Vocational Stewardship

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Steward YOUR Vocation

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Read the latest interview of Kingdom Calling here

Check out recent research showing that more pastors are preaching on work. here

IVP says: Kingdom Calling to be produced as an audio book
Release date to be announced later this year

Check out Today's Christian Woman interview with Amy Sherman
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Kingdom Calling awarded Book of the Year
Kingdom Calling was chosen as Christianity Today's Book of the Year in the category of Christian Living.

Connecting Our Work to God's Mission
Sherman’s sermon on work & God’s Mission featured on preachingtoday.com

Sherman highlighted in Christianity Today
Amy Sherman was chosen by Christianity Today as one of the 50 most influential Christian women shaping the church and culture

Rejoicing the City

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May 13-14, 2015
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March 16, 2015
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Grand Rapids, MI

Feb 3, 2015
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Wheaton, IL

May 7-8, 2014
SURGE School
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June 18-20, 2014
Acton U
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August 2, 2014
City Gates National Conference
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Carole Newell: A Cop Promotes the Kingdom Foretaste of Security

August 19, 2011

Major Carole Newell, a division commander at the Broken Arrow Police Department just outside of Tulsa, Okla., is inspired by the prophet Zecharaiah’s vision of public safety in Zechariah 8.

The prophet Zechariah describes the New Jerusalem as a place where men and women of ripe old age will sit safely in streets filled with boys and girls playing (8:4-5). Zechariah’s vison suggests peace and security, two things that were decidedly absent from the Jerusalem of his day, which was defined instead by slavery, starvation, and sin. God used his prophet to paint a picture of what God desires for his people—a world of peace, safety, and joy, free of discord and violence.

Major Carole Newell, a division commander at the Broken Arrow Police Department just outside of Tulsa, Okla., is inspired by a similar vision. She’s been a police officer for 26 years now, but before entering law enforcement, Newell, a new believer at the time, struggled to understand God’s direction for her life.

“Like so many Christians who get born-again,” Newell says, “I immediately thought, ‘Well, I’ve got to go to the mission field. That’s where God has called everyone, right?’ But my whole life I had a desire to be in law enforcement.”

In spite of her initial doubts—as well as a pastor who told Newell that her desire to be a cop was “fleshly” and counseled her to renounce it—she eventually came to understand why her yearning to be a police officer was proving so difficult to shake.

“I finally realized that God had put in me that desire from the time I was probably in my mother’s womb.” At 5’1” and 104 pounds, Newell may not look as if she was designed to deter crime, but she says God assured her that He was using what looks foolish to humans to express His divine wisdom in the world. Newell employs her skills as a policewoman, combined with her gift for teaching, to advance God’s Kingdom value of peace by protecting the innocent and preventing crime. And in recent years Newell has found a way to work for the Kingdom beyond the boundaries of her daily job, making her an example of Pathway Three of vocational stewardship: donating your skills.

Several years ago, when a serial rapist was at large in Tulsa, Newell offered to teach a Bible-based self-defense course at a church in the area. Requests began pouring in from other churches, and Newell found herself with a new ministry. In her classes, Newell focuses more on what the Bible promises about personal safety and the importance of pursuing wisdom than on defensive moves, although some tactics are taught. “My goal is to make Psalm 91 a reality in people’s lives,” she says.

Then a prominent pastor in the Tulsa area was assaulted during a prayer service. The assailant had already committed a similar crime at another church. These assaults prompted church security staff from several large churches in the area to form the Tulsa Ministerial Security Association (TMSA). The TMSA coordinator approached Newell to see what expertise she could contribute. Having worked as a crisis negotiator for 14 years, particularly with people living with mental illness, Newell did indeed have expertise to share. She taught some 80 church leaders in the area how to identify people living with mental illness, how to reach out to and communicate with them, and how to diffuse situations and protect congregants, all without abandoning Christ’s call to hospitality.

“I always start out my teaching with the story of the Gerasene madman,” says Newell. “Jesus crossed a lake, set him free, then got back in the boat and went home. That’s how much God loves the mentally ill, I tell these Tulsa Christians, who live at the buckle of the Bible belt. ‘Stop acting like the world does. We have the answer; we have the power. We are the hands and feet of the Lord Jesus. If He would cross a lake and battle a storm to free a madman, should not the saints of God be willing to do what we can to set the captives free?’”

By Kelly Givens, 2011

Vocational Stewardship In Action

  • Cliff Nellis: Combining Law and Urban Youth Ministry

    Cliff Nellis: Comb...

    Cliff Nellis: Combining Law and Urban Youth Ministry by Amy Sherman and Kelly Givens Cliff Nellis, a graduate of the University of Chicago’s School of Law, became a Christian near the end of his clerkship for a federal judge in Colorado. He took some time off to bike cross-country, studying the bible with all the delight of the brand-new believer. During the trip, Nellis reports, “I started feeling called to ministry. I started thinking about whether I’d stay in the law or not.” Looking back, he sees that as a young believer, he “had this very narrow view: ministry is …

  • Anne Hughes and Jenny Oliver: Realtors Going the Extra Mile

    Anne Hughes and Je...

    Anne Hughes and Jenny Oliver: Realtors Going the Extra Mile By Kelly N. Givens December 7, 2011 As anyone who has tried to buy or sell a house in the past half a decade knows, the housing market is currently in a state of crisis. In the aftermath of the burst housing bubble, we’ve seen investment banks going broke, the government bailing out companies, and the U.S. economy in recession. Foreclosures have steadily risen since 2006, draining wealth from consumers and eroding the financial strength of banking institutions. Home prices have tumbled, and it’s unclear if they’ve hit their lowest …

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NEW! Great short video on Work as Worship
A new perspective on work.

Discussion Questions for Use by Vocational Guilds
Does your church gather members into small groups by profession (e.g., law, medicine, business, art)? If so, invite them to try out these discussion starters.

Ten Ways to Encourage Vocational Stewardship in Your Church
Here are some doable action steps you can take right now.

Small Group Discussion Guide on Vocation
Use these questions to enliven your small group’s ability to support members in living missionally through their daily work.

Annotated Bibliography
Short summaries of helpful books on vocation, for pastors and individual believers. Check back frequently as this list will be updated regularly.