Summer Labs are fun, interactive learning environments where we come together to learn, grow and deepen our understanding of God by examining a variety of important topics.
Summer Labs will be held on Wednesday nights from June - August at the Saratoga Campus. Check the course list below for precise dates and times.
(One Day Labs)
Sunday June 2 :: 1-4pm - This Lab is now full.
Saturday June 29 :: 8:30-11:30am - Just added.
with David + Nina Kim
The Enneagram is a powerful tool for self-understanding. But it’s not for the faint of heart.
The Enneagram shows us our own set of coping mechanisms that we’ve wrapped up in our childhood wounds so that we don’t have to face the truth and pain. Until we’re honest about this, we lie to ourselves and others about who we really are.
Join WestGate teaching pastor David Kim, and his wife Nina (who are both certified instructors) as they take you through the Enneagram’s nine different personality types that describe the nine basic archetypes of humanity’s tragic flaws, sin tendencies, primary fears, and unconscious needs. David and Nina will help you on your own journey of self-discovery, helping you find your own sacred map to your own soul. And through the process, you’ll find that the Enneagram is a very helpful blueprint for developing character - and a powerful way to invite Jesus into the areas of our own brokenness so that we can be healed, and truly help and love those around us.
GOD’S MANY VOICES : Learning to Listen. Expectant to Hear.
Saturday August 17 :: 8:30-11:30am
with Liz Ditty
Do you wish you could hear God speak to you in your everyday life? This lab will help you discover a God who is infinitely closer and more involved in our world than we give Him credit for.
This one-day lab is an invitation to learn God’s voice from the scriptures and then recognize it everywhere in daily life. Author and speaker Liz Ditty uses biblical teaching and relatable examples, reinforced with reflective exercises to open readers’ ears and hearts to what God is telling them.
Only God’s voice in our lives can give us confidence in our decisions and dreams, give us freedom from our fears and failures, and lead us toward the joy of being fully alive, accepted, and loved by God.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT LABS
HOW TO MAKE THE BIBLE SAY WHATEVER YOU WANT IT TO SAY
with David Kim
Okay, so here’s the problem. The Bible has been the most important book in human history, but over that time, it’s been used, twisted, corrupted for evil AND it has been the foundational impetus for nearly every beautiful social movement and reform. For example, the Bible was used as a justifying text by the leaders of the KKK *and* by the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.
How can this be?
Is the Bible really that open-ended? Is it nothing more than a Rorschach test, projecting the ideas of the reader?
In this ironically-named lab, pastor and theologian David Kim will walk you through how to read the Bible for yourself - on its own terms (not on yours).
Understanding the Bible isn’t for the few, or the gifted, or the scholarly - it’s meant to be accessible. To be read and comprehended by everyone from Uber Drivers to CEOs.
In this lab, David will help you understand everything from why there are so many different Bible translations, to who wrote the books within the Bible, to the different types of writing in the Bible (and how to read and understand them, because a love poem is meant to be read very differently than history).
David will help you accurately understand the different parts of the Bible―their meaning for ancient audiences and their implications for you today―so you can avoid the pitfalls of reading your own preferences and biases (we all do this!) into this ancient book. Ideally, you’ll encounter the God who is the subject of this book - on His own terms.
JUNE 19 :: JUNE 26 :: JULY 10 :: JULY 17 :: JULY 24
with Lisa Averill + Martin Woodrow
We believe that God has hardwired each of us to do good works. And one of the greatest gifts of life is figuring out how God’s made us and then using those gifts. This class will help you understand yourself better so that you can better understand how to find real joy in the unique way God has made you. During this lab, we’ll examine your unique:
Individual style and personality
Growth phase and
This class is perfect for folks who want to understand how God’s designed them and how God can use them to change their world.
DATES: JUL 31 :: AUG 7 :: AUG 14 :: AUG 21
BEING A CHRISTIAN IN A POST-CHRISTIAN BAY AREA REALITY
with David Tieche
About a year ago, after skimming through Twitter for 20 minutes, I realized that my teeth were clenched and my shoulders were tightly raised, almost in a defensive posture. This is what reading the news about the world was doing to me. In the words of a close friend, “It feels morally irresponsible not to be outraged by what I’m seeing in the world, but spiritually irresponsible to be this angry all the time.”
What to do?
But even more than that, I realized I had no idea how to even process some of the things that were happening. Is human gender invented? Can it be chosen, like an outfit? What about all the misinformation on the internet? What can I believe? And commentators are saying we’re all living in a post-Christian world, so why is it that the dominant social values are still so influenced Christ’s teachings - things like equality and justice? And why are so many of my friends deeply hesitant of anything even resembling Christianity, but are totally fine with meditation, mindfulness, yoga and other spiritual practices? Also, is the word “evangelical” now useless, co-opted by partisan politics? What word should replace it? Why did 81 percent of white evangelicals vote for a man like Donald Trump? And why do my white Christian friends see things so completely different than my Christian friends of color about so many different issues (Colin Kaepernick, anyone?) It was all so confusing.
In this lab, we’ll have a time of discussion about what it means to be a Christian in a post-Christian world. We want to create a space where we can talk about these issues thoughtfully, do a biopsy on our Bay Area culture, and even come to terms with our own fears (and sinful human tendencies to fight or flight). We’ll examine thoughtful articles and books, and have a place where we can begin the conversation so that we can be at our absolute best (even if the world is sometimes at its worst).
AUG 7 :: AUG 14 :: AUG 21
with Corinna Girard
This is not your standard Bible study. This is more like a practicum, or a “spiritual gym” where each week we’ll learn how to do a different important, historical spiritual practice (like reading Scripture, prayer, silence/listening, meditating on music, confession, forgiveness). We’ll practice them together, expecting that it will be difficult. But expecting that we can grow together.
Each week in our “Spiritual CrossFit” , we'll help expand your spiritual practice toolbox. The point of this is not to earn brownie points with God, but practices that we can meaningfully connect with the Living God. This is not academic. We’re going to be doing this together for the sake of learning how to live more connected to God in our daily lives.
JUL 10 :: JUL 17 :: JUL 24 :: JUL 31 :: AUG 7
with Kristin Lawrence, Dave Larson and Ben Pierce
Success in life, in relationships and in your career is not merely about raw skill and talent: it also hinges on your ability to relate well with other people. We all want to experience closer connection and less conflict with the people who are most important to us (our spouse, our children, our closest friends) but often don’t know how to get this. And it’s not just in our social settings. Even in your job, it’s true, your technical skills might get you hired, but your soft skills - ability to work well with other people - will get you promoted.
This lab on relationships will help you build skills and gain competency in all your interactions - resulting in stronger relationships, and less conflict.
We’ll help you understand yourself, your own triggers and develop skills that will enable you to:
Experience stronger relationships and less conflict
Develop a valued influence among family, friends and co-workers
Be a compelling witness revealing the transforming power of God in your life.
Each session will use a combination of teaching, movie clips, and practical application to deepen your emotional intelligence and conflict resolution skills in the light of God’s word.
JUN 26 :: JULY 10 :: JULY 17 :: JULY 24 :: JULY 31