Faith and Work Summit Spotlight: Lisa Slayton on the Growth in Collaboration and Need for Diversity in the Movement

The purpose of the Faith at Work Summit is to gather active participants and leaders in the faith at work movement from every industry sector to learn from each other and work together to extend Christ’s transforming presence in workplaces around the world. The 2018 Faith at Work Summit, held in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare on October 11th-13th, is still open for registration!

In anticipation of the upcoming Summit, I had the opportunity to interview Lisa Slayton, CEO of the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation, a non-profit that works with companies, churches, startups, and executives to discover the best parts of themselves and lead with excellence. Lisa brings over 20 years of experience in sales and marketing, senior management and ministry leadership to her role on this year’s steering committee. She envisions the Summit as an opportunity for the faith and work movement to continue to grow in collaborative momentum and a forum for enabling a growing diversity of voices to contribute to the conversation.

AK: What will you be addressing at the Faith at Work Summit this year?

LS: I will be working more behind the scenes, but am very excited about the structure and flow of the summit this year. We have re-designed it to have fewer plenary “TED-style talks” and more workshops. The ethos of the summit is to serve the growing movement and to give people ample opportunity to learn from one another. With over 40 workshops, we have aimed to serve a wide variety of stakeholders in the FW movement including churches and pastors, workplace practitioners, the academy and seminaries and the growing number of city-based and national Faith and Work organizations who are investing in developing a rich theo-praxis in service to many audiences.

AK: What inspires you about the Faith and Work movement today?

LS: It is very encouraging to see so many different streams of people in a wide variety of arenas working out coherence and integration of their faith and everyday work. Just that there is a need for something like the Summit to bring people together for a time of learning and community is a great indicator that this truly is a movement.

Because I have a bit of a window into what is going on around the country, and even internationally, in the Faith and Work world I often see clear evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit as collaboration emerges and momentum builds. I am also deeply moved by the new level of engagement I am seeing from the church as they re-imagine discipleship to include vocation and work. When the local church really embraces this ‘whole life discipleship,’ the movement will spread exponentially.

AK: What do you see as current challenges facing the Faith and Work movement?

LS: The Faith and Work movement has struggled to broaden to be more inclusive of women, people of color and people who work in ‘everyday jobs’. It has largely served the professional community and been driven by men. If there truly is a movement afoot, then it must include a much broader group of people who represent gender and ethnic diversity. I also want the movement to deepen past ‘programs and curriculum’ which is largely intellectual in nature and towards a much more robust coherence. As Steve Garber says, we need to move “from the head over the shoulder and into the heart.” If this is truly a work of God then it must be full bodied.

AK: What are you looking forward to at the Faith at Work Summit?

LS: Engaging with so many amazing people and learning from them. Visiting with old friends and meeting new ones.

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