- A 2013 Christianity Today Book Award winner
Imagine the scenarios:
- a CEO successfully negotiates a corporate merger, avoiding hundreds of layoffs in the process
- an artist completes a mosaic for public display at a bank, showcasing neighborhood heroes
- a contractor creates a work-release program in cooperation with a local prison, growing the business and seeing countless former inmates turn their lives around
- a high-school principal graduates 20 percent more students than the previous year, and the school's average scores go up by a similar percentage
Now imagine a parade in the streets for each event. That's the vision of Proverbs 11:10, in which the tsaddiqim--the people who see everything they have as gifts from God to be stewarded for his purposes--pursue their vocation with an eye to the greater good. Amy Sherman, director of the Center on Faith in Communities and scholar of vocational stewardship, uses the tsaddiqim as a springboard to explore how, through our faith-formed calling, we announce the kingdom of God to our everyday world. But cultural trends toward privatism and materialism threaten to dis-integrate our faith and our work. And the church, in ways large and small, has itself capitulated to those trends, while simultaneously elevating the special calling of professional ministry and neglecting the vocational formation of laypeople. In the process, we have, in ways large and small, subverted our kingdom mandate. God is on the move, and he calls each of us, from our various halls of power and privilege, to follow him. Here is your chance, keeping this kingdom calling in view, to steward your faith and work toward righteousness. In so doing, you will bless the world, and as you flourish, the world will celebrate.
About the Author
Amy L. Sherman (PhD, University of Virginia) is a senior fellow at the Sagamore Institute for Policy Research, where she directs the Center on Faith in Communities. She is the author of six books and over eighty articles in a variety of periodicals. Sherman has served for several years as a senior fellow with the International Justice Mission's Institute for Biblical Justice.
Steven Garber is the principal of The Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation Culture, which is focused on reframing the way people understand life, especially the meaning of vocation and the common good. A consultant to foundations, corporations and schools, he is a teacher of many people in many places. The author of The Fabric of Faithfulness, he is also a contributor to the books Faith Goes to Work: Reflections from the Marketplace and Get Up Off Your Knees: Preaching the U2 Catalogue. He lives with his wife, Meg, in Virginia.
Reggie McNeal enjoys helping people enjoy more intentional lives. He is a bestselling author, teacher, and popular speaker for groups engaged in community service, including the US Military, businesses such as The Gallup Organization, and faith-based groups and other not-for-profit organizations such as the Salvation Army.
"This book is a must read for pastors and church leaders to equip and empower their congregations into a 'Kingdom calling.'"--Jason Bachman, Enrichment, Summer 2012