Tag Archives: vocation

Rethinking Christian Calling

Many well-meaning Christians often want to baptize their aspirations and decisions with divine approval. It’s not uncommon to hear young people encouraged to figure out who, where, and what God might be “calling” them to. Consider three little anecdotal stories. John is talking with some friends when he confidently announces that he has met the girl he will marry. When asked how he can be certain he says God has called him to take her as his wife. Susie is getting ready to graduate high school and decides to go to a particular university. When asked why, she says God has called her to go to that school. Ben works as a plumber. When asked why he chose that profession he says God has called him to that work. Do you see the pattern?

While it may not gain me popularity points I want to rethink this common idea of God’s calling. Biblically, the call of God is used in reference to our salvation and to Apostolic office (see e.g. Romans 1:1 and 1 Corinthians 1:1). Foregoing the second of these, the Bible says we have been “called to belong to Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:6) and “called according to his purpose” […]

On Calling and Young People

I am at that stage of life where, one-by-one, my children have been seeking God’s will for their lives vocationally.  Also, I am now part of a congregation that is on the edge of a Christian college campus.  So I often converse with young people about their futures as they are seeking to answer the question, “What am I going to do with my life?”   I see and hear the anxiety caused by trying to answer that question.

Recently in studying and taking a course on leadership by Terry Walling, I learned helpful principles about calling. Below are five that I want to pass on to you.  If a young person sought to live these principles out faithfully, anxiety about the future could be transformed into excitement about the adventure of walking with the Lord who delights in showing you why he has placed you here on his earth.

Calling is the exciting discovery of watching for the predestined plan of the Lord to unfold.  When we speak of predestination, often we narrow it down to only the idea that God chose us for salvation in Christ Jesus.  Though we are to marvel over this precious truth, Ephesians 1 reminds us that our predestination is […]

The Indispensable Expendables

A good friend told me that upon leaving a congregation he had served as pastor, he had two fears: 1.) That everything would fall apart without him. 2.) That it wouldn’t! Now nearly three months removed from my own pastoral work in Pittsburgh, I can identify.

Pastors are called to pour their lives into the people whom they serve (Philippians 2:17) – We are called not only to preach to the people, but to be with them – through the week, through their joys and sorrows. After having that privileged access to their lives, these dear people become hard to leave! Pastoral affection runs deep. But subtly, what is meant to be selfless service and affection can twist in the direction of self-worship. A pastor may come to believe, without admitting or even recognizing it, that peoples’ spiritual wellbeing depends upon his being their pastor. While telling the people to depend upon Christ, he may secretly want them to depend upon him.