Here's an excerpt from my paper, A Case Study in Practical Theology, Addressing Economic Violence Towards Women: Three Considerations, which will be presented at the Society of Pentecostal Studies, in Los Angeles.
A working theological female anthropology served as a theological motivation that calibrated our applied economic wisdom. Broadly speaking economist talk about the notion of homo economicus as a concept of viewing human beings as rational and self-interested individuals who purse wealth solely by maximizing outcomes. It is considered to be first used by John Stuart Mills in 1836, in an essay “On the definition of Political Economy and on the method of investigation proper to it". Where he states,
"[Political economy] does not treat the whole of man’s nature as modified by the social state, nor of the whole conduct of man in society. It is concerned with him solely as a being who desires to possess wealth, and who is capable of judging the comparative efficacy of means for obtaining that end." 
Adam Smith states, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” As much debated as this concept is and that many sociologist, psychologists and economists argue that there are structural impediments to why self-interest is not carried out or simply disagree with the anthropological construction. The reality is though most economic life is based on this notion.
A significant pastoral challenge arises when working with these women through an “economic salvation experience”, if you will, which is one moving them from homo economicus, “I work to survive” to a homo imago Dei reality of “I am made in the image of God and I have a part of a flourishing in this world”. Brian Fikkert, of the Chalmers Center states, “…Economic exchange is essential for human flourishing, enabling humans to specialize according to their individual gifts and callings in order to jointly steward God’s creation.” Helping these three women to think deeply and spiritually about how they are made in the homo imago dei and the image contribution looks like in an economic exchange for their flourishing of their families. This has been a turning point not only in their practical economic life but in their spiritual formation.
Much of our historical understanding of the imago dei has been built around male identity and then described in language of “subduing” the earth. This is been a pastoral blind spot for myself because I have never really thought about female notions of imago dei until I came to this point with these three women. This experience has forced me to think differently and see imago dei in terms of relationship. Megan DeFranza notes,
"Although he was not the first to do so, Karl Barth (1886-1968) is often credited for challenging the traditional interpretations of the imago Dei. Rather than understanding the image as the soul’s ability to reason, or human responsibility to rule over creation, Barth looked to the creation of Adam and Eve as a symbolic picture, an image of the Trinity. In Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make humankind in our image,” and then what does God make? Not one but two, a man and a woman, who are to “become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24 NRSV). Just as God is a plurality and unity, three in one, so humankind, created in God’s image, exists as two who are called to become one. Thus, after Barth, we find that human sex difference and human sexuality (the means by which these two become one) are being taken up into theological accounts of what it means to be made in the image of God."
Mary McClintock Fulkerson notes that the image of God is a weighty doctrine because “the image is a symbolic condensation of what in the Christian tradition means to be fully human. In important respects the imago Dei can serve as an index of whom the tradition has seen as fully human.” Such a thought is a pastoral reality check and especially important for Pentecostal praxis in church life. As Joy Qualls, of Biola University recounts us, “In the early years, Pentecostalism was committed to all people as equal participants specially the marginalized. Women, the poor, those with little formal education, people of color worked and worship with people of financial means and cultural status. Each had a place in an obligation and spreading the Pentecostal message”.
As we were given pastoral permission to be involved at a deeper detail of these women’s lives, we began to see the subversive nature of what we were attempting to do. I remember clearly there was a time in reflection where I came to grips that it is not enough to care for the spiritual and emotional life we must have direct intervention and these women’s economic life. One of the matriarchs of our modern Pentecostal movement Cheryl Bridges John’s notes that Pentecostalism is subversive and revolutionary movement, had a dual prophetic role: denouncing the dominant patterns of the status quo and announcing the patterns of God’s order. These women benefited greatly when we begin to operationalize these new patterns of God’s order.
 Mill, John Stuart. "On the Definition of Political Economy, and on the Method of Investigation Proper to It," Essays on Some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy.
 Smith, Adam. “On the Division of Labour,” The Wealth of Nations, Books I–III. 1986
 Brian Fikkert and Michael Rhodes, "Homo Economicus Versus Homo Imago Dei," Journal of Markets & Morality 20, no. 1 (Spring 2017
 DeFranza, Megan K. Sex Difference in Christian Theology: Male, Female, and Intersex in the Image of God, 2015.
 Mary McClintock Fulkerson, “The Imago Dei and a Reformed Logic for Feminist/Womanist Critique,” in Feminist and Womanist Essays in Reformed Dogmatics, 95.
 Qualls, Joy E. God Forgive Us for Being Women: Rhetoric, Theology, and the Pentecostal Tradition, 2018.
 Johns, Cheryl B. "The Adolescence of Pentecostalism: In Search of a Legitimate Sectarian Identity." Pneuma 17, no. 1 (1995)
A Case Study in Practical Theology, Addressing Economic Violence Towards Women: Three Considerations.
For a decade, I have been a member of the Society for Pentecostal Studies and have enjoyed the unique mix that is church wo/men and traditional ivy league Ph.D. scholars. In 2020, the conference theme is "This is My Body": Addressing Global Violence Against Women, as I thought about the theme I began to realize that we at Victory Church live in highly military area and address this issue head on and we've had a few successes in this area.
