God has uniquely created each person to fulfill a special purpose here on earth. Do you know what your purpose is? Are you engaged in fulfilling that calling?
There are many articles written about knowing and following ones calling. Different people use calling to mean different things. So there is some confusion on the subject.
Os Guiness in his book, The Call, presents two distinct types of calls – primary, and secondary. Our primary calling is to follow Christ. There are a number of secondary callings which grow out from the primary call. Among them: the call to family; the call to church; the call to community; and, the call to vocation.
The call to vocation will be explored further in this article. Vocation is the call to God’s service in and through ones work. The believer’s work carries significance beyond the mere product of one’s labor. God is honored as much in the process of doing the work as in the product which is produced. All of a person’s effort has the potential to be done to God’s glory and should not be divided into secular and sacred. See Is “Tent-Making” Enough to Create Real, Christ-Honoring Value for the Community?
Over the course of a lifetime one may have different careers and jobs, but God’s calling stays the same. God created you to be the person you are with the passions, skills and work styles you have. They are all available to be used to honor Him and build His Kingdom. You are who you are in order to contribute to the family of God and be part of a community.
As such, the community has a stake in how well you practice your vocation within it. Wise friends and leaders can help identify and give expression to your vocational calling.
There are a number of tools available to help learn more about one’s gifting and equipping. Strengthsfinder TM and tests used by career counselors like the Abilities Potential Test are two of them. The DISC instrument can help identify different work styles. Together they can help identify areas of strength and weakness. Readers are encouraged to explore them and learn from them.
Ultimately, the decision comes down to listening to what God is saying to you personally. Tests and counsel from others can help affirm that calling, but you will know better than anyone else what best fits how God prepared you. One of the best exercises for revealing this calling is to reflect on one’s personal life history and experiences.
- Get a pen and paper. Think back through your life experiences.
- Identify at least three things you did really well, and enjoyed.
- Reflect on what you did. Why you did it. How did it satisfy you?
- Share what you are learning with trusted friends and relatives. Then listen carefully to their feedback.
- What patterns or trends emerge?
- Make a plan to take what you have learned about yourself and how you will use it to pursue your calling. Write it down.
- Re-visit what you have written periodically, and update where you are and any new insights you have gained about how God wants to use you.
God has a special job that only you can do. Being disciplined in identifying and planning the pursuit of one’s calling will reap big dividends all through life.
* * *
One of the best biblically based plans the author has seen for identifying and building on ones calling is, GPS (God’s Plan for Significance) Life Journey http://www.gpslifejourney.com/. It is relatively new and may not be available in all areas. It takes the person through a process from identifying their calling to creating a plan for fulfilling it.
If you would like to discuss the topic of vocation further with Global Opportunities, or explore your own calling, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.