Called to God:
First and foremost, God calls us to Himself. As Os Guinness writes, “everything we are, everything we do, everything we have” is God’s. All of life is based on God’s authoritative call on our lives. He wants all of us, all the time.
Called to Contribute (Vocation):
Inside this call to God, God asks us to join Him in His work of restoring and rebuilding our world. We are called to contribute—through love and service to others—in every aspect of life. This contribution includes work but also other areas: being a good neighbor, volunteering, and other types of formal and informal contributions.
Called to Work:
Everybody “works”—it is part of our identity and part of God’s larger call to contribute. For most people this contribution takes place in the workplace. The Bible teaches that it is not just how we relate to people at work that makes a difference. The work itself also provides a way for us to do good (for example, the health provider who helps people get healthy, or the engineer who helps design safer vehicles). Work is not the only way we contribute, but it can be a significant place for us to do our part to change the world and make it a better place.
Another way to think about these layers of calling is “Who, What, and Where.” The big box focuses on the who of calling. The middle box is about what God calls us to do, and the smallest box tells us where that work takes place.
- How is this sense of calling different from the way you have thought about calling before?
- What are the advantages of seeing some aspects of calling “inside” of others?
- How might this way of understanding calling make your work more difficult?
This tool was developed for Navigators 20s and Navigators Workplace. Thanks to the Lilly Endowment for funding the development of God’s Calling and Your Vocation through their College Ministry Theological Exploration Of Vocation Initiative.