entrepreneurs to support change in their communities and beyond, they need to shape their sphere of influence, and they also need to collaborate across groups and networks. “We can only drive transformation at the speed of trust. If we trust each other we can go further, and we can go faster.”
Francis Oda, an internationally acclaimed architect, and leader of renowned, Hawaii-based g70 Design, taught attendees the practice of envisioning. Oda also shared how he helped disciple a nation through its economy after saying “yes” to God when called to be a minister in the marketplace. “Our projects are vehicles to accomplish God’s purpose,” he explained.
Michael Brown, owner of Michael’s Transportation Services (MTS) in Vallejo, California, and Anthony Summers, Senior Pastor for Impact Bible Ministries, shared a case study on how spiritual leadership can be used to transform a company and a city.
Brown and Summers shared how in 2008, the city of Vallejo had declared bankruptcy. In the height of the crisis, Brown recognized how he could be a minister of God in the marketplace. To “pastor” the city, Brown aligned church, business, government, and education sectors. MTS also transitioned into an employee-owned company and began employing released felons.
In this process, Vallejo has been renewed and hope has been restored in the community. The program has been so successful that the California government is championing its growth, and it is now a nationwide model.
Other highlights from the Excelerator include:
-James Lenhoff, co-founder and president of Wealthquest, spoke about his passion for di- scipling the financial planning industry towards God’s view of true wealth.
-John Heater, Group Vice President of Operations at the Blue Ash, Ohio YMCA, spoke about the citywide movement to put the Christian “C” back in the YMCA. “We're trying to reshape and engage our community to know that they can find Jesus, not just in a church; Jesus is where they go—where we go,” he said.
-A tour of ORCA Coworking, a shared, suburban workspace facility located on the Grace Chapel Campus in Mason, Ohio. The award-winning, collaborative space acts as much more than a place for local entrepreneurs to work; it’s also an incubator and accelerator. It’s an example of a thriving Biznistry®—a blend of business and ministry—or a self-sustaining business that uses profits to fund faith-based work. “This is a campus that is ministering 7 days a week—Monday through Saturday for products and services, and Sunday for worship services,” said Proudfit. The campus tour allowed attendees to see first-hand how the local church “industry” can be reinvented to become a welcomed and influential force for transformation.
Silvoso closed out the Excelerator by reminding attendees that small beginnings can result in transformative outcomes. “Whatever you do and whatever you touch is potentially an instrument for transformation,” he said.
“God will change nations. Will I ever see a nation transform? I don’t know. But will I be used to move the ball forward? Absolutely,” he explained. “It's not how much [we] accomplish, it's how much God accomplishes with us in the process.”
For more information on AWOP programs, its faith-at-work services, or the next Ekklesia Excelerator™, go to http://www.atworkonpurpose.org or call (800) 513-9580.
Contact: Laura Jackson
Phone: (513) 477-2652