One of the most common questions asked by many of us in the workplace, particularly in the earlier stages of our career, is: “What am I called to do?” And given the range of industries and job functions that exist today, it is not uncommon to regularly ask whether we should stay where we are or whether we should move onto something different.
How then do we find out what we’re called to do? Certainly, the first step is to pray and ask God for wisdom because He gives generously and will answer our prayers (James 1:5). What next? Calling can be difficult to evaluate because it can be viewed as something subjective. How do we do we know if we’re really called to something or if it’s just our preference? Are those mutually exclusive?
Fortunately, while the topic of calling can be very complex and nuanced, God’s Word simplifies it for us. If you were to do a survey of our calling in the New Testament, you would find that our calling is pretty clear. Here are a few examples of what God has called us to:
- “…called to belong to Jesus Christ.” (Romans 1:6)
- “…called to be saints.” (Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:2)
- “…called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9)
- “…called to the one hope.” (Ephesians 4:4)
- “…called us to a holy calling.” (2 Timothy 1:9)
- “…called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
- “…called us to his own glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:3)
To what does God call us? Our calling is to follow Jesus as His disciple — to know Him, to imitate Him as saints, to have fellowship with Him, to hope in Him, to see His glory. (If you would like to go deeper into this topic, Os Guiness has written a great book on this called, “The Call”.)
Therefore, as we face career choices, God gives us guidance by telling us that whatever we do, we should seek to follow Jesus as our primary call. Have you ever used that as your ultimate criteria for evaluating a job? Or, if you are currently unhappy at work, how might reflecting on your primary call to Jesus affect your outlook?
Practically, then, how might following Jesus affect what type of job to take?
As mentioned above, answering that question first requires much prayer. Second, God’s Word is sufficient — meaning that it provides all the instruction we need to live a life that pleases God in every aspect, including our careers — and we should thus look intently into the Bible for direction. God has also given us members of His church to provide counsel according to His Word and to hel pus evaluate questions like how would a potential job impact your ability to follow Jesus in your family, church, and community.
If you’re interested in learning more about what God’s Word has to say about following Jesus and making career choices, come to our seminar this Saturday, May 4 from 10 AM to 12 PM (yes, this post is part shameless promotion)!
Bill Fullilove, a pastor at McLean Presbyterian Church and a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary will be joining us and giving a talk entitled “Christian Calling and Career Choices”. Bill brings a unique perspective as pastor, theologian, and former businessman, and has counselled many people at their beginning of their careers on this topic. You can learn more at the event page on the City.
Filed under Faith at Work
As spearheaded by Chris and his missional blog, we are taking turns as staff to write blog posts that touch on different parts of our vision at Redeemer. One topic near and dear to me is integrating our faith in our work and I hope to regularly write entries under the theme, “Disciples at Work.” Since this is the first post, I figured it would be helpful to use it to answer some basic questions:
Why call it “Disciples at Work?”
Our vision at Redeemer is “to make disciples who integrate life with God’s gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit.” One of the distinctives of this vision is that we seek to make disciples through both multiplying disciples (reaching those who don’t know Jesus) and maturing disciples (growing in integrating the gospel to all of life).
In the way God has ordered our lives, work takes up a significant amount of our time, whether we are in a workplace, at home with children, or at school as a student. Our hope as Christians is that all the hours we spend at work can be redeemed for disciple-making:
1. Work provides constant opportunities for maturing as disciples of Jesus
Have you ever considered that every moment at work is an opportunity to take a step in following Jesus? Work gives us everyday experiences to practice all that we’ve learned and know about Jesus. Here are just a few examples of how we might follow Jesus in our thoughts, words and actions:
- Thoughts – Do we harbor bitterness because of our coworkers’s sins or do we pray that God would humble us and help us to love them? Do we seek to bring glory to Jesus or do we seek the approval of others and to make our name great?
- Words – Do we speak well of our superiors or do we join others in slander? Do we grumble and complain or do we encourage and edify?
- Actions – Do we take time to help a new employee get situated or do we plow through on our own work because we don’t have time? Do we finish a project with excellence or are we sloppy and careless with our work?
I get excited when I realize we can find joy at work because every moment at work is an opportunity to joyfully follow and serve Jesus, our good Master.
2. Work is one of the best places for multiplying disciples of Jesus
There are few places other than work which put us in constant contact with non-believers during our week. At work, we get opportunities not only to speak about Jesus and the hope that we have in Him, but also to demonstrate the difference He makes in our lives as we mature as His disciples.
Who is behind this blog?
For those of you who I haven’t met yet, I currently work as the Administrator at Redeemer. Prior to Redeemer I used to work as a management consultant and then I was involved in a tech start-up for a few years. During that time, God humbled me many a time and used different challenges at work — stress and uncertainty, insecurity, pride, difficult bosses, failures in management, having to lay people off, and the list could go on — to grow me as a disciple of Jesus. I also witnessed on different occasions either colleagues coming to know the Lord or others recommitting their lives to Jesus through their interactions with other believers. Through my experiences I have seen how we can both grow as disciples at work AND make disciples at work.
How can I be involved?
Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave a comment below with questions you might have concerning following Jesus at work and making Him known at work. Also, if you have any experiences and examples that could be encouraging to others, please let me know since we’d love to share those with others!
Filed under Faith at Work