Archives For Vocation


Our friends at Mission Indy are launching a fellowship program this fall. This program is an exciting opportunity for recent college graduates to learn and work in community.

Please share with any recent grads who might have interest!

Recent College Graduate?
Not Sure Where or How to Use Your Gifts and Abilities?

Don’t just want to land a job, but to change the world through the work you do?
Want to commit yourself to something bigger?
   You’re not alone.

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Entrusted Time.
A Review of

Aging Matters: Finding Your Calling for the Rest of Your Life
R. Paul Stevens

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Carolyn Miller Parr



“I have a serious proposal to make. We should work until we die.” So begins Part One of Aging Matters by R. Paul Stevens (11). This thesis may startle or even anger folks who are looking forward to retirement or those who are enjoying newly gained leisure to travel or play more or just run after grandchildren. But it may comfort others who fear retirement as a loss of self, those who are asking, “When I’m no longer a [pastor/lawyer/corporate officer — fill in the blank] who will I be?” Their only question is How can I keep working?

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)


The Gunning of America: Business and the Making of American Gun Culture

By Pamela Haag

Read a review of this book from The New Republic


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One of the best new releases of this week is

Consider Your Calling:
Six Questions for Discerning Your Vocation

Gordon T. Smith

Paperback: IVP Books, 2016.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]


As an introduction to the book, here are the six questions that it asks (with a tiny clip for each that sheds light on what it means)

You’ll have to get the book for the full explanation of each question and why it is important…

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)


The Justice Calling: Where Passion Meets Perseverance

By Bethany Hanke Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson

Read an excerpt from this book


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Reflecting on Where We are Headed.


Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck
Jon Acuff

Hardback: Thomas Nelson, 2015
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]


Reviewed by Becca Nelson 


“Ever feel like you don’t know exactly what to do with your life?  Know who else feels that way? Everyone.” (238)


I suppose it’s convenient that I chose to review Jon Acuff’s book, Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck when I was right smack-dab in the middle of my own career do-over.  Though it hasn’t been an easy experience, it has allowed me some rare insight into the message of this book.  It has allowed me not only to ask “Is it good advice?”  but also, “Does it work?”


If you’ve ever been bored out of your mind just thinking about reading anything from the Career section at Barnes and Noble, I would still recommend giving this one a try.  Jon Acuff has a talent for making what could be a dry subject area easy to read and understand.  The entire book is structured around the metaphor of having a “Career Savings Account”.  By making deposits into your CSA, you will be able to withstand any kind of career change, be it voluntary or involuntary.  This makes for a book full of digestible, if somewhat formulaic advice.

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Stephen Martin - The Messy Quest for MeaningA Prolonged Conversation with a Wise Mentor

A Review of

The Messy Quest for Meaning: Five Catholic Practices for Finding Your Vocation

Stephen Martin

Paperback: Sorin Books, 2012
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Kevin McClain.

Some people form, at a very young age, a strong sense of what they want to be when they grow up. These people are fixated on a destination, and they move through life assured of their meaning. Such people know what education will best help them achieve their goal and what activities, including employment, satisfies their quest. Other people find themselves in jobs in which they are fully capable, but which fail to resonate with them at a deeper level. They have a gnawing sense that something is just not matching up; they are not quite in the right place, there is more they could be doing. Sometimes this feeling overwhelms them with angst, which may foster serious health conditions or worse, bad coping habits. How should one respond to such people? One response would be to tell them that the disconnected feeling is normal; it’s called “work” for a reason. Humanity is fallen, and work is part of the curse. There really is no escaping that feeling, and so the best strategy is to “tough it out” in the most socially responsible manner possible. Develop hobbies – that is their purpose. Find the job that pays your bills best and push through the misery until you can retire. Everyone has a public self and a private self, and only the very few are able to have the two selves meet. You should not be surprised if you are not one of those privileged few (less the definition of “privileged few” lose its meaning!). The other response can be found in books like Stephen Martin’s The Messy Quest for Meaning. A book written for people like me.

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Amy Sherman - Kingdom CallingGiving Ourselves Away.

A Feature Review of

Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good.