I think and write on theology and economics not women's issues. Though I'm experiencing and seeing there's real economic violence towards women and I should probably explore this space...
I haven't written this paper yet but here's my opening thoughts. If you have any research on this I'd love to see it. Enjoy.
A Case Study in Practical Theology, Addressing Economic Violence Towards Women: Three Considerations.
Presentation Synopsis *
Statement of Problem. Modern pastoral leadership's portfolio has expanded immensely. Such expansion has exposed a gap in both pastoral leaderships economic wisdom, and a theological calibration as applied to economies of scale in public ministry. Ethnographically, women continue to be silenced victims of economic violence in that they are not included in market activities thus structurally isolated from participation.
Scope. This paper is a case study in applied practical theology toward economic violence to women. Over the past two years our church has learned lessons in applying theological reflection to three foundational economic principles: scarcity, efficiency and sovereignty in three different women's dangerous situations.
Discussion of Methodology. Reflecting on ethnographic "going native" methodologies, our church has seen women's lives in desperate need of theological navigation within the modern economic terrain. When employing scarcity, efficiency and sovereignty our church has been able to bring women out of economic exile where they are now market active.
Tentative Conclusion. Though we have been successful in three women's lives our church has learned that liberal economies of scale are unstable and fluid. When thinking theologically about scarcity, efficiency and sovereignty market forces can be anticipated but not in economies of scale. A contextualized theology of suffering has been discovered as we navigate creating markets of opportunity.
Here's a talk that I gave on "Discipleship for Busy Pastors" for Dr. Svetlana Papazov, the lead pastor and founder of Real Life Church and Real Life Center for Entrepreneurial and Leadership Excellence. Dr. Papazov is also a City Leader for Made to Flourish, a network of pastors addressing faith, work and economics. It was a joy and privilege!
The Pastoral Task
Thus far in 2019, I have considered one major question, "What is the task of pastoral work?" In other words, what should pastors be doing? Pastoral job descriptions are often thought of in three categories: the preacher, the counselor, and the leader. Which is fine but I think there's something more here.
Right or Wrong, I have come to the conclusion that the #1 task of a pastor is to love people. It's that simple and yet that powerful.
I often think of Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:1,"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal." In short if pastors don't love people then they basically have lost their ministry. They can probably preach and lead well, but if they really don't love people, they really aren't leading people.
I am struck by the power of love. Love takes on many, many forms and shows itself in unique ways. I love public intellectual Charlie Self's definition of work, "All meaningful and moral activity apart from leisure and rest." When we think of work we often think of it as only narrow economic constraints of time traded for money. Though pastoral work goes beyond a paycheck. It's investing in people's lives.
Sometimes love is work and sometimes work is love.
Many times in pastoral "work" it's "work" to love people. Once in while you'll land in a great church were people are awesome, like Victory Church, my Victors are beautiful people. They love to be loved. I'm reminded of 1 Peter 3:8 when he states, "Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble." I've learned to give people the benefit of the doubt.
You really don't know the kind of pain that people are living in. Believe me it's a lot.
In an age when pastors are bombarded with organizational leadership and business culture, all of which is important, we simply cannot get in the way of real people needing real love. I'm challenged by Luke's words in Acts 20:28, "Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood." This scripture sits deep in me for a number of reasons here's three reasons why sometimes love is work and work is love:
Three Reasons Work is Love
1.) People Don't Know How to Love. I have come the conclusion that most people don't know how to receive love because they have never really been loved. It's really hard for people to trust others who are motivated by Jesus commandment to love one another (John 13:34-35). When people open their heart it's a sacred act and a real privilege for pastors.
2.) People are Broken. I continue to be amazed at the level of emotional heaviness that people have absorbed. I'm even more amazed how sensitive and how many trigger points people have due to unresolved unforgiveness and pain. I break when people have little to no tools to be able to address brokenness and loss. It's painful to watch. Scott Hagan of Northcentral University says it best, "The love pressing in must be stronger than the pain pushing out."
3.) People Need Attention. In our digital age of hyper-connectivity of social media its ironic that people have more "friends" yet more and more people are experiencing increased loneliness. People aren't craving click friends; people are craving attention from real people. Real relationships. Real friends. Real love.
I'm growing. I'm learning. I'm growing and learning that real work is real love. Sometimes love is work and I'm ready to work. A former professor of mine said it the best, "You can't lead the people if you don't love the people" (Cornell West).
Pastors let's get loving. I mean get to work.
"May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands."
~ Proverbs 90:17
The more I pastor, the more and more it is becoming real to me that real life discipleship does not happen in our church building. Real life discipleship happens at work. (Sometimes it bothers me, because our church building is modern and gorgeous. Though we leverage it well as it is home to the Victory School, a selective preschool, that's all techie, fun and full of love.)
Here's some social media posts on a few of my Victors (what we call people who attend Victory Church) at work. As a pastor, it is vital to understand the context of how their faith is worked out in the day to day reality of where they spend their time.
Where's that? At work.
So what do I actually do when I am at work with them. If I can I actually work. I move stuff, grab paperwork, visit customers but mostly it's understanding the daily life of our Victors. At bottom, I'm watching God at work. Amen.