134. How to Help Your City Thrive, with Amy Sherman, author of Agents of Flourishing


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Amy Sherman is the author of Agents of Flourishing and a Senior Fellow at the Sagamore Institute. In this conversation, Amy is going to help us understand six “community endowments”—six arenas of life—that need to be strong in order for those communities to truly be flourishing communities. And then Amy gives us some great starting points to help us discern how God may be calling us to contribute to and strengthen those endowments in our communities.

  • Amy Sherman is the author of Agents of Flourishing and a Senior Fellow at the Sagamore Institute.
  • Agents of Flourishing is a response to the need Amy Sherman sensed from pastors and ministry leaders—the need to know how to bring shalom into the world.
  • Amy Sherman explains that shalom is a Hebraic concept referring to total wholeness.
  • Jesus came into the world as an agent of flourishing. Jesus brought shalom into the world and calls us to join him in the ongoing work of restoring shalom.
  • Amy Sherman structured Agents of Flourishing around six “community endowments,” originally developed by the Thriving Cities Group.
  • The six community endowments are:
    • The True
    • The Good
    • The Beautiful
    • The Just and Well-ordered
    • The Sustainable
    • The Prosperous
  • A city that is strong in only one or two these won’t be a truly thriving city. Cities need all (or at least most) of these endowments to be strong.
  • The goal of Agents of Flourising is to help pastors and churches take stock of their own gifts and passions and discern which of these endowments they might contribute to.
  • Amy Sherman encourages churches to take stock of their assets. This might include physical assets like buildings and classrooms, relational assets like partnerships with other churches or organizations, and financial assets.
  • Amy Sherman also recommends assessing the strengths, gifts, and assets of the community outside the church.
  • Too often churches rush to start a new program. Sometimes it’s better to partner with an organization already doing good work.
  • Made to Flourish, together with Amy Sherman, designed a helpful “Skill Mapping Survey.”
  • You can find out more about Amy Sherman at the Sagamore Institute’s Center on Faith in Communities website.


Learn how to lead your church into ministry that matters. Check out the online course, Engaging God's Mission.

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