Jump directly to the Content

Refocused Vocation

Over the centuries, it's been distorted, but history also sharpens our view of every Christian's calling.

In the first history class of each new year at Bethel Seminary, I have my students talk about their sense of calling. Many of them tell a similar story: "I quit my job to go into the ministry." What drove them to this decision was a sense of frustration and meaninglessness in their daily work. They didn't see their workas pleasing to God or useful in the kingdom. The frequent assumption is that ordained ministry is where people are really working for God.

If that's true, where does that leave the vast majority of Christians, who by the end of their lives will each have spent an average of 100,000 hours in non-church work? Can they see secular jobs as a holy vocation? Can non-church work be a means to serve others, giving cups of water to the thirsty, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked (Mt. 25)—which (for example) parents do every month, whether through a paycheck or in the work they do in the home? Those in secular work often feel like only those doing ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

January/February
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
My Three Seasons of Faith and Work
My Three Seasons of Faith and Work
How farmers, scientists, teachers, doctors, and a furnace repair man taught me to see all callings as holy.
From the Magazine
Are the Arts a Tool, a Temptation, or a Distraction?
Are the Arts a Tool, a Temptation, or a Distraction?
In “Discovering God Through the Arts,” Terry Glaspey says Christians haven’t always been suspicious of creative expression.
Editor's Pick
9 in 10 Evangelicals Don’t Think Sermons Are Too Long
9 in 10 Evangelicals Don’t Think Sermons Are Too Long
Even with recent divides in congregations, survey finds high levels of satisfaction among churchgoers.
close