Thrive Edinburgh – 11th/12th September 2020

Thrive Conference 2020

This conference has been born out of a desire to see God move in the places and people we move amongst each and every day, many of whom would never enter a church building. Our aim is to see Christians live out the gospel in and through their workplace - impacting themselves, their work and our city.

Thus, the theme of the conference is how we can be an influence and make an impact in the workplace. It is aimed at Christians who are:

  • struggling to see how God can use them in the workplace
  • needing encouraged, equipped and empowered to see their workplace as a place of ministry
  • wanting to make a bigger impact on the corporate culture around them and the city in which they work

We are asking ourselves: how can we help Christians thrive in the workplace? A place that is often tiring, stressful, and resistant to Christian things. It is our belief that God is moving within our corporate world across Scotland and we want to catch something of His vision and heart for our workplace.

The Business Connection,  Business Matters Edinburgh, City Vision,  SOLAS and Global Advance USA have joined together to bring you a time of inspiring teaching, great worship and honest conversations. We would love you to join us and be part of the movement. Would you invest one day of your entire year in seeking to make the other 260 or so days at work more purposeful and influential?

Friday 11th September 2020

19.00 for 19.30 start

19.30 Welcome - Dr. Tharaka Gunarathne

19.35 Opening Prayer

19.45 Keynote 1. - 'The call of Christ to radical discipleship' (Ken Janke, Global Advance USA)

20.30 Prayer and worship Session 1 (worship team)

21.00 Networking

22.00 Close

Saturday 12th September 2020

8.30 for 09.00 start

09.00 Welcome - Dr Tharaka Gunarathne

09.10 Worship Session 2 (worship team)

09.30 Keynote 2. -'The opportunity for city transformation'  (Tony Hodges, City Vision)

10.15 Coffee break and personal reflection

10.45 Keynote 3. -'The church as the instrument of transformation' (Pastor Neil MacMillan, Cornerstone, Free Church Scotland)

11.10 Keynote 4. - 'Following God's call into public leadership' (Lolita Jackson, Special Advisor to the Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs, New York City Mayor Office)

11.35 Panel session on public leadership: Panellists: Lolita Jackson Special Advisor to the Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs, New York City Mayor Office, Colin Stewart, Managing Director and Country Head of Scotland at Citibank, Martyn Link, Chief Strategy Officer, Wood plc

12.15 Lunch

13.15 Keynote 5. - 'Confident conversations and a reasonable faith' (Dr. Andy Bannister, SOLAS Centre for Public Christianity)

14.00 Breakout Session 1 *

15.00 Coffee break

15.15 Breakout Session 2 *

16.15 Worship Session 3 (Worship team)

16.30 Consecration of delegates -'Ordination for the ordinary' (Ken Janke, Global Advance USA)

17.00 Close

*Breakout Session 1 A) 'Creating a workplace movement in Scotland' (Ros Turner, Transform Work UK)

*Breakout Session 1 B) 'Survival guide to the workplace in the 21st century' (Ruth Walker, London Institute of Contemporary Christianity)

*Breakout Session 2 C) 'The motivated Christian: believing for better and bringing Kingdom come' (Dr Tharaka Gunarathne)

*Breakout Session 2 D) 'Resources and tools for discipling on the frontline' (Kieran Turner, Evangelical Alliance)



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Ken Janke Global Advance USA

Ken Janke believes that life is enhanced through quality relationships. He works to resource people as change agents and to support people in their process of personal growth.

He believes that collaboration fuels change, and that it works to facilitate opportunities for co-creating and networking. He creates space for transformational initiatives to incubate. Ken has worked in both the corporate for-profit and the non-profit sector for 30 years.  He is the Director of Programmes and Partnerships for Global Advance located in Texas, USA.

Since 1990, Global Advance has provided indigenous training and ministry encouragement for more than 700,000 frontline leaders in 94 nations.

In 2000, the Global Advance Ambassadors Network was formed, which now comprises numerous individuals, churches, ministries and businesses who work together to equip leaders globally. In 2004, Global Advance launched Marketplace Missions with the goal to awaken Kingdom vision and sharpen the skills of Christian entrepreneurs and professionals throughout the developing world. Hundreds of business leaders partner with Global Advance Marketplace Missions through training conferences, business networks, economic development, mentoring, and ministry.

