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Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good Paperback – December 18, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"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)

"Amy Sherman is a timely and compelling voice to the church. . . . Kingdom Calling is a very helpful read for pastors and ministry leaders who desire to learn specific and tangible ways on becoming more intentional in equipping congregational members for being a faithful presence for Christ in the world through their vocations." (Tom Nelson, senior pastor of Christ Community Church in Leawood, Kansas, and author of Work Matters)

"Amy Sherman's carefully researched and theologically grounded work will serve as an inspiration and resource for churches needing to discover and deploy the passions and gifts of their people to faithfully serve the world outside the church. While targeted at pastors and church leaders, this book is also accessible and encouraging for the average congregant who has come to desire a more robust integration of faith and work, which extends from 'blooming where planted' to leading change initiatives within their existing workplaces and by starting new entrepreneurial ventures. Kingdom Calling captures and adds to the equipping and mobilizing 'how-to' we have discovered at Redeemer and would love to share with churches around the world." (Katherine Leary Alsdorf, founder and executive director, Center for Faith & Work, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City)

"Filled with careful research, inspiring examples, heroic people and epic stories, Kingdom Calling introduces the reader to the reality that William Gibson identified: 'The future is already here; it's just not evenly distributed.' This book will go a long way in helping us fast-forward that future." (Eric Swanson, Leadership Community Director for Externally Focused Churches, Leadership Network, and author of To Transform a City)

"It has been my experience that very few believers deal with one of the most significant issues of the Christian life: the relationship between what they do vocationally and what they are called to do by our Lord and Savior. It is impossible to live as a kingdom servant without considering your kingdom calling. Amy Sherman has articulated extremely well the theological foundation of a kingdom calling and then shown how to practically exercise that calling. It is a privilege for me to endorse this book wholeheartedly as a book that is not only well written, but more importantly one of immense importance." (Ron Blue, president of Kingdom Advisors)

"To me, this book is at the core of what kingdom living and engagement are all about. When the church in the West gets this, we are going to see transformation on an unimaginable scale. Solid theology, good stories and lots of practical application." (Bob Roberts Jr., senior pastor, NorthWood Church, and author of Real-Time Connections and Transformation)

About the Author

Dr. Amy L. Sherman is a Senior Fellow at the Sagamore Institute, where she directs the Center on Faith in Communities. She is the founder and former executive director of Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries and serves as a Senior Fellow with the International Justice Mission.

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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (December 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830838090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830838097
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mark D. Eckel on May 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a reviewer, I decided to put my money where my mouth is: I ordered a box of Amy Sherman's books and am giving them away. Amy L. Sherman's latest volume, Kingdom Calling, is a catalyst for generational change. The subtitle Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good is the accelerant needed for the catalyst to ignite the transformation. Countless talk about socio-economic concerns, but Sherman tells the stories of many who are doing, not talking. The full title also explains Sherman's belief. The King is king of the whole kingdom. The Church's focus often centers on itself and its work, whereas the work of The Church's people is who they are, where they are. `Calling' is that of folks changed by The Call, practicing agents of redemption as janitors, doctors, trades-people, lawyers, coaches, philanthropists, and all the multi-colored gifts of God's people (1 Peter 4.10). `Vocational stewardship' means the "intentional, strategic deployment" of a believer's full person and place "to advance foretastes of God's kingdom" (20). Far from programmatic, Christian work in the world is missional only insofar as it is personal: missio Dei per imago Dei, the mission of God through the image of God. `The common good' involves everyone within our sphere of influence who benefits from our God-given gifts. Inspired by a Tim Keller sermon on Proverbs 11.10, Sherman now inspires us to help communities flourish by the giving of ourselves to justice.

Sherman's biblical-theological mindset gives Kingdom Calling its strength. Scripture sets assumptions. Authors ere when practice drives principle, where what one does cancerously morphs into pragmatism. Scripture teaches, on the other hand, that hearing drives doing. Sherman frames her arguments within the parameters of God's words.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kelly on December 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
In Kingdom Calling, Dr. Sherman addresses a fundamental problem: the disconnect many Christians feel from what they learn and hear about on Sunday mornings in church, and the reality of their worklife Monday to Friday. In many ways, our Christian leaders are responsible: too many either ignore questions of vocation, continuing to perpetuate the "sacred/secular divide;" or teach an anemic approach to faith/work integration that focuses only on ethics and evangelism. With her book, Dr. Sherman addresses church leaders and instructs them on how to inspire, equip and deploy their members to live missionally in and through their work.

Dr. Sherman's book is distinct in a number of ways. First- while many books on vocation are often directed to lay people, her book is purposed foremost to church leaders. Second, while her book is theologically sound, it is also incredibly practical- Dr. Sherman has interviewed literally hundreds of men and women in all sorts of vocations, telling their stories and highlighting how they have practically lived out their faith through their work.

Although I am not a church leader, I found this book incredibly inspiring. It has helped me to see why my work matters- the answer is not simply because it can fund missions or because I'm working ethically and sharing my faith. While those things are important, my work matters because God created me with my unique gifts and passions in order to do the specific work I am currently doing- work that advances the Kingdom and benefits the common good. My work has lasting Kingdom value that I will see evidence of in the new heavens and new earth.

Kingdom Calling serves to address the 'Sunday to Monday' divide. It lifts vocation to the high ranking it deserves, and serves to help church leaders understand how to equip the congregants for the "good work prepared in advance" for them. This is a must-read for church leaders and lay members all.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jessica on December 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
Dr. Sherman's book Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good inspires readers to overcome the sacred/secular divide that is so prevalent in our Christian culture today. With sound theology and countless real-life examples of vocational stewardship in action, Dr. Sherman crafts a book that convicts the hearts of those of us who have too often separated Sunday teaching from Monday work. This book provides excellent tools and wisdom for pastors and church leaders in how they should lead their congregants into lives of vocational stewardship. Even though the audience of this book is intended for pastors and church leaders, I, as a recent college graduate, found this book extremely helpful. As I look to start a career, this book provided me with new insight on how I can use my work and vocation to further the kingdom of God. Kingdom Calling opened new doors into realizing that my work matters because I am using the gifts and talents God has given me to promote the common good and advance his kingdom.
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The good:

Dr. Sherman's work references, supports and supplements concepts from pastor Tim Keller's Every Good Endeavor, - which I found to be a generally sound and insightful treatment on the subject of Vocational Stewardship. Her critiques regarding the dissonance between biblical/historical Christianity and modern/western "Christianity" is spot on and well taken. She gives many good examples of the righteous christian life as it should reasonably render, in the holistic sense, into all aspects of life - including vocation. She absolutely nails the quick and dirty "fire insurance" gospel issues on pages 69 and 70. "But the gospel of the kingdom tells us not only what we're saved from, but also what we're save for." (KC - P 228). I would also give her kudos for giving many examples of every day people "blooming where they are planted" to advance the kingdom. This latter part is the greatest value of the book. That said...

The bad:

Dr. Sherman's left leaning academic is showing as she engages a very worth subject only to frequently conflate biblical concepts and terminology with modern social progressive dogma.

(KC-P18) In the Intro the concept of righteousness and the "righteous" in the biblical book of Proverbs are suggested, by the author quoting Rev. Tim Keller (who wrote Every Good Endeavor as noted above; this quote is evidently from Keller's, "Creation Care and Justice," Sermon delivered 01/16/05) in saying "The righteous in the book of Proverbs are by definition those who are willing to disadvantage themselves for the community..." I have only read the EGE title from Keller and am not familiar with the sermon and context of the statement.
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