What is Surge School?

Surge School is a 9 month, intensive leadership development program churches use for discipleship and training of leaders for their churches, workplaces, and all areas of our city.

Over 1000 leaders in Arizona have graduated from Surge School and now several other cities across our nation are also participating.  Please contact us if you would like to get more information about implementing Surge School as a discipleship tool within your church.  

An Overview of the Content:

Jesus is the center of the story. In terms of the Gospel message, He is the hero. In terms of world history, he is the centerpoint. In terms of the redemptive plan of God, Christ is the means by which redemption occurs.

As we examine the Gospel (or the good news of Jesus) and appropriate it to our lives, it is important that we have a robust understanding not only of the message of the Gospel, but also of the power of the Gospel in our lives. Surge School is a training tool designed to give you biblical lenses to see your life in the context of the greater work that God is doing in creation and also the specific work that God is doing in you to be a blessing to your world and show His love to those he brings along your path.

Your study will progress through four main stages of understanding and applying the Gospel. The first will focus on the Gospel story and finding your place in the drama of the biblical narrative. This is a macro view of God’s big story.

Second, we will focus in on the application of the Gospel to our hearts and lives as the Holy Spirit continues to shape our thinking, attitude and actions through His Word.

Third, we will seek to develop a view of the larger purpose of God’s People in the mission that God has given to us for as long as we have breath in our lungs.

Lastly, we will examine the Kingdom value of our vocation. This last section will help us to develop an understanding of our calling as Christ-centered people working in various locations and vocations.

Learning Environments:

1. Individual Study. Every participant is responsible to read the material in the books and reader.

2. Surge Table. This is the primary learning environment for Surge. It is a weekly meeting where participants discuss the reading and bring out the implications for life and leadership. Participants are challenged by their table leader and others at their table to live out the implications of the gospel.

3. Intensives. There will be 4 intensives throughout the year. These are an important classroom-learning environment for Surge. The intensives feature first-rate scholars and front-line church leaders from around the country.

Core Distinctives

1. Theological Vision of Leadership. While the Surge school is not linked with any one denomination or theological school, we do ground our leadership in a robust theology. Surge has been influenced by and is in some ways a collaboration of the thought of Mike Goheen, Chris Wright, and Tim Keller.

2. Local Church Based. Surge is not a para-church ministry. We do not train leaders for your churches. Surge is simply a structure that local church pastors and elders use to work together to train leaders within our local churches. In order for Surge to start in a new church, a senior leader must first go through a Surge Turbo Table.

3. Holistic Education. Surge is not simply the acquisition of information. It is not less than that, but more. Surge contains three specific learning environments in which each student must participate. Together these environments provide a context for all-of-life discipleship.

4. Strategic Curriculum. The curriculum for Surge is based on a four-quarter system, in which the content of each quarter builds on the previous one and follows a big-small-big-small motif:

Quarter 1: Gospel Story  - The Drama of Scripture by Mike Goheen

Quarter 2: Gospel and Heart  - Gospel Fluency by Jeff Vanderstelt

Quarter 3: Gospel Mission - Mission of God's People by Chris Wright

Quarter 4: Gospel Calling  - Every Good Endeavor By Timothy Keller

Having established a foundation in the Grand Story of the Bible (Q1), we seek to apply the gospel to our own hearts (Q2). We then ask what the specific mission of God’s people is in (Q3) before finally talking about how to faithfully lead in light of all we’ve learned in our vocations and neighborhoods (Q4).