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IS YOUR WORK A CALLING?

Work is the purposeful activity, whether paid or unpaid, that fills your days and nights, whether in the workplace, home, or wider community. Explore the difference it would make in your life, if you thought of your job or career as a calling.

Welcome to All Called

We want to provide you with a companion on your journey to discover meaning and purpose in life. This is the ordinary way people like us come to understand our callings throughout our lives. Sometimes we discover our calling through experiences of joy and celebration, other times through difficulty, challenge, or loss. For many, by discovering their calling they come upon a much deeper meaning and purpose for their lives. They discover a loving, merciful, and gracious God who wants to accompany them on their life’s journey.

We invite you to explore calling through Work in three movements. Begin with the Enter & Experience videos and questions that introduce the possibility of finding a calling through your work. Move deeper through the Engage & Explore videos, reflections, and discernment questions that provide inspiration and guidance for discovering your calling. Be sure to take time for reflection with the song, Scripture verse, and prayer. Conclude by considering your next steps in Embrace and Encounter. We’ve listed a variety of next steps, including connecting to a faith community that can support you in discovering and living your calling today. ​

Enter & Experience

Find Meaning and Purpose in Your Job or Career

Work is the purposeful activity, whether paid or unpaid, that fills your days and nights, ​whether in the workplace, home, or wider community.

​Some people have jobs or careers that we view as a calling, like teachers, artists and performers, doctors and nurses. Many people don’t consider their work as a calling but what would happen if they did. What difference would it  make in your life if you thought of your job or career as a calling? ​

Take a moment to consider the possibility as you watch this video.

Engage & Explore

Find Your Calling through Work

Listening & Healing Every Day

Michele Van Fossen is a hairstylist, and she sees her everyday job as a vehicle for healing the people who sit in her chair. Watch this video where Michele tells about her work.

Restoring Homes, Restoring a Community

Kimberly Renner, owner of The Renner Project, explains how she finds God and her calling through the work she does in restoring homes in her community.

Creating Healing as an Art Therapist

Lesley Holm always knew she wanted to do something creative that could make a difference in kids’ lives. Today she fulfills that dream in her career as an Art Therapist.

Discover How Your Work Can Be a Calling​

For many of us who work, there exists an exasperating discontinuity between how we see ourselves as persons and how we see ourselves as workers. We need to eliminate that sense of discontinuity and to restore a sense of coherence in our lives. Work should be and can be rewarding, meaningful and maturing, enriching and fulfilling, healing and joyful. Work is one of our greatest privileges. Work can even be poetic. (Max De Pree in Leadership is An Art)

You want your work to reflect your unique make-up, to fulfill you spiritually, and to make a difference in the world. You’re not just looking for a job – you’re looking for a calling.


How might you discover your calling at this time in your life?

 

​Watch the video, Discerning God’s Call, by Jennifer Haworth and then use the reflection questions below to help you discern God’s call.

Discerning Your Call​

If you’re wondering “How can I find my true calling?” here are 5 probing questions you can ask yourself. The answers can help you figure out what special work God has for you.

1. What work do I love?

Is there something you care so much about that you want to spend as much time as possible doing it?

2. What are my gifts?

If certain work feels easy to you, that may be an indication of calling. Think back on your successful work experiences – what made you particularly useful? Check out a quiz like eParachute. Instead of wondering what job might best show off your talents, think about how your uniqueness can best serve others.

3. How can I make a difference in the world around me?

Look around. Notice something that needs to get done? It may be an indication of what God is calling you to do. Are there needs in the world around you that only you can fill? Or issues that feel pressing to you? The issues you notice are an indication of your calling.

4. What supports my family?

What you do for work should ideally meet your family’s needs. When you consider potential jobs, think about your current responsibilities as an integral part of your calling.

5. How can I help others through my work?

One way to think of calling is how you can bless others through your work. You can bless people through all kinds of work, including the work of normal relationships. Maybe your career or job gives you the opportunity to care for people in your company, or maybe your calling is outside of work – in your family or community.

(Adapted from “5 Questions to Help You Find Your Calling.” Theology of Work Project. www.theologyofwork.org/resources/how-do-i-find-my-calling-at-work)

Questions for ​Discernment

1. What work do I love?
2. What are my gifts?
3. How can I make a difference in the world around me?
4. What supports my family?
5. How can I help others through my work

Take Time for Reflection in Song, Scripture, and Prayer

 

In Song: “Little Things with Great Love” – Porter’s Gate

This song, written by Audrey Assad, with additional lyrics and melody by Isaac Wardell and Madison Cunningham, is a meditation on the words of Mother Teresa “God does not call us all to great things, but calls us to do small things with great love.”

