Steven Garber asks the hard questions of sustainability.

Praxis Scholar Steven Garber has made a life's work of understanding how people sustain their vocational energy and integrity over the long haul. In this meditation on vocation and responsibility, he explains and illustrates how meaningful lives are sustained by paying attention to the health of our worldview, our mentors, and our community.



1. What do you know? That is, in what areas of life have you gained some experience that is valuable to you and others?

Try to keep people from getting too fancy or philosophical in their responses. 


2. What models or moral exemplars energize you as you discern your vocation?

These should ideally include people the participants know (mentors, friends, loved ones) as well as those they don't know (authors, public figures).


3. What responsibilities do you actually have today? Are you faithful in those?


4. What dreams has God placed upon your heart?


5. What sort of community is required to sustain you in your vocation? How are you contributing to that community?

Encourage people to describe community in deeper terms than just organizational (e.g. my church, my family, my colleagues). Help them think in terms of accountability, mutuality, and encouragement -- what community will help you answer the question, "what am I going to do with what I know?"

Additional Readings

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics, Ch 6: "History and the Good" (p 211-258)

Martin Luther King, "Letter From the Birmingham Jail", Open Letter (6 pgs)

Nicholas Wolterstorff, "The Grace that Shaped my Life", Essay (9 pgs)

Fill out my online form.