Spencer Burke's Field Notes for February

field notes Mar 19, 2024

I have the honor of meeting so many inspiring people and hearing about their amazing work that they are involved in.

My heart is to encourage and support Spiritual Innovators (like you) so... I want to let you know about three timely opportunities.

The 1st is a community to join - I am a part of this network that connects and supports Spiritual Changemakers. But they take that responsibility seriously. They have an onboarding process that educates and empowers all interested in joining. Well worth applying.

The 2nd is a need for your opinion - I am advising on this Mapping Project. Your wisdom and insights will bring this initiative to life and help all of us understand our evolving spiritual landscape. Important you share.

The 3rd is an amazing opportunity- I interviewed this collective and was so impressed, I asked them about how we can get involved and learn more. Here is one of their courses. Expand your knowledge.

I hope one of these offerings may...

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Why Would I Want To Be A Spiritual Innovator?

spiritual innovation May 01, 2023

There are many reasons why you might want to become a Spiritual Innovator. Here are some of the most common ones:

  1. Making a Difference - Spiritual Innovator are individuals who work to create positive change in the world. By becoming a Spiritual Innovator, you have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others and contribute to a better world.

  2. Personal Growth - Becoming a Spiritual Innovator can be a transformative experience that leads to personal growth and development. By engaging in spiritual practices, learning from others, and taking action to create positive change, you can develop new skills, gain insights, and deepen your understanding of yourself and the world around you.

  3. Connection and Community - Spiritual Innovator often work together with others who share their values and goals. By joining a community of like-minded individuals, you can develop meaningful connections and find support and encouragement as you work towards your goals.

  4. ...

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The Benefits of a Facilitated Gathering

soularize 2023 Apr 10, 2023

As you may know, there are so many conferences out there that offer a range of speakers and workshops. While these events can be informative, we believe that there is something even more powerful and transformational - a Facilitated Gathering. Soularize 2023 will be a Facilitated Gathering, you can find out details HERE.

At a Facilitated Gathering, the focus is not just on the content, but also on the process of learning and growth. Here are just a few of the benefits that a Facilitated Gathering can offer:

  1. Deeper EngagementFacilitated Gathering provide a more immersive experience than traditional conferences. Participants are encouraged to engage with each other and with the facilitators, which fosters a deeper understanding of the content and a greater sense of connection and community.

  2. Personalized LearningFacilitated Gathering offer more personalized learning experiences than traditional conferences. Facilitators are able to...

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Brian McLaren - Humane Spirituality, looking back, looking around, looking forward - Soularize 2021

soularize 2021 Apr 03, 2023

Brian McLaren shared at Solarize 2021. Our theme was Humane Spirituality and Brian contextualized it within his own life's journey. 

Although this year we will not have any Keynote speakers, we felt it might be important for you to hear the spirit and ethos of a past Soularize presentation.

This year will be a completely different format. A truly hands on, three day facilitated experience. You can learn more by heading over to soularize.org.

Below is a rough transcription of Brian's talk.


Soularize 2021 - Brian McLearn - Humane Spirituality

My name is Brian McLaren. I'm really happy to be here with you all. And if we can put my slides up, that would be fantastic. I would like to just open our consideration of humane spirituality by doing a little bit of looking back, looking around and looking ahead a little bit about myself. I know it's hard to believe, but I grew up white. I grew up a white boy. And in New England,...

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Building Common Cause Communities - Food For Thought With Spencer Burke


In our last installment of Food For Thought, Spencer speaks on his experience helping faith leaders build common cause communities. This example centers on the work that he's done to help build a safe space for homeless teens to get care for their pets. By bringing together people, regardless of faith, they created a true church community and were able to do good and love thy neighbors. 



I would say we want to be careful to not turn churches into simple rental space. Right. We can end up thinking about, oh, well, let's go ahead and have our traditional aid groups. And I'm not saying take those away or let's open up a preschool or let's do a co-working space where if we just do those things, then the minister and the church and the congregation really become landlords, not people who are speaking into the vision of their community. And I hope the church, whatever assets we have, are seen as wonderful investments into our local communities and beyond. So...

