Agents of Flourishing
 
Agents of Flourishing
paperback
  • Length: 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: May 10, 2022
  •  Forthcoming
  • ISBN: 978-1-5140-0078-6
  • Item Code: A0078
  • Case Quantity: 28

God calls Christians to participate in his redemptive mission in every sphere of life. Every corner, every square inch of society can flourish as God intends, and Christians of any vocation can become agents of that flourishing.

Amy Sherman offers a multifaceted, biblically grounded framework for enacting God's call to seek the shalom of our communities in six arenas of civilizational life (The Good, The True, The Beautiful, The Just, The Prosperous, and The Sustainable). Because we believe in what is good and true, we strengthen social ethics and contribute to human knowledge and learning. Because we value beauty, we invest in creative arts. Because we are committed to a just society, we work toward restorative justice and a well-ordered civic life. And our desire to see society prosper sustainably means that our business practices seek the economic good of the community while protecting the physical health of our environment.

This comprehensive volume showcases historical and contemporary models of faithful and transformational cultural engagement, with case studies of all kinds of churches advancing human flourishing. It provides a roadmap for leaders wanting to participate in Christ's mission of holistic renewal. Discover how being God's agents of flourishing can change our communities for the better and offer a winsome witness to a watching world.

"The kingdom of God is his primary mission on earth: providing life as he intends—true, beautiful, just, abundant! Dr. Sherman has delivered a masterful tome of how the church has partnered with God in his kingdom work throughout history, along with contemporary examples of this partnership at work and practical strategies and insights for those who want to get in on what God is up to. What a gift, Amy!"

Reggie McNeal, author of Kingdom Come and city coach with GoodCities

"Amy Sherman has done it again! Her thesis this time is that the good news is way bigger than we could have imagined. And the church—those who collectively find themselves following Jesus of Nazareth—has the best chance of helping each person flourish in every area of life: spiritually, relationally, economically, educationally, artistically, and vocationally. Throughout history, parts of the church in different parts of the world have gotten parts of this flourishing framework right, which led to the abolition of the slave trade, the adoption of children, care for the sick, the establishment of public schools and public spaces, and job creation for the common good. Today we can see the complete ecosystem of a flourishing community and the role we can play in helping to bring that about. I believe Agents of Flourishing can serve as the systematic theology for advancing shalom in every community and will be the go-to source for those who find themselves captivated by Jeremiah's word to 'seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you.'"

Eric Swanson, senior fellow with Leadership Network

"Narrowing the perilous Sunday-to-Monday gap may be the most urgent and compelling need for the church in our time. In Agents of Flourishing, Amy Sherman brilliantly presses into the implications and opportunities for organizations and local churches that are embracing a transforming vocational mission for the glory of God and the common good. Sherman's theological rigor and storytelling prowess prompt my imagination to soar and my heart to skip a beat in considering the wide-open door of gospel impact available to the church in our time. This is a book every pastor and Christian leader needs to read. I highly recommend it."

Tom Nelson, author of The Flourishing Pastor and president of Made to Flourish
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CONTENTS

Introduction
1. All About Flourishing
2. The Good: Flourishing in the Realm of Social Mores and Ethics
3. A Strategy for Cultivating the Good: Strengthen Marriage
4. The True: Flourishing in the Realm of Human Knowledge and Learning
5. A Strategy for Cultivating the True: Partner in Public Education
6. The Beautiful: Flourishing in the Realm of Creativity, Aesthetics, and Design
7. A Strategy for Cultivating the Beautiful: Invest in the Arts
8. The Just and Well-Ordered: Flourishing in the Realm of Political and Civic Life
9. A Strategy for Cultivating the Just: Advance Restorative Justice
10. A Strategy for Cultivating the Just: Be a Reconciling Community
11. The Prosperous: Flourishing in the Realm of Economic Life
12. A Strategy for Cultivating the Prosperous: Redeem Business for Community Good
13. A Strategy for Cultivating the Prosperous: Deploy Assets to Build Assets
14. The Sustainable: Flourishing in the Realm of Natural and Physical Health
15. A Strategy for Cultivating the Sustainable: Combat Environmental Health Hazards
16. A Strategy for Cultivating the Sustainable: Address Food Deserts
17. Next Steps: A Road Map for the Work of Flourishing Your Community

Acknowledgments
Notes

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Amy L. Sherman

Amy L. Sherman directs the Sagamore Institute's Center on Faith in Communities, which trains and consults with faith-based social service providers and religious congregations desiring to invest more effectively in their neighborhoods. She is the author of Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good.