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Scenario 2– The Vocachurch

At a Glance
  • By 2020, women emerge as the most influential leaders in the American church.
  • Faith, business, and community development merge as a response to the need for local community transformation.
  • Thousands of locally initiated female-led vocational networks exist as extensions of local congregations.
The Vocachurch Letter
I’m Dr. Melissa Kaufman-Reed, executive pastor of Highland Hills church in Columbus, OH. I am a representative of one-half of the America workforce, which is female. For us the most significant faith development, leading up to 2020, was the formation of thousands of locally initiated female-led vocational networks.

Vocachurches were born during the dark days of the Great Recession. While male CEOs kept receiving bonuses, the women of America realized we had entered a new era of austerity. Acting from faith to overcome frustration, we led America to invest in everything local—including ourselves. As working women, we started meeting weekly to speak into each others' lives and trade services between our businesses. We rejected long congested traffic commutes and transformed our workplaces through flextime, job-sharing, and telecommuting.

The first VocaNet was formed in Cleveland as a self-organizing, peer-coaching, innovation group. It was built as a three-fold cord of faith, business, and community development, combining the best of Anne Graham Lotz, Suze Orme, and Oprah Winfrey. It started to multiply. Historians tell us it was the rebirth of the Wesleyan class meeting of the 1700s, but with an edge that put faith-to-work. Each net practiced five LOCAL principles: local, open, caring, adaptive, and leadership. What Promise Keepers was to men in the 1990s, VocaNet was to women in the 2010s.

By 2015, the movement fused local care with local congregations. Today over one-half of VocaNets are extensions of churches, or Vocachurches.They stand in the long line of innovations from the Sunday school to homeschooling. VocaNet has given women back their voices and vocations. Vocachurches now promise to be a main vehicle by which women will receive spiritual formation, give back to the community, and invest in a new generation.

Gary, J. (2010, January). The post-church letters: Voices from 2020. Church Executive Magazine.

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