Pathway 3: Inventing
Vocational stewardship along the third pathway is a form of what author Andy Crouch calls “culture making.” In his important book by that name, Crouch argues that that “the only way to change culture is to create more of it.” Pathway 3 involves drawing upon our vocational power to launch a new social enterprise that seeks to advance the Kingdom in a fresh way. It is about creating new or alternative institutions (big or small) that implement innovative ways of addressing social problems. Vocational stewardship along this pathway brings foretastes of shalom first to the direct beneficiaries of the services provided by these new organizations. In some cases it can also bring about significant, far-reaching cultural or social change. Social enterprises like the Grameen Bank, for example, which birthed the modern microfinance industry, have revolutionized life for millions of people worldwide.
Churches with significant numbers of high capacity congregants or “halftimers” (professionals at a point in their career where they are seeker greater significance in their marketplace work) may want to build structures for supporting Pathway 3. Lloyd Reeb and pastor Bill Wellons (formerly of Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock), have written an excellent book to help church leaders. Unlimited Partnership offers great how-to tips from these experienced leaders. Click here for a thorough summary of the book.
Want to see what Pathway 3 stewardship can look like? Click here to see how a Christian engineer launched a ministry to provide mobility to hundreds of thousands of disabled people worldwide. Closer to home, attorney Cliff Nellis has launched an innovative legal clinic for innercity youth in Chicago. Read Cliff’s story here.
The principal temptation of Pathway 3 involves failure to listen or to partner.
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