Rethinking “Finding Your Calling”

9 Apr


“One can think of the Kingdom of society of God as comprised of persons living out roles to which God has called them. Here it is useful to refurbish the old (but often misunderstood) language of vocation. Nowadays the word ‘vocation’ often means ‘career.’ But it has another, richer meaning: ‘the set of roles and tasks to which one has been called by God.’ On this picture of ethics, the ideal is a community of persons each doing their God-intended part (or living out the role to which God has called them). To find one’s vocation is to find both fulfillment and, in an important sense, to find oneself.”

Readings In Christian Ethics, Edited by David K. Clark and Robert V. Rakestraw, page 33.

If you skimmed the quote above, please read it again, and slowly. Maybe even cut and paste it and print it out to stick on your refridgerator. That quote radically changed my understanding of vocation. I hope it does the same for you.

My main encouragement to you is this…whether you are a doctor, baker, pastor, construction worker, teacher, manager at Burger King, janitor, etc., your “set of roles and tasks to which [you] have been called” is what your “vocation” is; it is what you have been called to do. What you’re passionate about, what you’re gifted in doing, what excites you and gives you purpose in life…that is your vocation. Your vocation is not so much about what job you work, but rather what God has instilled in your heart as an ongoing passion.

This all ties in rather nicely with spiritual gifts, and why people of all backgrounds and “day jobs” can actually having a vocation quite different than their daily lives may indicate. For example, I truly believe that my wife has gifts in pastoral care and ministry. She is a stay-at-home mom right now. But I have no doubt that her vocation is to be a “pastor” to people, particularly women, even when her job title might not make that obvious. Even for those who ascribe to a complimentarian understanding of male and female roles (like myself) can embrace this understanding. It solves a lot of problems that can sometimes be caused by saying things like, “Woman aren’t biblically allowed to be pastors.” At a job level, I concur. Scripture indicates that men are to be the church leaders who hold the title of pastor. But women are fully able to not only have pastoral gifts, but also exercise them in daily life.

So what are your spiritual gifts? What is your vocation? What are the things that God has given you as ongoing passions, things that make you “tick” and get you out of bed every day? Embrace those things, and seek out more opportunities to exercise them on an increasing basis. Own them. Do them. They are your calling. They are your vocation.

“To find one’s vocation is to find both fulfillment and, in an important sense, to find oneself.”

-Joel Onyshuk


Joel Onyshuk is a worship leader and seminary student in the fourth year of pursuing his Masters of Divinity. Joel’s goal is to see others more passionately love God and others. Holding a degree in Psychology with a Marriage and Family emphasis, Joel is passionate about people and good relationships. Currently residing with his wife and son in the Twin Cities, Joel can be found frequenting coffee shops and taking every opportunity to play a competitive game of ultimate frisbee. He has a personal blog in addition to providing content for MoreThanABeard. For further interaction, please find him on Facebook, Twitter, or even dabbling on Pinterest (he has one of the top Christian Humor boards on the social network…if you’re into that stuff).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: