Our workshops explore the FISHing Differently concepts and explore the stories, practices, and theologies in light of the changes in local landscapes.
We established the Oikos Institute for Social Impact to create a mutually supportive regional network to introduce the FISHing Differently concepts in a collective learning environment. In partnership with seminaries, universities, and foundations, Oikos Institute leads a participatory learning experience.
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Workshop 1 – Introduction to FISHing Differently
This foundational workshop explores the principles of F.I.S.H. (Faith, Intellectual, Social and Human Capital), as outlined in our book, Fishing Differently: Ministry Formation in the Marketplace. Participants explore how and why addressing varied perceptions to shared circumstances assists congregations to pivot from a maintenance mindset toward harnessing the power of their assets as catalysts for communal transformation and economic renewal. Workshop participants actively explore how recognizing and employing the collective gifts, talents, and missional intentions within their congregation expands their capacity for social impact. Participants explore the benefits of how broadening their social networks, and gaining support from non-traditional allies, exponentially expands the scope and depth of a congregation’s missional vision, social impact, and the transformational influence they have in the lives of individuals within their community.
Workshop 2 FISHing Differently: Developing a Vision for Social Impact
In preparation for this second workshop, congregations participate in our proprietary Fishing Differently Congregational Assessment. This online assessment tool allows congregations to gain valuable insights into their congregation’s beliefs, practices, preferences, and alignment between members and leaders. Included in the assessment report is detailed demographic data which informs congregations regarding the needs that exist in their local community, and aids in developing a learning path which empowers and equips congregations for taking their next faithful steps.
Building on the insights gained from the introductory workshop, and the Fishing Differently Congregational Assessment, this second-level workshop provides a path for defining the congregation’s missional identity and what potential projects or programs reflect their social impact calling. We explore the crucial need to pivot from merely identifying community needs to actively addressing them. In this workshop, participants focus on developing a well-defined vision, and a strong narrative, developed through a greater appreciation for the congregation’s historic significance and a clear expression of the congregation’s impact calling. These are the essential tools necessary for garnering support from community allies, investors, as well as from within the congregation itself.
Workshop 3 – Fishing Differently: Program and Project Implementation
Utilizing the Fishing Differently framework, this third workshop is the culmination of the work completed up until this point and results in defining the specific measures and resources necessary to make the congregation’s impact vision a reality. Participants will combine the learning objectives of Workshops 1 and 2 with the opportunity to engage the services of Crossing Capital Group, a New Jersey Benefit Corporation, for the purpose of executing on their plan, including, but not limited to, mapping out an executable plan, analyzing the congregation’s financial readiness, defining the internal leadership team, shoring up support from within and outside of the church, identifying and budgeting for all related costs, identifying potentially available grants or loans, employing best practices, and defining timelines and benchmarks.