By Shawn Duncan
Who do you know who is working to shape your city to reflect the Kingdom of God? Are you energized every time you are around them? How exciting is it to interact with people who are actively participating in changing your city?
I was so fortunate to experience just this over the last six weeks. I don’t want to make you jealous or anything, but I was able to facilitate the 2017 City Shapers Cohort through the Lupton Center! “What is this amazing thing?” you ask. Great question!
City Shapers is a 6-week cohort of 30 participants living and working in Metro Atlanta. This is an initiative led by The Lupton Center to connect, equip, and inspire influential leaders in Atlanta from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The City Shapers Cohort combined site visits to innovative ministries, collaborative networking sessions, dynamic teaching from thought leaders, and a 6-session online training course called Seeking Shalom.
City Shapers was incredible! I appreciated learning new perspectives from leaders across various sectors. As we learned, grew, and collaborated together, I was inspired to be with a group of people sharing the common goal of impacting their city to reflect the Kingdom of God.
Not only was I overwhelmingly encouraged by City Shapers, but I heard similar reviews from my fellow participants. I’d love to share a few reflections from them.
"I am so incredibly grateful for the experience that I was able to take in with City Shapers. Each session allowed me to meet amazing people and hear about the strong work of unity and shalom that many people in this city are undertaking. It's moments like the ones shared around our tables or listening to the stories of our speakers that push me to give more and be more for the peace of my city."
Jennifer Young, M. Ed., School Climate, Culture, and Disproportionality Specialist, Atlanta Public Schools
“The Lupton Center’s City Shapers Cohort was a wonderful experience. The dialogue was sharp, the online lessons were insightful, and the meetings were great for connecting with other people doing great things in the city of Atlanta. Highly recommend it for individuals and organizations looking to better impact their communities."
Stephen Assink, Director of Operations, Thriving Cities
“The City Shapers cohort was an invaluable experience that indeed will help me in my development as a pastor and community organizer. It was also great to connect with other like-minded people who are committed to seeking and bringing shalom to Atlanta and the world.”
Michael Wortham, Assistant Pastor, Ebenezer Baptist Church
It is so exciting to live in a city with an abundance of leaders committed to God’s vision of Shalom for Atlanta. After 6 weeks of learning and growing together, I am looking forward to seeing the outcome of this event in our city, our churches, and our neighborhoods.
The Lupton Center is delighted and privileged through our training events to equip city shapers from around the country for even greater impact.
Dates have not been set for our second City Shapers Cohort, but if you would like to nominate someone for this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know who they are and why they would be a great fit for this experience.