Vocational Stewardship

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Steward YOUR Vocation

Latest News

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
Read interview here

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

Upcoming Events

May 13-14, 2015
SURGE School
Phoenix, AZ

April 22-24, 2015
National Vocation Infusion Learning Community Retreat
Kansas City, MO

March 16, 2015
“Talking Points” @ Grand Rapids Theological Seminary
Grand Rapids, MI

Feb 3, 2015
Wheaton College Faculty Development Day
Wheaton, IL

May 7-8, 2014
SURGE School
Phoenix, AZ

June 18-20, 2014
Acton U
Grand Rapids, MI

August 2, 2014
City Gates National Conference
Columbus, OH

See All Events

Lydia Penner: A Surveyor Donates Her Skills to an African Orphanage

March 04, 2011

Lydia Penner: A Surveyor Donates Her Skills to an African Orphanage.

by Kelly Givens

Lydia Penner is a 26-year-old Canadian whose volunteer work with Engineering Ministries International (EMI) is a perfect example of how we can donate our vocational skills in ministry.

Penner received her technical certificate in geomatic surveying from a technical college in Canada, and is currently working on an advanced degree in the same field at the University of News Brunswick. She also works for the company Ollerhead and Assoc. Ltd, doing digital sketches for predevelopment projects, as well as various survey projects like elevation plans for an airstrip. The work is stuff that Penner loves, yet she has wrestled with how her faith interweaves with her work, especially work that is as wrought with controversy as the oil industry.

“I had a lot of reservations about surveying….I thought, ‘This really doesn’t matter. All I’m doing is enabling global warming.’ But I loved the work! I thought it was awesome, but there was no eternal value [in it]. So I kind of struggled with that… just in knowing whether it was a worthwhile profession to pursue. [Eventually] I realized that the world needs oil… we need that resource at this time, so I am helping with that general function in the world.”

As she began to grasp the meaningfulness of her work, Penner sought to use her surveying skills in ways that were not solely confined to the oil industry. That is when an article on EMI caught her eye. It was an opportunity to travel to Ethiopia to work on a topographical survey of land that would eventually be developed into a major orphanage campus with several different buildings. Penner was elated for the opportunity to use her gifts in such a meaningful way. “…I felt very privileged that it was me that got to do it… I was definitely glad to be able to use my skills; glad that it was something…tangible that I was doing.”

Growing up in the church and throughout her time in college, Penner heard little about how her work was connected to her faith. She even began to despair that her work might be counterproductive to her faith. However, through donating her vocational gifts to EMI, Penner was able to get a clearer vision for how God might use her gifting and love for surveying to advance the common good.

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.