Amy Sherman is a senior fellow at the Sagamore Institute where she directs the Sagamore Institute’s Center on Faith in Communities. She has written numerous books including her latest, “Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good.” Sherman serves as the editorial director for FASTEN, a capacity building project for faith-based organizations. She is the founder and former executive director of Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries, and currently serves as a senior fellow at the International Justice Mission. Sherman received her undergraduate degree from Messiah College and her graduate degrees from the University of Virginia.
Whether you are a pastor, nonprofit leader or working professional, many have found this to be a difficult season of work. How do we move beyond the exhaustion and reimagine the vocation God has set before us? The Bible says work is good, and it’s good for us. It is a means of worship and service, and we are called into work so that we may be contributors to other’s flourishing.
In Today’s Conversation podcast, NAE President Walter Kim is joined by Amy Sherman who helps us refocus our perspective on work, while we consider the significance of our vocational callings and the importance of our vocational stewardship.
Walter and Amy also discuss:
- How God often uses our work as a vehicle to form us;
- Why there isn’t a sacred or secular divide between work and ministry;
- How we can be agents for the common good through our work; and
- What individuals can consider as they discern or reevaluate their vocational callings.
Read a Portion of the Transcript
Walter: One of the interesting ways that you describe work in your writing is this “vocational stewardship.” What do you mean by that?
Amy: I think we’re familiar in many Christian circles with the idea of financial stewardship. When we use that phrase what we mean is that all of our financial resources are ultimately gifts from God and they’re meant to be stewarded very intentionally according to God’s values and to be deployed for the advancement of God’s kingdom purposes.
Similarly, all of our vocational resources or assets are also ultimately gifts from God, whatever things you happen to be good at, you know if you’re naturally good at art or at math — neither of which I am naturally good at — those are vocational gifts. If God has designed your personality so that you’re a really great counselor or you’re a really great organizer or you’re a really great shepherd and manager of people, those are vocational gifts.
It was through God’s providence that we have had the vocational opportunities that we have had. Ultimately it was God that provided whatever education we’ve been able to have or if we got to apprentice or learn a trade — again these are all gifts from God. And so just like we want to honor God in stewarding our finances well, so we want to honor God and deploy and carefully steward these vocational gifts that he has given to us for his kingdom purposes.
I define vocational stewardship as the strategic and intentional deployment of all of the dimensions of our vocational power — so things like our skills, our expertise, the platforms or positions we might hold, the networks we have, etc. — carefully stewarding all of that to advance foretastes of the kingdom of God.
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- Read Amy’s latest book, “Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good”
- Learn more about Amy and Sagamore Institute’s Center on Faith in Communities.
- Listen to related podcasts:
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