It dawns on me that some who browse this BookNotes blog may not realize that we recently posted a huge bibliography over at the monthly column part of our website. There was a Labor Day reflection, sharing (again) why we sell books about calling and vocation, work and careers, and why these resources are urgent and valuable, for church groups and for individuals. The list is pretty ecumenical, something for everyone.
They are mostly listed in four categories:
-books about the Biblical and theological vision of calling
-books about the theology and structures of work
-books that are more practical about daily issues at work
-books about discerning God’s call into a particular vocation or career
Here is some of what I wrote there as an intro to that big list.
Having a few of these suggested titles in your church library (on on
your own shelf if you mentor college students or professionals) is a
good witness; essential tools for your own toolkit. Helping people
learn about these life changing books will bless them and bless you as
you encourage them. Maybe you can step up to be a bit of an informal
mentor, inviting a couple of thoughtful folks to read about vocation and
calling, careers and work, and see how it goes. You’ll love doing that,
I bet. And God’s Kingdom will be advanced.
If you are a pastor
or work with collegiates, dare I say that not having some of these kinds
of books around is nearly ministry malpractice? Yes, I dare, because I
believe it. Unless you are in children’s ministry or are a chaplain at
an retirement home, if you are a pastor and you haven’t read these
kinds of books and haven’t shared a few with anybody in your circles of
influence, I believe you are not doing your job. There isn’t much shame
in that, mind you; most clergy aren’t taught this in their seminary
training. But you are invited here and now to remedy this. Get on this
train, as it’s on the move. Not a few analysts predict that this will
continue to be a vital aspect of ministry in the next decades.
Christians, especially, long to see their faith integrated into their
deepest passions, using their gifts in meaningful employment and to have
their local church help them with this. It may be a deal-breaker or a
game-changer for some. In fact, the important research on why
20-somethings are leaving your church presented in You Lost Me
by David Kinnaman (Baker; $17.99) indicates that this is exactly one of
the reasons. Additionally, consider the good chapter “Called, Not
Employed” in The Next Christians by Gabe Lyons (Multnomah;
$14.99) if you don’t believe me that this is a passion of some of the
folks who now feel excluded from your congregation. Or come to Jubilee
2013 this February in Pittsburgh and see for yourself as 2000+ college
students show their enthusiasm for taking up their vocations and
callings corem deo, Soli Deo Gloria. Yep, they talk like that there. At least if I have anything to do with it. Ha!
Pray for us as we try to sell these sorts of books, please. We long to
have conversations about these very things. We have inventory here,
waiting to be utilized, dispatched to places where, we believe, there
are leaders who need an easy way to start some conversations and cast
some vision. We know that you resonate with this aspect of our
bookstore work, and trust you see yourself as part of this story.
By the way, just to show you that new stuff keeps coming out on this, we just yesterday got in a new book that carries a bunch of vibrant endorsements and looks useful and fun. Dave Ramsey says of Wisdom Meets Passion “A solid, comprehensive plan for attacking your life and career goals.” It looks great.
Wisdom Meets Passion: When Generations Collide and Collaborate by Dan Miller & Jared Angaza (Nelson; $16.99) is refreshing, upbeat, and offers a good approach to discerning a call, seeking new life and career objectives. I wish it had been on my desk when I was compiling the September Labor Day column–I would have listed it.
Dan Miller is known to some for his 48 Days project, helping folks increase their job satisfaction and find greater success and his down-to-business books like 48 Days to the Work You Love and No More Dreaded Mondays. We’ve stocked them for years.
Jared is his edgy young son, a branding consultant, philanthropist, and blogger. He founded KEZA, an ethical fashion company and works on contemporary issues (in Africa, on gender equality…) They’ve brought their different generational styles and social visions together here in a perfect combo. Bob Goff has a blurb on the back and notes that after reading it and taking in its help in releasing our own unique wisdom a passion, “you might be surprised by what you end up doing.” If Goff might be surprised, well, hold on…
I don’t think you, or the people you influence, want to live in mediocrity. Even in this tricky economy, God may be inspiring some of us to new entrepreneurial projects or ways to find more meaningful work. There are ways to draw on solid thinking and great vision, living inspired by both our wisdom and passion.
As creative novelist and motivational speaker Andy Andrews puts it, Wisdom Meets Passion “is the book you’ve been waiting for! Dan and Jared have created a treasure map just for you. Read and be amazed as they peel back the mystery of tapping into the wisdom and passion that you and I have overlooked for so long.”
Is this just motivational hoopla? Just a whole lotta pizzazz? Yeah, I worry about that, too. But as I skim the cool design and layout, I want to give it a try. And when I look at the pull quotes and the footnotes, I realize they’ve done good work creating an upbeat guide that isn’t about formulas, but not just “follow your bliss” either. They help us set life goals and discern a call in ways that integrates thoughtfulness and emotional intelligence, that brings together principles and passion, conventional motivational styles and more postmodern, youthful energies. They draw on solid sources like Os Guinness and Dan Allander, use interesting citations from everybody from Eleanor Roosevelt to Richard Rohr to Frederick Buechner, remind us of scenes from popular films (from the requisite Braveheart to Dumb and Dumber.) They tell stories of Proust and they talk about Bono and give links to great TED talks. My, my, this is going to be interesting.
Like the others on the big bibliography over at the September monthly column, we are offering this at the BookNotes 20% discount. Order it at our website or give us a call. Thanks!