In Scripture

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:10-11)

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people. (Colossians 3:23)

. . . . clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity. The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body. And be thankful. Christ’s message in all its richness must live in your hearts. (Colossians 3:13-16)

In Prayer

Holy God,
You made me in your image and
Likeness to be a steward of your creation.
I embrace the gifts you have given me
and vow to use them today to serve you
and others through the work that I do.
Bless my work, Lord.
Amen.
(Jared Dees)

Embrace & Encounter

We are hoping that you will continue your journey – growing deeper in your sense of calling and finding ways to live your calling in everyday life. We want to offer our encouragement and support – and a few ideas to help. ​

#1. Engage in daily reflection and prayer.

Start using the Daily Reflection to conclude your day (at the end of Engage & Explore section). Try one or more of the following apps to incorporate prayer into your daily life.

 

3-Minute Retreats invite you to take a short prayer break right and spend some quiet time reflecting on a Scripture passage.

 

Pray As You Go is a daily prayer session, designed to go with you wherever you go, to help you pray whenever you find time, and lasting between ten and thirteen minutes with music, scripture and some questions for reflection.

 

Daily Prayer is an experiential app designed to develop long lasting spiritual rhythms of prayer and scripture reading. Join in prayer and read scripture in the morning, in the midday, in the evening, and/or in the late evening.

 

Abide is a Christian meditation app to stress less and sleep better. Find deep rest as you listen to stories based off the Bible. Wake up with the daily meditations that will fuel your mind for the day ahead.

 

Soulspace meditation app has been created to help anchor your thoughts to the love of God and the way of Jesus. Soulspace seeks to rid the soul of fear and stress while filling it with truth and life. This creates the opportunity for true and lasting wholeness.

#2. Have a conversation with a “calling companion.”

Find a significant trusted relationship – family member, friend, colleague – who can be your “calling companion.” Find time for a cup of coffee together or video chat. Share your story of discovering your calling through your job or profession or career. Share your highs and lows, good days and difficult ones, in discovering and living your calling. Turn to your calling companion regularly for support and encouragement.

#3. Grow through reading about calling.

We have selected several books to deepen your understanding of calling and vocation. Each book offers practical ideas for living your calling now and into the future. Go to our Resource page for the description of each book.

      • Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life – by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
      • Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation – by Parker Palmer
      • ​The Seamless Life: A Tapestry of Love and Learning, Worship and Work – by Steven Garber
      • Sustaining the Spirit: Callings, Commitments, & Vocational Challenges – by Catherine Cronin Carotta and Michael Carotta
      • Consider Your Calling: Six Questions for Discerning Your Vocation – by Gordon T. Smith
      • Your Vocational Credo: Practical Steps to Discover Your Unique Purpose – by Deborah Koehn Loyd
      • Live Your Calling: A Practical Guide to Finding and Fulfilling Your Mission in Life – by Kevin Brennfleck and Kay Marie Brennfleck ​

#4. Find a support group for your work or profession.

There are support groups in your community for people in the same work or profession. Check out support groups sponsored by local religious congregations, community organizations, schools, etc. LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network. Join LinkedIn, develop a profile, join groups, and start networking. There are also national organizations of support group for a variety of careers and profession. You can also find (and build) local support groups by using the MeetUp website and app to meet new people, learn new things, find support, and pursue your passions with others.

#5. Explore a Christian approach to work.

The Theology of Work Project (https://www.theologyofwork.org/christians​) believes that every Christian should be equipped and committed for work as God intends. A Christian approach makes work more meaningful and productive, benefits society and the people we work with and for, gets us through the challenges we face on the job, draws people to Jesus, and brings glory to God.  Explore the videos, reflections, articles, and devotions on their website.

#6. Find support and encouragement in a local faith community.

We want to encourage you to consider connecting to a local faith community that can support you in discovering and living your calling today. Congregations are great places to find a course, attend a presentation, participate in a small group study or a support group, engage in service to the community and world, and, of course, worship with a community of people.

To make it easier to find a faith community in your area we have developed a list of churches with a link to their website so you can learn more about their ministries, and another link to what they are doing to support people in discovering and living their callings.

You find a welcome home in a faith community that wants to support you and help you live your calling at this time in life.