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Are We Training Pastors For Jobs That No Longer Exist?

I spent much of this summer interviewing thought leaders about what is next for church and community, getting ready for The Next Sunday Summit. Throughout the Summit, I connected with participants, listened to their reactions, and we brainstormed about the future of church.


One thing I heard, loud and clear, is that we need better tools, training, and metrics to create and sustain community. Many leaders have gone the route of seminary and yet feel they need something more, something different to meet the needs of their community, their tribe, and their people to be relevant today and into the future.


We also agreed that while the new tools will not likely be another $50,000+ degree… they will cost something. As leaders, we will need to think about the value of innovative tools. What will be the return on our investment for the commitment of our time, our energy, our funds… and the commitment of our communities? Or perhaps a more important question...

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Dreaming Of A Better Post Pandemic Church - Food For Thought With Spencer Burke


Church is not the same as it once was, and not just because of the pandemic. In this vlog, Spencer talks about the different ways that the church has needed to change due to the pandemic and how we can see the change in our culture and times as a means for dreaming about a better and more fulfilling church experience for our community. 


Read the transcript here: 

Let's just say that potentially 50% of church goers are not going to return. That's a possibility. And we're just early in the stages to try to figure out a lot of this. But if that's true, then we've got to ask, what are the possibilities? What are some of the dreams that we could think about? Well, let's analyze why some people are not coming back. Earlier, we talked about the idea of people getting teachings in real time on their own schedule through podcasts and teaching and others. So people have found during almost two years of a pandemic, how to gather together in small groups, around tables, you...

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Organizing The Next Forms of Church - Food For Thought With Spencer Burke


Why did people need church over the last 500 years? There are so many reasons, it's hard to count, but the three top reasons people went to church were pretty simple: 

1. Find a faith-aligned partner 

2. Learn, be inspired and build new skills 

3. Communicate and gather with your community 

In today's world, all of these things primarily happen outside of the church-house. So, what is it that will organize us and draw people back into their faith communities? 

Read The Transcript Here: 

So why did people need church over the last 500 years? Well, if you think about it, there really was a sense of a one school room like you had the the the little square square, the town square. Right. And you had the civic building. You had the church or synagogue, you had the school and whatever. And it was the one room place where all needs were met, you know, and that was the organizing factor. That's how people did it. So what would happen? Well, people would...

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Re-imagining Your Purpose - Food For Thought With Spencer Burke


As The "Next" Sunday Summit has come to a close, we want to continue the conversation with you and share some food for thought from our Director, Spencer Burke. In today's video, Spencer breaks down an example of how American Airlines has changed its company culture and initiatives to support its customers in today's world better. 

Just like American Airlines, faith leaders from around the country are wondering, with all of the changes the world is going through, how do we inspire loyalty, continually develop our purpose, and support our communities in the best way possible? 

"So the big question is, what happens when people don't come back to Sunday as the main organizing function? What happens when nobody flies with us on Sunday morning?"


Read the Transcript below: 

I use this metaphor to think about the "Next" Sunday.

I've flown American Airlines forever, and I'm a loyal customer. I have the little card, and for years what you've been able to do is use...

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Faith-Inspired Changemakers HEALING a Broken World

events speaking Nov 23, 2021

I will be sharing along with Meena Palaniappan - Founder of Atma Connect, Stephen Lewis - President of Forum of Theological Exploration and Founder of DO GOOD X, Anne Evans and Mentor Dida - Ashoka

Many changemakers’ “Why” derives from their spiritual beliefs.   

In this panel we’ll reflect on why faith matters in their work, and how building a world where everyone is a changemaker aligns with faith in several ways. 


This session will feature diverse changemakers whose Why derives from their spiritual beliefs. In 2021 Ashoka ran its first Changemaking Masterclass for Faith-Inspired Changemakers and 140 people from 22 countries and 10 various faith traditions answered the call.  

Learn what they have in common, why faith matters in their work (and perhaps in yours), and how building a world where everyone is a changemaker aligns with faith for several types of changemakers:

• Spiritual Innovators...

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Spencer Burke Updates


Each month you can peek inside what I am reading, conversations, musings and links for spiritual innovators