- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: IVP Books; 1 edition (Jan. 1 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0830838090
- ISBN-13: 978-0830838097
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 431 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #307,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Kingdom Calling Paperback – Jan 1 2012
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"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
"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
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.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
“Thousands of Christian professionals sit in the pews, wondering ‘Can I participate in Jesus’ mission—and do so using the gifts and skills God has given me? The answer is a resounding yes…God has a plan that includes your work, and that your faith can help inform how you approach your work” (pp. 91, 92).
“As author Frederick Buchner says in his pithy definition of vocation, ‘the place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet’…Some may need to…be encouraged to ask whether the way they are investing their work time reflects what really matters in light of God’s priorities and the world’s needs” (p. 106).
“A holy discontent is that passion that ‘wrecks’ a person—that issue that ‘keeps you up at night, something in the world you want to fix,’ says the Well’s pastor Brad Bell” (p. 127).
The stories are inspiring! Whether you are a janitor, a teacher, a data analyst or a CEO, this book will inspire you to live out your vocational life intentionally in ways you would have never imagined.
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. Her exegetical introduction alone is worth the price of the book. The words of Proverbs 11.10 ripple impact across waters needing to be stirred. Chapters one and two unpack the key ideas of `justice' and `peace' enacted by the `righteous' and `The Church'. Sherman allows biblical definitions correlated across The Bible to radiate their impact. Justice, for instance, is not simply standing against a problem or for a person. Biblical justice aims to rescue through opportunity finding its target in restoration. Biblical peace is a proposal across the quadrants of our lives: with God, ourselves, others, and creation. Sherman redefines what it means to be a "justice of the peace."
However, the marriage of justice with peace is sometimes obscured by those overseeing the ceremony. The `righteous' can subtract from the meaning of the gospel.
A context in which much Christian preaching, music and books emphasize a highly individualistic understanding of the gospel does not provide rich soil for the nurture of believers who will live as the tsaddiqim (righteous ones). . . . Put differently, it focuses only on what we've been saved from, rather than also telling us what we've been saved for (70-71).
So theology matters. As R. C. Sproul has said for years, "Right now, counts forever." Heaven does not mean much if earth means little. The gospel impacts the present for the future. Highlighting the Four Circles illustration by James Choung (78-82), Sherman refocuses the Christian mindset. God's original intention, damaged by our inherent corruption, finds earthly restoration in our gospel participation. Christians should contribute to God's cosmic plan through wholistic work: a dedication of our vocational selves to evangelism, compassion, and justice. Incarnational theology should be our response to brokenness wherever we are in whatever we do with whomever we meet.
Excitement surges through readers as they encounter story after story after story about how believers are enacting their giftedness for the benefit of others. Accounts of daily work for The King pulse through every chapter, every page. "Christian architects, engineers, business owners, historians, entertainers, photographers, chemists, dancers, sales reps, lawyers and real estate appraisers" (91) have their stories told.
What the individuals and church leaders profiled in this book have accomplished is not outside the realm of possibility. These are people like you; these are congregations like yours (224).
But Kingdom Calling supplies the reader with biblical-practical tools to engage any community. Part 2 identifies how to disciple for vocational stewardship: the integration, inspiration, discovery, and formation of faith with work. God's intention for work has not changed since Genesis 1 and 2. Sin's corruption is overcome by salvation's redemption. Sherman offers the collaborative best of many vocational stewards as they enact their `dimensions of vocational power' (120-26). Seven facets of stewardship are much more than leadership lessons baptized with Bible verses; they comprise the thinking-being-doing of Christians dedicated to missio Dei per imago Dei. We have been given a time and place to live with vocational giftings to be God's hands in God's world.
Sherman gives `four pathways' empowering those hands to deploy their vocational power: blooming, donating, inventing, and investing. The biblical concept of place is given short shrift in biblical theology until recently. "Bloom where you're planted" takes on its original meaning in a Christian context. We should be who we are, where we are, with what we have. "Volunteering" retains its others-centered focus with others-connected partnerships in the gospel. "Inventing" sees peoples' needs and seeks ways toward "investing" where intentionality cushions the poor instead of padding bank accounts. Vocational stewardship, it must be warned, is no panacea. There are pitfalls and temptations to be overcome. Sherman's honesty with each story's difficulties reminds us that we enact our vocational intentions within a fallen culture. Yet the joy of `the city' resounds in each community where Sherman finds believers who engage their calling.
Since reading Kingdom Calling I've been texting and emailing church and academic leaders around the country to encourage the addition to reading and syllabi. Indeed Sherman's book has now been included seminal courses where I teach. We can thank Amy Sherman for a book which demonstrates true biblical praxis: common grace for the common good. And if you come by my office, I'll give you a copy from the box full I ordered. Kingdom Calling should be given to Christians so they can give themselves away. [...]