A life devoted to others stems from a heart devoted to God.
These programs offer new perspectives for a full and flourishing life and nurture the souls that seek a purpose rooted in the only source of lasting change.
Spiritual Development Services include:
- Spiritual Formation
- Theological Discussions
- Theology of the City
Roundtable, Tacoma, Washington
Like many cities Tacoma had a problem. The gang affiliation was multiplying and, as a result, educators, city officials, religious leaders, and citizens were growing increasingly anxious. Like many cities that face such a problem Tacoma decided to create a series of task forces to come up with a solution. One of the solutions was an initiative sponsored through the Northwest Leadership Foundation (NLF) called Club Friday. Club Friday was designed around the idea of a providing a place where the best of the hip-hop community could be enjoyed through music and dance while also providing a safe place free of drugs and alcohol. One of the unique features to Club Friday was a leader standing up and reflecting on one of the hip-hop artist’s songs and the ways that it could help someone lead a more productive life.
Club Friday had an immediate and powerful effect where on average more than 200 hundred kids would show up each Friday night to hear their music, hangout with their friends, and listen to a message in their language. However a problem arose and, interestingly enough, from an unlikely place: the faith community. Many in the faith community decided that a line was being blurred between the sacred and secular as a result of using the hip-hop culture as a platform. This resulted in a significant backlash to Club Friday where it was in danger of shutting down.
NLF stepped into help. Recognizing that the city of Tacoma was in danger of losing a very important and positive contribution to the lives of youth because the faith community did not consider Club Friday spiritual enough, NLF created the theological roundtable. The theological roundtable was created around the idea of how the bible (values, timeless truths, etc.) and the newspaper (relevant issues, current problems, etc.) engage each other and thereby strengthen the overall conversation about faith, contemporary issues, and our individual and corporate roles. The result was the faith community who had the initial concerns was persuaded that Club Friday was values based and needed to be supported. This directly impacted how the city of Tacoma was able to engage this important issue.
What also is important to note is that NLF’s Roundtable is still meeting 15 years later after initially being formed on behalf of Club Friday. Yesterday’s gang issue has now become today’s issue of immigration, youth homelessness, and drug proliferation. What is consistent is what NLF has been providing all these years. A safe place to engage these issues in thoughtful, intentional, and reflective ways so as to consider both the social and spiritual dimensions of what renewal in a city looks like. As a result of NLF’s initial work other “roundtables” are taking place in local leadership foundation cities throughout the world.