Amy Sherman encourages Christians to reject the privatism and materialism that threaten to alienate our faith from our work. Based on research and biblical mandates, Sherman calls every Christian to utilize his or her vocation to serve the Kingdom of God outside the church walls.
Sherman divides her book into three sections, first addressing the theology behind vocational stewardship, then how Christians can be discipled into this lifestyle, and finally the different pathways Christians can apply their vocation.
The backbone of Sherman’s theology rests on Proverbs 11:10: “When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices.” She writes that the righteous in this context (Hebrew tsaddiqm) are “the people who follow God’s heart and ways and who see everything they have as gifts from God to be stewarded for his purposes.”
Sherman asserts the reason the tsaddiqm don’t always rejoice the city may lie in the fact that churches often deliver a “narrow” version of the gospel—emphasizing what a believer has been saved from, but not what they’ve been saved for.
The second section of the book addresses the progression believers navigate toward stewarding their vocation for Christ. The first step Sherman highlights is inspiration. Church leaders must lead their congregants to choose jobs that accentuate their talents and help advance shalom.
The second step is discovery. In this stage, churches help believers identify their passions and talents, and then equip them to use these skills well. In the final stage, Sherman specifies several formative personal characteristics that prepare an individual for wise vocational stewardship. These traits include: servanthood, responsibility, courage, and humility.
Sherman’s final section addresses the four pathways on which an individual can apply his or her vocation. These include blooming where you’re planted (promoting the Kingdom in and through daily work), donating your skills (volunteering vocational talent outside a day job), inventing (launching a social enterprise in which you use your vocation), and investing (participating in the church’s targeted initiative).
Ross Chapman summarizes what he learned after a year of listening to Evansville leaders.