Resources

We love to learn and to facilitate learning for others here at Regent Exchange! We hope the curated resources here will help inform and inspire you in your exploration of vocation and contributing to the common good. Check back for more resources in the future as we continue to learn and grow.

How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church

C. Christopher Smith

In an age of technological distraction and rampant individualism, Chris Smith notes that we have lost the vital art of conversation. Smith argues that just as the different parts of a healthy human body communicate well for the flourishing of the whole, so must the members of the body of Christ learn to talk together, listen carefully to one another and have healthy conversations in order to promote the flourishing of all, foster a sense of belonging, and ultimately bear witness to the loving character of God. Beginning with the theological foundations of conversation, Smith goes on to provide practical guidance, helpful insights and wise counsel for churches who wish to develop the practice of conversation. Anyone who reads this book cannot help but be challenged by its inspiring, thought-provoking content. Smith has also produced a conversation guide to accompany the book which enables groups to discuss key themes in greater detail. It is available for free at: http://c-christopher-smith.com/how-the-body-of-christ-talks/

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The Stories We Live: Finding God’s Calling All Around Us

Kathleen A. Cahalan

In this compact yet compelling book Cahalan explores the topic of Christian vocation in a fresh, new way through the use of prepositions. Using these little words, she shows that vocation is actually all about connecting our stories with God’s story. Through biblical texts and personal stories, Cahalan thoughtfully discusses how we are called by God, to follow, as we are, from grief, for service, in suffering, through others, within God. By reframing vocation in this way, Cahalan demonstrates how it connects to all aspects of our life, no matter what season we may find ourselves in. This profound and at times very poignant book invites us to reconsider the concept of Christian vocation as a holistic, dynamic vision of God’s calling in our lives.

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Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus

C. Christopher Smith and John Pattison

We are living in a high-speed world: fast food, fast cars, fast internet...even fast church! Living in a culture of speed leads to consumerism, dehumanizing efficiency, isolation and an emphasis on quantity rather than quality. Into this bleak picture, Smith and Pattison speak a message of hope and challenge to the church to live life at a different pace. Taking inspiration from the Slow Food movement, Slow Church explores ways in which the people of God can realign themselves with kingdom values such as savoring the goodness of God, intentionally committing to one community, seeking the holistic flourishing of all things, partnering with God’s reconciling mission through our daily work, living out of abundance rather than scarcity, being a people of deep gratitude, and practicing radical hospitality. This book invites us to experience God’s transforming power in our everyday lives and reminds us that we need to slow down so that we don’t miss God at work right on our doorsteps!

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Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good

Steve Garber

This rich yet accessible book is centered on the premise that we are all called to be ‘common grace for the common good’ and that as such, the question of vocation is integral – not incidental – to the mission of God. As he explores what this means for us in our contemporary context, Garber asks the age old question: ‘can we know the world, and still love it?’ By telling us stories about his ‘community of friends’, Garber broadens our vision of what it looks like to be a people who follow the invitation of Jesus to ‘come and see’ and so learn the truth of what it looks like to connect what one believes to how one lives ‘in and through’ ones’ vocation.

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Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good

Amy Sherman

Sherman’s book provides a great starting point for anyone – pastor or layperson – seeking to understand what it means to steward our vocations well. Given that we spend 95 per cent of our lives out in the world, it is crucial, says Sherman, that churches promote a right understanding of the theology of vocation and the inherent value of our work as people called by God to partner with him in the healing of all of Creation. Drawing on real life examples from around the world and reflecting a myriad of vocations, Sherman provides us with an invigorating and yet wholly accessible vision of what it looks like for the tsadiqqim, the ‘just and righteous’ of God, to be fully alive and equipped in their vocation in such a way that their prosperity leads to prosperity and grace for the common good.

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Courage and Calling: Embracing Your God-Given Potential

Gordon T. Smith

This book communicates clear and practical insights on discerning God’s call in our lives. After explaining that God’s call on our lives belongs within His call to himself, Smith argues that we must first know who we are (our gifts, desires, perception of needs of the world, unique personalities) to seek congruence with who God has called us to be. He narrates the challenges we face throughout the seasons of our lives, while recognizing the dynamic nature of calling. He identifies five things authentic vocation should involve, the obstacles to fulfilling one’s call, and the essential capabilities involved with thinking vocationally. He argues we must be people of courage to embrace our God-given vocation and goes on to offer several qualifiers of courage. Finally, he identifies four additional points of leverage that can help our vocational stewardship - continuous learning, resilience, the organizations we are a part of, and the routine and rhythm of our lives.

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How Your Congregation Learns: The Learning Journey from Challenge to Achievement

Tim Shapiro

This book is a practical guide for guiding congregations through the learning journey. According to Shapiro, learning congregations facilitate the development of new abilities in its clergy and laity to improve its capacity to address ever-increasing demands for the sake of its religious claims and commitments. Shapiro takes the reader through eight stages of the learning journey and provides frameworks for understanding developmental learning. Each chapter draws on congregational examples and concludes with a succinct list of phenomena for diagnosing whether a congregation is in a particular stage, questions to consider, and things to do amidst a particular stage.

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ReFrame

Regent College, in association with The Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation & Culture

Our lives are increasingly complex and so is our modern world. As a result, Christians often struggle to connect what they believe with what they do day by day. ReFrame addresses this challenge through a 10-week, film-based series that helps Christians connect faith with all of life; whether that be tending a garden, caring for children, pastoring a church, or negotiating a business deal. The now open-access series of videos combines the best elements of Regent College’s graduate curriculum, with relevant examples, stories, questions, and exercises for engaging the complexity of our daily experience. ReFrame is not simply an intellectual exercise. Its primary goal is to help Christians open their eyes to see Jesus in new ways and then be filled with joy and confidence to live every aspect of life fully for him.

ReFrame is available to watch via streaming at reframecourse.com or on Vimeo. You can also download PDF leadership guides, participant guides, and the full course videos here. 

Printed guides and DVDs are available for purchase using the links below:

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