A Pastor’s Perspective on the Gotham FellowshipJanuary 2011
by David Kim
Professional diversity is a significant component of what makes the Gotham Fellowship valuable. This year we’ve broadened the vocational spectrum even further by including a pastor from our very own church—the Rev. John Lin. While we’re used to seeing him preach from the pulpit, John participates in Gotham as a representative of the vocation of church-based ministry. His in-clusion underscores the view that we are all called as priests in this world and, despite his specific calling to vocational ministry, John, like all the other Fellows, wrestles with the im-plications of the gospel in the public realm.
It is difficult to describe all that the Gotham Fellowship entails, as it has elements of a seminary class, a fellowship group, and spiritual discipleship, so we thought we would interview John to get his perspective on Gotham. The following is an excerpt from an interview that captures some of John’s thoughts mid-way through this year’s program.
DK: What interested you in Gotham?
JL: The church needs to think more about how faith works outside of the church setting. Conversations with my wife, Kyoko, helped me realize how important it was for the church to address the significance and role of our faith in the workplace. Unfortunately, this integration of faith and work is not a standard part of seminary education. What’s unique about Gotham is that it develops a theology and a worldview that integrates faith and work. In fact, we cover a lot of interesting theology that’s not covered in seminary. This focused study on how God works through our careers is very much needed in the church.
DK: What does Gotham contribute to the life of Redeemer?
JL: Gotham captures people right around that time when they are thinking about whether they should continue in their careers or what the next step is. It’s a really critical juncture. It’s similar to getting an MBA. You spend some time in the workplace, and you have some understanding of how the industry works and then you get the MBA to help you prepare for the next level.
Gotham is like that for people who want to see their work as part of their Christian calling. It really focuses 24 people in specific industries on how the gospel informs the practice of whatever profession they’re in, and I think that’s really important. Gotham provides the theological framework within which they can actually develop their theological understanding of what it means to be a Christian banker, business person, lawyer, etc....
DK: To whom would you recommend Gotham?
JL: I would recommend Gotham to anyone but in particular to people who want to move beyond just thinking superficially about their work. It’s a great community and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know all the other Fellows, yet for me the primary strength of Gotham is that it forces people to think theologically and redemptively about their work. It’s impossible in New York City not to think about work, but Gotham helps people who want more than just a job and see their work as their calling and mission and really engage the workplace. The community and spiritual discipleship and Christian growth is amazing but the engagement of the workplace and the idea of public theology is the most unique part of Gotham.
DK: Thanks John. It’s been great having you in the group this year.
Gotham is a unique, nine-month intensive leadership development Fellowship having the goals of 1) theological integration, 2) spiritual development, and 3) community formation. Gotham will open a new season of applications beginning on January 15 and closing on March 31. For all who are interested in this program, please visit our website: www.gothamfellowship.org.
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