Amy Sherman.

Paperback: IVP Books, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Mark Eckel.

As a reviewer, I decided to put my money where my mouth is: I ordered a box of Amy Sherman’s books and am giving them away.  Amy L. Sherman’s latest volume, Kingdom Calling, is a catalyst for generational change.   The subtitle Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good is the accelerant needed for the catalyst to ignite the transformation.  Countless talk about socio-economic concerns, but Sherman tells the stories of many who are doing, not talking.  The full title also explains Sherman’s belief.  The King is king of the whole kingdom.  The Church’s focus often centers on itself and its work, whereas the work of The Church’s people is who they are, where they are.  ‘Calling’ is that of folks changed by The Call, practicing agents of redemption as janitors, doctors, trades-people, lawyers, coaches, philanthropists, and all the multi-colored gifts of God’s people (1 Peter 4.10).  ‘Vocational stewardship’ means the “intentional, strategic deployment” of a believer’s full person and place “to advance foretastes of God’s kingdom” (20).  Far from programmatic, Christian work in the world is missional only insofar as it is personal: missio Dei per imago Dei, the mission of God through the image of God.  ‘The common good’ involves everyone within our sphere of influence who benefits from our God-given gifts.  Inspired by a Tim Keller sermon on Proverbs 11.10, Sherman now inspires us to help communities flourish by the giving of ourselves to justice.

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838882: Why Business Matters to God: (And What Still Needs to Be Fixed)

A Review of

Why Business Matters to God:
(And What Still Needs to Be Fixed)

By Jeff Van Duzer
Paperback: IVP Academic, 2010.

Buy now: [ ]

Reviewed by Thomas Turner

Too often, a Christian view of business is couched in terms of pros and cons. Jeff Van Duzer, in his theologically saturated business book Why Business Matters to God, reorients the discussion to focus not on the worthiness or ethics of business, but why it matters in the first place.

Building his case for business on a vocational theology defined by the creation story, Van Duzer expands the role of business beyond just being a means to an end for workers and businesspersons alike. In the creation story the material world is forefront and “good,” which for Van Duzer is a starting point for redefining the role of business. If the material world matters to God, then what we do with our material goods?the creativity, the entrepreneurship, the buying and selling of goods and services?is a furthering of God’s original creation. Next, Van Duzer does something interesting. Taking the theological perspective of Miroslav Volf and the creative theory from the Tolkien/Sayers camp, he defines the role of the Christian business and business leaders:

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“Journey Into Wholeness”

A Review of
Pilgrimage of a Soul:
Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life

By Phileena Heuertz

Reviewed by Margaret D. McGee.

[ Read an excerpt of this book here… ]

Pilgrimage of a Soul:
Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life
Phileena Heuertz.
Paperback: InterVarsity Press, 2010
Buy now: [ ]

Pilgrimage of a Soul - Phileena HeuertzChange that ushers in a new way of life begins deep inside. Conceived when personal longings we’ve hardly noticed are touched by a boundless longing too great to be contained, the new way of life needs a period of gestation to grow and knit its parts together. Unfortunately, the old life with its long-established habits looks askance at this unasked-for pregnancy, tries to block the labor, and kicks the cradle every chance it gets. That’s one reason people go on pilgrimage or take a sabbatical far from home: to give incipient change a chance to take root and grow new habits that will bear fruit on the return to “normal life.”

In Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life, Phileena Heuertz reports back on just such a journey. The daughter of a Bible-centered pastor, Heuertz describes growing up in a community where the roles of women in relationships, church, and professional life are viewed as subordinate to the roles of men. By the age of seventeen she knew she wanted to be a missionary. Her vocation found focus at college, where she met her future husband, Chris Heuertz. Inspired by his missionary experience, particularly his time serving with Mother Theresa  at the Home for the Dying in Kolkata (Calcutta), Phileena joined Chris on the core leadership team of Word Made Flesh, “an international community serving Christ among the most vulnerable of the world’s poor” ( In time she also entered into a practice of contemplative prayer and regular retreats which deepened her spiritual life while awakening her “true self”—a self that longed for mutuality rather than subordination in relationship.

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