A Church in the Midwest Seeking to Impact the Wider Community

The Problem:

The Founding and Senior Pastor of a church in the Midwest was interested in his church becoming a more visible presence in the city, especially in engaging urban leaders. This pastor and his leadership team had drafted a document charting their direction over the next years.  It was built upon the pastor’s development of two years of curriculum that instilled an integral approach to all of life. A majority of the church’s congregants had completed this course.

But there was still a gap – or a need. Much of this learning had not yet translated into action. A third year was needed, one that translated scripture into street language, equipping Christians to impact the wider world. This church turned to Clapham to develop this curriculum.

Clapham Institute Solution:

Mike Metzger wrote the content as well as facilitated monthly learning labs at the church. The initial group included 35 leaders in this church. Mike flew into town every month, working with these leaders over the course of his two days in the city.

Over the course of the year, various professionals discovered how the Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation gospel defined the entirety of life. They also discovered how this gospel, translated as Ought, Is, Can, Will helps them get a foot in the door and – over time – a place at the table of the city’s leading institutions. The results were impressive.


  • The Operations Manager of a large city law firm discovered how the Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation gospel helped him think through the issues of traffic, suburban sprawl, home design that promotes getting to know neighbors, neighborhood design, urban design, architecture, zoning, and other associated issues.
    A major charitable trust began rethinking how to apportion its giving to missions. The Chairman of the Board and president began coming to grips with the ramifications of the Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation gospel as it pertains to evangelism, missions, and cultural reform.
  • One of the lead architects in the city, famous for his work in the sports, stadiums, and venue division, began to recognize the connection between the Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation gospel and his work. He began heading up a group to consider restoring dilapidated parts of their city. In addition, he and Mike gave a presentation at the annual
  • AIA national convention, wrapping it around Ought, Is, Can, Will as a frame for moral architecture.
  • One of the city’s Leaders’ Forum benefited from this learning lab. One of the participants was the city’s leading restauranteur (he employed over 6,000, with restaurants throughout the country). The Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation gospel helped them come to grips with their gifts in hospitality, service, evangelism, and the restaurant business. They launched a citywide Leaders Forum, an initiative to engage and influence city professional leadership through luncheons and forums. The first luncheon attracted over 150 professionals and featured a well-known cultural analyst (and Christian) speaking on “The World After 9/11.”
  • Another participant launched a counseling practice specializing in adolescents, sexual abuse, self-esteem, women’s issues, eating disorders, life transitions, anxiety concerns, and stress management. The founder was a woman who came out a dualistic background (theologically). She found the Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation refreshing, as well as reframing her understanding of counseling. It went from a “Christian” counseling firm to one that made the front page of the City Section of the city’s newspaper.
  • A leader on the United Nations telecommunications committee began to see the connection between his work (creating and maintaining global standards for telecommunications) and the Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation gospel.
  • Two participants – founders of an international firm that manufactures gifts and home accents – wanting to launch a lab in their company similar to the one Mike launched in the church. This company had been recently cited in USA Today for its success and rapid growth. Mike developed and facilitated a one-day immersion course for employees built around Ought, Is, Can, Will. Over time, all 350 employees discovered this organizational DNA.
  • The company’s founders also had an interest in China. So, Mike was retained to develop innovative ways of impacting Chinese leadership through the Ought, Is, Can, Will framework.
  • The President of a local bank, and an elder at this church, lead the rethinking of its philanthropic causes in the city based on the Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation gospel. The chief estimator of one of the city’s largest construction firms also found himself rethinking city projects based on the Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation gospel.
  • The CFO of a worldwide Kansas City company that was experiencing explosive growth as the primary leader in Global Positioning (GPS) technology began seeing how the Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation gospel speaks to business, technology, and the internet. 
  • The public schools were also impacted by Clapham’s learning lab. The Director of Activities for the School District, one of the largest school district in the area, was involved in the lab. He developed a district project: “What is good literature?” based on the Ought, Is, Can, Will framework, a translation of the Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation gospel.
  • A local college also benefited from the Clapham learning lab. A professor at this college began to discover the integral nature of education and the Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation gospel. He seeks to one day impact the way we educate.