This post first appeared here at the blog of the Hendricks Center for Christian Leadership and Cultural Engagement.
In this installment of our series featuring resources on Faith, Work, and Economics, we recommend Amy Sherman’s Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good.
Sherman’s work helps pastors, ministry leaders, and laypeople integrate the concepts of faith and work while advancing kingdom purposes through their vocations, including true stories of vocational stewardship in action. Focusing primarily on professional, entrepreneurial, and creative occupations, she challenges churches to deploy individuals as missional agents in their workplaces (i.e., those who bless anyone within their sphere of influence by using their God-given gifts.
4 Key Points from the Book
This book is full of interesting, true stories which give the reader a glimpse of just what it looks like to be intentionally missional in a variety of professions. Here are just four things you’ll learn by reading Amy Sherman’s work:
1. God blesses us so we can bless others.
God has given us skills, opportunities, education, networks, and other blessings in order that we might bless others. He wants us to deploy our time, talents, and treasures in such a way that people all around us will get a glimpse or a foretaste of His kingdom. Understanding this allows us to focus on glorifying God while being faithful to our callings, including professional vocation, family, service in the church, and fulfillment of our civic duties.
2. Your work has intrinsic value.
Interestingly, few Christians tend to see value in work itself. Perhaps this is why many churches focus almost exclusively on ethics or evangelism when it comes to conversations on integrating faith and work. However, churches must train Christians to participate in God’s redemptive, creative, providential, and compassionate work. For example, pastors can counsel job seekers to find the “sweet spot” where God’s priorities intersect with their gifts and the market’s needs.
3. There are many ways to be a steward.
Here are just three ways you can intentionally use your work to make an impact for God in the world. First, bloom where you’re planted by being a good steward at your current job. Second, donate vocational skills as a volunteer at church or in the community. Third, launch a new social enterprise to advance the kingdom in a fresh way (e.g., helping direct beneficiaries and possibly bringing about social change).
4. Christians should be like pink spoons.
Pink sample spoons at Baskin Robbins give you a foretaste of the ice cream to come. Like those spoons, our role in the world as Christian is about offering a sample of the kingdom. All around us, people are looking for greater experiences of reconciliation, beauty, health, peace, justice, and other kinds of kingdom foretastes. We become a part of that foretaste when we live missionally through our work.
Read the Book
Like this? Read Amy Sherman’s Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good.