Dr. Charlie Self is one of our former professors at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. His Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz was in Modern European History, with a focus on Belgian Protestantism, studies in Virtue Ethics, and the Holocaust.
Dr. Self is the author of three books: The Divine Dance, The Power of Faithful Focus, and his most recent work, Flourishing Churches and Communities: A Pentecostal Primer on Faith, Work and Economics for Spirit-Empowered Discipleship.
Today, Dr. Self is the Director of City Development for the Made To Flourish Network, a community of pastors connecting faith and work. Charlie has the honor of resourcing current city leaders and helping create new networks across all denominations. He is also in demand as a strategic consultant, encourager to leaders, keynote speaker and presenter to church and civic groups. And this is just a taste of all the work he’s doing.
Dr. Charlie Self is best at stimulating people of all perspectives to “think deeply and act decisively.”
You can find Charlie on:
Or check out his work at drcharlieself.com.
Flourishing Churches and Communities by Charlie Self
Chapter 1 - Why You Can't Ignore Human Flourishing
God has gifted you and me with a capacity, a capacity to bear fruit, to be productive. It’s actually the first command God gave humanity: be fruitful. So then what do we do with this first command to be productive, to flourish in the calling God has placed on our lives? How do we actually produce fruit? And is it really that important? This week, we’re talking with Dr. Charlie Self, whose own calling is to help equip others as they awaken to the purpose of God in their lives. And in this first chapter, he unpacks the value of human flourishing and why it’s so important for each of us to be fruitful.
Chapter 2 - Are You Dividing the Sacred from the Secular in Your Life?
Is there a connection between our Sunday worship and the work we do throughout the rest of the week? While we may say “yes” to this question, most of our lives aren’t lived this way. We simply don’t see how the two are related. We’ve broken our lives into two categories. We put the sacred God stuff in one category, and the secular work stuff in the other. But this is a problem for the church, because God wants all of our lives. When we choose to make him Lord, the categories disappear and everything gets absorbed into the sacred space, especially our vocations and occupations. That’s why Step 4 to creating a lifestyle of discipleship is Serve with Purpose. And in today’s chapter Charlie helps us break down this sacred/secular divide and help us understand how we can serve others through the work God has called us to.
Chapter 3 - Are You Causing Damage on Social Media?
You’re scrolling through your facebook feed, and there it is. Your friend is on another political rant. You see a few problems with what they’re saying, and you want to keep scrolling, but you just can’t let it go. What do you do? A lot of us probably take the bait, thinking, “I can change their mind.” But somehow what we though was going to be a civil discussion on an issue turns into a heated argument and half of the responses get deleted altogether. When we talk about human flourishing and helping people reach their God-given capacity, how do we actually do that when it seems most of the conversations cause more damage than anything else? In this chapter, Charlie walks us through some of the ways he engages with issues in the world around him. Chris and I can honestly point to Charlie as a great example of how we can engage others on social media and the world around us, even with our opponents, in a way that builds people up rather than tearing them down.
Chapter 4 - Can Justice Flourish in a Corrupt Society?
How does our discipleship, our following Jesus, affect our society? I hope from our conversation this week with Dr. Self, you have seen that discipleship isn’t something that stays in the church. We follow Jesus in the everyday moments of our life, whether that be in our jobs, during our commutes, at the park, or while we’re buying groceries. So how does this sort of discipleship serve the flourishing of our communities?