Traditionally training has been associated with teaching a person or group particular information so they can grow in a skill or behavior. One of my gifts is teaching in this generic sense.
But missional innovation requires a further dimension. It’s more action oriented, like an athlete trains by undertaking a course of exercise and diet in preparation for a sporting event. It’s not simply oriented around the impartation of knowledge, but in the embodiment of this knowledge in new ways.
Equipping typically refers to outfitting a person or group with the necessary items for a specific task. For me, this is more zeroed in on attuning ourselves to the Holy Spirit, and knowing our calling, passions, and gifts.
I teach and preach across the United States and abroad. I lead trainings for Fresh Expressions US and The United Methodist Church (Vision Days, Pioneer Learning Communities, Round Tables, and so on). I speak at events and conferences on a wide range of topics. I’m available to preach on Sunday Services, which is still one of the most impactful places to communicate with a congregation. On most occasions I follow Sunday morning services with a workshop. I also teach as an adjunct professor at several seminaries. I’ve taught Residents in Ministry, Annual Conferences, Clergy Excellence Cohorts, and Retreat groups.
But I also provide a unique set of offerings based in my books and learnings as a missional practitioner.
1. Field Guide Immersions. These are local church trainings focused primarily on followers of Jesus in the Wesleyan tradition. We explore the reincarnation of early Methodist theology and praxis for the new missional frontier, based in our book A Field Guide to Methodist Fresh Expressions. These trainings offer practical tools to help you engage your context in missionally fruitful ways.
2. FX Studios
FX Studios are incubators of collaborative missional mess making and a community of support for your team as you cultivate fresh expressions. The aim is to create and multiply new Christian communities (‘fresh expressions of church’) in a focused and structured way to make new disciples. In the Studio your team will receive an integrated structure of support, tailored to your individual needs. Each Studio is comprised primarily of these five elements. 1. A shared focus Your team will focus on traveling through the ‘loving-first cycle’ at your own pace and in your own way. 2. Self-paced discovery Your team will be guided through using the free app, FX: Godsend. 3. Community of practice (the Gatherings) Teams gather in the Studios twice-yearly in a community of practice for planning, team and personal formation, and mutual support. 4. Support via social media Between Studio gatherings, teams will be provided free digital spaces on social media to encourage and support each other. 5. Skype/Zoom-based coaching If your team gets stuck or needs help not only will you be able to seek advice from other teams, but you can access coaching provided on Skype or Zoom.
Whether your seeking a Master of Divinity with a FX concentration, non-degree certification, or a Doctor of Ministry in Fresh Expressions and Church Renewal, I would love to welcome you to our amazing community of students. Come join me in the FX House of Studies!
“God often raises up leaders from unexpected roots through whom the Spirit breathes new life into the church. Michael Beck is one of those spiritual entrepreneurs. He helps us uncover the living and active presence of Christ in the surprising and the unanticipated.”
-Paul Chilcote, Ph. D.
“Michael Beck has been at the heart of the fresh expressions story. He is emerging as an essential interpreter for us all.”
Resident Bishop, Florida Conference
President, Council of Bishops
United Methodist Church