The Field Guide to Transformation (FG2T) is a tool intended to help people of faith, particularly congregations, rethink their relationship to their local community’s economic and civic ecosystem. It is intended to help people of faith understand how to get involved in addressing economic disparity right where they are.
Field Guide to Transformation
An ideal resource for your congregation
Neighborhood Economics was launched by Tim Soerens, Kevin Jones, and Rosa Lee Harden in 2014. Alongside Peter Block in Cincinnati, they used David Erickson’s concept of the centrality of the role of the “community quarterbacks” (or system entrepreneur as it has come to be called ) to inform their work. The Neighborhood Economics team developed and began to use this process to help groups who wanted to engage in transformative work in their neighborhoods. Ultimately, they created this tool, the FG2T.
About the same time, Faith+Finance began to work with congregations that want to get involved in economic justice in their neighborhoods. But the FG2T was not originally written with a theological lens or for people of faith.
These two streams then began to flow together and were supported by a grant from Trinity Wall Street to produce this FG2T: Taking Seriously Your Congregation’s Role in Local Economic Justice.
This tool is built on deep theological principles:
- that the message of the common table is that we should be working for the common good
- caring for the least of these
- connecting the “why” for your church to the local “what”
- how economic justice is at the heart of the gospel
- whether we are prepared to be the samaritan in a world that walks on by
What will you gain from being in a cohort?
- Deep understanding of how traditional entrepreneurial programs that benefit communities of need might work;
- Access to a deeper knowledge of funding models for non-profits and the application of those ideas in their setting;
- A community of colleagues who are on similar paths;
- Connections to traditional entrepreneurs (through connections at Neighborhood Economics) and funders;
- Access to the principal facilitators of this cohort, including one-on-one time for each participant;
- Introductions to potential mentors as they emerge;
- Enrollment in an online learning curriculum;
- Ongoing community with facilitators, past and current participants, and funders once the cohort has ended
- Invitation to Neighborhood Economic events for additional learning opportunities and networking with potential funders.
Our 2022 cohorts have just completed their work and we are now launching cohorts for September of 2023 and January or April of 2024. Participants will identify projects in the neighborhoods around their congregation that will make the gospel come alive. We have tested this with some groups already, and now we are looking for a few congregations to engage in deep work together, forming the first official cohort using this new tool.
Our work together will include the following:
- Eight 2-hour online cohort sessions over the course of 12 weeks;
- Robust online curriculum;
- Preaching, video, and storytelling resources that encourage and guide congregational efforts;
- Invitations throughout the year to review their projects with leaders, investors and other engaged in economic liberation work;
- Additional individual consultations with leaders in Neighborhood Economics for each participating group.
Each FG2T cohort includes between 5-8 organizations working on their own projects. The participation investment is $1500 per individual or $3000 per group (up to 3 people from the same congregation). Each group should consider their budgets and propose what portion of that they feel able to pay. No group that is ready to do this work will be excluded because of lack of funds.
We expect this cohort to fill quickly, given the interest we have already seen. If you are interested or have questions about participating, please complete the form below to submit an initial inquiry.