Updated: Apr 22
If discovering gifts requires curiosity and imagining possibilities calls for curiosity, then actually getting busy pursuing the common good requires collaboration. The high calling to do good and seek peace and pursue the common good is a calling that lifts us out of the realm of one-off, solo efforts. God granted different gifts to different people which requires a group effort to adequately steward those gifts.
In this way, pursuing the common good causes us to appreciate and celebrate vocation. It is a thin view of shalom-building that would imply that only pastors or missionaries or church workers get to be involved in the great common good project. True shalom requires the gifts that God has placed in various people in various vocations. We can find God and his gifts “in the very fabric of our calling as teachers, as nurses, as engineers, as artists, and as writers.” It is often through our vocations (not in spite of them) that we can reflect the good of God and his designs for shalom and human flourishing- whether that is by creating beauty (creative careers), cultivating abundance (entrepreneurial careers), generating order (STEM careers), or directly caring for those in need (service careers).
From the forthcoming title The Hopeful Neighborhood, copyright 2020 LHM. This is not the final form, please do not distribute or quote.