Tony Hodges City Vision

As a Christian businessman, I moved in 2014 from being CEO with day to day responsibilities for the company I had started in 1996, to becoming its Chairman. It had grown to 100 people on 3 continents supporting blue chip employers and touched some 20 million people around the world each year to a greater or lesser extent.

Increasingly though, after memorising and meditating on the Sermon on the Mount, I found myself asking what a city would look like if the Kingdom of God came fully. I wasn't satisfied with my answers and started to pray more and research. I then added the further question of why the Christian business community in each city was so fragmented. In addition, I did not understand why Christian leaders in cities only appeared to have superficial relationships with each other when Christ's primary command was to display love for one another. I observed that not only did Christian leaders generally not have close links with each other, they did not have close links with the Christian business community in their city either.

This all led to reflecting on what might happen if the Christian business community and the church leader community came together. I started to pray more, discuss and research, meeting some 300 Christian business people and Church leaders around the UK in an 18 month period.

City Vision has come into being as an enabling agency to help the business people of peace and the church leaders of peace in a city to find new ways of working together to bless their city. The lessons from my working life of engaging with large organisations, some employing 500,000 people, seem to fit well with the challenges of city size transformation. The encouragement we have received has satisfied me that God is with us in this endeavour to bring His people together.

Neil MacMillan Cornerstone, Free Church Scotland

Neil is married to Louise and they have four children. Together they have planted three churches in Scotland, the latest of which is Cornerstone, Edinburgh. Neil is also Director of Church Planting for the Free Church of Scotland which is an evangelical Presbyterian denomination. Neil and Louise both love live music, good food, movies, books, and being by the ocean. Their life ambition is to see hundreds of new, healthy, gospel centered churches planted in the deeply secular nation of Scotland. Learn more about Cornerstone Church:

Lolita Jackson New York City Mayor's Office

Lolita Jackson is currently Special Advisor to the Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs. Until February 2016, she was Chief of Staff to the NYC Senior Advisor to the Mayor for Recovery, Resiliency & Infrastructure, a position that began in July 2014. Prior to that Lolita was Director of External Affairs for the NYC Mayor's Office of Housing Recovery Operations, a position she held immediately after being part of the leadership team for the Special Initiative for Rebuilding & Resiliency, which produced a 400 page report addressing the challenges and potential resiliency solutions for the effects of Hurricane Sandy. The report was released 6/11/13.

Prior to these roles Lolita was Director of Special Projects for the Mayor's Office. Her  main role was project manager for the Second Avenue Subway construction and Barclay's Center projects overseeing all operational city agencies.

Until June of 2011, she was Mayor Bloomberg's chief liaison for all Manhattan related community issues and interacted with community groups, elected officials and city agencies to assist neighborhoods in solving both short term and long term situations.

Lolita has also worked for Morgan Stanley for 12 years in the Investment Management division, in a variety of roles. Her  last position was as Vice President of the mutual fund asset allocation program area.

Dr. Andy Bannister SOLAS Center for Public Christianity

Andy Bannister is  the Director of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity and an Adjunct Speaker for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, speaking and teaching regularly throughout the UK, Europe, Canada, the USA, and the wider world. From universities to churches, business forums to TV and radio, he regularly address audiences of both Christians and those of all faiths and none on issues relating to faith, culture, politics and society.

Holding a PhD in Islamic studies Andy has taught extensively at universities across Canada, the USA, the UK and further afield on both Islam and philosophy. He is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at The Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at Melbourne School of Theology.

Andy is the author of An Oral-Formulaic Study of the Qur’an (a groundbreaking and innovative study that reveals many of the ways the Qur’an was first composed) and Heroes: Five Lessons From Whose Lives We Can Learn, an exciting and fast-moving look at the lives of five incredible giants of the Christian faith. His latest book, The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist (or: The Dreadful Consequences of Really Bad Arguments), is a humorous engagement with the New Atheism. He also co-wrote and presented the TV documentary, Burning Questions.

When not travelling, speaking, or writing, Andy is a keen hiker, mountain climber and photographer. He is married to Astrid and has two children, Caitriona and Christopher.

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