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Clues for Your Calling

Understanding your spiritual gifts can help you determine the work to which God has called you.
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Ask other leaders how their calling unfolded and what advice they have for you. Someone else’s experience and perspective can inform your own and help you understand God’s workings in your own life. With that in mind, I’ll leave the final thoughts of this article in the hands of some fantastic leaders sharing what they have learned about calling.

Anne Maclaurin senior vicar at St. Barnabas, Cambridge:

If somebody comes to me saying I’ve burnt out my last vision, I’m moving on from a vision or I have no idea what my vision is, I say—start by serving. Simply serve. You’ll find that you never stop serving; serving is a fundamental part of leadership. Too often people say, “I don’t have a vision so I’m not going to do anything.” My advice is start serving somewhere, get engaged in what someone else is doing, and see where that leads you.

Jeanette Baker, executive pastor in Colorado:

Calling is a process. Calling forms out of many small experiences, typically over several seasons of your life. Be patient with the process of discovering your calling. Make sure it aligns what is true of you in passions, spiritual gifts, and strengths. You may need to grow in these areas; the goal is to discern that your calling is definitely in your wheelhouse. It somehow should relate to what people tell you you are good at and experiences that you want to keep doing.

Once you are sure of this, do not make apologies for your initiative in pursuing your calling. It is good to have clarity of soul and to be confident in pursuing it. What is not good is to declare your calling to everyone: that feels more like self-promotion to people and they distrust it, especially those who are in leadership above you. Speak from a place of humility. Share what you feel drawn to and passionate about. Go to those who have led you in the past or have known you through seasons of your life and ask for their input. When you have clarity about next steps in your calling, seek opportunity to take small steps, put into practice the self-discipline and spiritual disciplines that will be required. Seek books, a mentor, and other learning opportunities you will need to experience to grow and one day become a master in that area. Be willing to put in the hours and work required to more fully understand, hone the skills, and clarify your calling.

January26, 2017 at 8:00 AM

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