Exploring your vocation
How to figure out what God is calling you to can be difficult. The ever so slightly annoying thing is that there isn’t always a clear heavenly signpost that just happens to be on our particular road telling us which path to follow.
Having a calling is something for all Christians - this isn’t just for vicars! Your calling might be to explore full time ministry – but it might equally be to volunteer on your community, or campaign for social justice.
Inclusive Church is working with a number of partners to encourage our supporters and members to consider what their vocation as inclusive Christians might be.
Here are 3 suggestions:
As a starting point a good thing would be to pray about this – and be open to what God might be calling you to.
Talk to someone – a friend who you can trust, but who will be honest. It might be helpful to also talk to your minister.
Explore some of the resources that are on this page – to help you think things through a bit further. We are really grateful to the Student Christian Movement for their excellent summary of some resources:
Student Christian Movement: Christian Vocation Online Resources
Resources to help you explore the issue of vocation and calling.
What is God calling you towards? For many Christians, this question is the one that can cause the most confusion and uncertainty, particularly for students who are thinking about future direction.
The truth is, our sense of calling never ends. We may be doing something we love, something we know is part of God’s call for our lives, and yet there is always something new to discern, a fresh revelation to nudge us further in the direction of God’s kingdom.
SCM Resources: stories, reflections and advice
Life at University: Theology, Faith and Vocation – read Kirsty’s story about how she was (and still is) figuring out her sense of calling to ordained ministry during university.
The Keys to Discerning Your Vocation – Claire Whitmore from the Church of England’s Vocations Team shares some advice on how best to discern God’s call through prayer and community.
Are You Ready To Find Your Life? – read Janet’s reflection about the sense of giving something up whilst discerning the call to Religious Life.
Other Online and Paper Resources
My Faith and My Calling: an ‘interchannel dialogue about vocation and faith.’ Produced by the Patheos network, this series of blogs and articles features an in-depth look at different issues, including: the big questions of vocation, the role of love, resources for church leaders, the importance of prayer, and faith in the workplace.
Call Waiting: do you feel called to ordained ministry? The Church of England have put together a new project aimed at young people (13-30 year olds) to help you work out what that calling might mean. Connect with a local ‘young vocations champion’, get inspired by the stories of those who were called in the Bible, and find lots of resources on ordained ministry.
The Christian Vocations: test out what you might be passionate about – this jobs search website has a range of opportunities that might be right for you, from UK and international jobs, to voluntary and more short-term opportunities, such as placements, gap years and mission-based programmes. You can receive notifications about opportunities that match your preferences, sign up for training, or explore your gifts through a series of questionnaires and reflective exercises.
S.H.A.P.E For Ministry: a free and practical online tool to help you and other people identify gifts and passions that might deepen your understanding of God’s call for your life. Using the tool will guide you through 5 areas: Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experience (hence the SHAPE acronym). The resource is produced by the Church Pastoral Aid Society (CPAS), so the focus is on exploring the call to ministry, but you can use the resource more generally.
CPAS also produce other resources to help you explore vocation.
Exploring Vocation: produced by the charity After Sunday, this is a study resource designed for groups to dive into some of the deeper issues in vocation. The course is split into 7 sessions, and includes audio instructions, a guide for facilitators, worksheets for groups members, and discussion materials. Topics include: discernment, sustaining vocations, looking inwards and turning outwards. Recommended for groups who want a more intensive, guided study.
Check out further resources from After Sunday about vocation.
The Church of England has a network of young vocation champions. To find out who it is in your area click here
A Prayer for Vocation
Jesus, the Good Shepherd,
May we be able to hear your voice clearly today. We ask that as we follow you, you would give us direction and help us to discern where you want us to go. May you encourage us through the Holy Spirit living in us.