To move forward a faith community will need to:How can we do this? Here are a few tentative suggestions - some adapted from Nelson:
(1) become more intentional about teaching a robust theology of vocation
(2) begin celebrating the diversity of vocations
(3) equip for vocational faithfulness and
(4) collaborate with other like-minded local churches that also recognize the church as a primary conduit for gospel faithfulness
1. Watch your language
Avoid phrases such as 'a secular job', 'ministry' when its related only to a church-focused activity.
2. Avoid this mentality:
3. Pray for those starting new jobs in the church service
4. Pray for those unemployed in the church service
5. Unemployed groups - provide room and resources for them to meet
6. Testimonies from people in the workplace about the workplace
7. Education Sunday - pray for all those in education, preach on education, testimonies form students and teachers. Have a Business, Science, Maths ... Sunday too!
8. Prayer life - review who and what we pray for
9. Preaching - review what topics are covered. Use more illustrations from the workplace.
10. Pastors on sabbatical in a workplace role - or at least visit congregational members in their workplace.
11. Employ a work place and vocations minister
12. Stock the church library with useful books such as:
Tom Nelson Work Matters my review here
Daryl Cosden The Heavenly Good of Earthly Work
Lee Hardy The Fabric of This World
Gene Veith God at Work
Mark Greene Thank God It's Monday
Stephen Nichols What is Vocation? my review here
Douglas Schuurman Vocation after Christendom
Miroslav Volf Work in the Spirit: Toward a Theory of Work
Paul Marshall (ed.) Labour of Love: Essays on Work pdf available here
R. Paul Stevens The Other Six Days
13. Book reviews of the above books in the church service
14. Book discussion groups - discussing some of the books mentioned above
15. Start what Newbigin called 'Frontier groups'.
16. Vocation-oriented discipleship/accountability groups
17. Vocation-oriented prayer triplets
18. Hold sessions on exploring vocation - and look at how to discern your vocation
Update: Amy L. Sherman's new book Kingdom Calling deals with some of the issues. See the website
vocational stewardship and her list of Ten Ways to Encourage Vocational Stewardship In Your Church
Any other suggestions?