Book Hub is a monthly conversation with your favorite authors on timely themes.

Work that Means Something: Experiencing God’s invitation in the ordinary

This Month's Book Hub

Most adults spend the majority of our waking hours engaged in paid and unpaid work. Yet how often do we stop to ask: What makes work meaningful? Do we include our caregiving roles in how we think about vocation? In times of overwhelm, it can be difficult to nurture a sense of vocation beyond just trying to survive. How do our notions of “being called” help or hinder us in understanding our work as participation with God’s work in the world?

February 16, 2023

1:00 – 2:00 PM CST

FREE Admission

Featured books

Calling in Context: Social Location and Vocational Formation

Calling in Context: Social Location and Vocational Formation

"I don't care for vocational books written in the United States; they're too American."

When Susan Maros heard this comment from a Malaysian colleague, she was initially taken aback. Isn't the concept of calling universal? Why wouldn't resources with a biblical perspective on vocation apply to everyone?

The reality is that each of us encounters our questions of calling from within a particular context. In this paradigm-shifting book, Maros explores how various dimensions of social location—including race, ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic status, and gender—shape our assumptions and experiences with vocation. Maros helps Christians in the United States in particular see how ideas about calling that emphasize certainty, career paths, and personal achievement arise from cultural priorities that shouldn't go unexamined, such as individualism, productivity, and meritocracy. She explains how unexamined "mental maps" can distort our perspective and refocuses our attention on biblical insights about calling as a lifelong journey. In the process, she helps us find both clarity and encouragement to explore the paths before us.

God calls all people, yes—but calling is not a monolithic concept. Filled with numerous stories from Christians in diverse communities, Calling in Context invites anyone exploring questions of calling to find fresh possibilities in their own identity and engagement with God's mission. Reflection questions and Bible study prompts are included throughout.

Lived Vocation: Stories of Faith at Work

Lived Vocation: Stories of Faith at Work

Lived Vocation is a collection of short reflective essays based on stories of contemporary work. Together these reflections offer a window into the struggle to find meaning at work today. These stories explore how we come to our work and jobs, the hardship and "toil" of our working lives, and the surprisingly small but powerful ways in which God may nonetheless be at work in these stories.

Author Tim Snyder asks: What if vocation were less about being certain that you're following God's master plan for your life and more about noticing the presence of God as we tell our stories from everyday life? The book challenges congregational leaders to listen to the stories of actual Christians putting their faith into action. It offers ordinary Christians the assurance that they are not alone in their struggle to make sense of faith in everyday life.

The book provides congregational leaders with an accessible window into the lives of ordinary Christians trying to put their faith into action at work. It helps such leaders empathize with the difficulties of integrating faith in everyday life today and inspires them to listen to and tell more stories of their own.

4D Formation: Exploring Vocation in Community

4D Formation: Exploring Vocation in Community

Vocation is often loosely defined, reserved for use in churchy sermons and ivory towers. But with a decade of experience in vocational exploration as a campus minister, Drew Tucker has developed an accessible, empowering model for reflection that centers on discovery, discernment, development, and decision making.

In 4D Formation: Exploring Vocation in Community, Tucker builds on his definition of vocation as "meaningful, life-giving work for the world." Speaking directly to vocational explorers, he equips and empowers readers with the confidence and skills to examine, clarify, and affirm their purpose and identity, and ultimately to experience God's presence in and purpose for their lives.

Tucker addresses four key aspects of vocation. First, vocation is ultimately where our purposes align with God's purpose in ways that are life-giving for us and others. Second, as we explore our vocation, we incorporate the wisdom of mentors, the teachings of Scripture, and the experiences of others. Third, in our vocations our convictions meet our neighbor in need, often calling forth difficult yet deeply meaningful commitments. Finally, much like walking a prayer labyrinth, vocational exploration involves clear practices, yet leaves room for the numinous.

Incorporating wisdom from multiple religious traditions and worldviews, Tucker writes for young adults, who are often struggling with the confusing and demanding task of identity formation, and for anyone dealing with life transitions, such as career change, family transition, illness, home moves, and the like. 4D Formation gives readers the courage to risk deep exploration and an encounter with God in that journey.

What You'll Gain

  • Accessible ways to talk about what vocation is, and how it intertwines with “work”
  • Insights into the journey of vocational development 
  • Practice naming how God shows up in our working lives
  • Nuanced discussion of how social factors (race, ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic status, gender…) influence our experience of vocation

Cultivate Community

Join authors Susan Maros, Timothy K. Snyder, and Drew Tucker to be shaped by the faithful voices of young adults, everyday workers, and others the dominant culture ignores.

Meet the authors

Susan L. Maros

Susan L. Maros

Susan L. Maros (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is an affiliate assistant professor of Christian leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary, where she has also served as a doctoral supervisor, and an adjunct professor at the King's University, Southlake, Texas. She is a past president of the Academy of Religious Leadership.

Timothy K. Snyder

Timothy K. Snyder

Timothy K. Snyder (PhD, Boston University) is Associate Dean of Digital Learning and Assistant Professor of Contemporary Spirituality at The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church.

Drew Tucker

Drew Tucker

Drew Tucker is the University Pastor and Director for the Center for Faith and Learning at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Drew has earned degrees from Ashland University (B.A.), Duke University (M.Div.), and Lenoir-Rhyne University (S.T.M.), and is now in the final stretch of completing a Doctor of Ministry degree from Lexington Theological Seminary.

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