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Kingdom Calling – Vocational Stewardship For The Common Good

Of all the ‘faith and work’ books I have read, I found Kingdom Calling to be the most practical and applicable to daily life.

Amy Sherman structures the book around Proverbs 11:10, “When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices,” and unpacks how the righteous (the tsaddiqim), through a faith-formed calling, can announce and advance the kingdom of God every day through their work. “As the tsaddiqim prosper, they steward everything – their money, vocational position and expertise, assests, resources, opportunities, education, relationships, social position, entrée and networks – for the common good, for the advancing of God’s justice and shalom. And when the people ‘at the top’ act like this, the whole community cheers. When the righteous prosper, their prosperity makes life better for all.”

Sherman goes on to discuss how our culture, as well as the church, has managed to separate faith from work and elevated the ‘special calling’ of full time ministry. In the process, we have reduced our kingdom mandate. Her concern is that many church leaders do not equip their congregational members to connect Sunday worship with Monday work. Even though ministry leaders seek faithful gospel ministry, many are overlooking the vital aspect of vocational stewardship (“deploying one’s vocational gifts and assets for kingdom purposes”). She explains that American workers, on average, spend 45 hours a week at work. That’s about 40 percent of their waking hours each week. So if church leaders don’t help their congregation to discern how to live missionally through their work, they miss a major avenue that believers have for advancing the Kingdom. Yet, God is always on the move, and He calls each of us, in our various areas of influence, to follow him.

After establishing theological foundations that support vocational stewardship, Sherman explores four ways for deploying congregational members in the stewardship of their vocations. Her four pathways are:

  1. Bloom Where You Are Planted
  2. Donate Your Skills
  3. Launch Your Own Social Enterprise
  4. Participate in Your Church’s Targeted Initiative

There’s a chapter devoted to each one of these pathways, providing stories and examples of churches from a variety of denominations and places that are becoming more intentional about equipping their members with a theology of vocation. Sherman shares practical ways that vocational stewardship can be lived out and celebrated by the local church community. As The Gospel Coalition rightly put it: “The reader has a captivating and unforgettable front row seat observing followers of Jesus in various walks of life who are becoming more intentional in their kingdom callings and vocational stewardship.”

Ziwani Team

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