Get to Know The Caller and Then Know Your Calling

Called to Change the World

I love seeing Christians use their jobs as launch pads into the kingdom. When we leverage our vocational power to help renew our cities and society, real transformation takes place. But with so many needs, it can be confusing to know how to jump in and use our gifts. How do we know what God’s calling us to do?

Here are some steps that may help you discern the unique work God has for you:

First, get to know God and his passions and priorities. A lot of us say, “I want to know what my calling is.” But in order to know our calling, we really need to get to know the Caller. As a friend of mine says, “The more we get to know the Caller, the better our listening muscles will be for hearing the Calling.” So remember, God is the maker of heaven and Earth, and Jesus Christ is about the mission of renewing all things. God is at work in the world to advance beauty, wholeness, peace, reconciliation, security, and economic flourishing, and ultimately, intimacy with him.

Once we’re connected to the Caller, we can then begin to consider the passions, personalities, life experiences, and gifts God has given us. We’re handcrafted by God. He’s given us unique interests and passions, and natural and spiritual gifts he wants us to utilize in this work of glorifying him and loving our neighbors.

When we pair our particular talents, gifts, and experiences with the needs around us, we advance kingdom priorities. We can leverage our vocational power right where we’re at, in our jobs, in the organizations we work for, and in our communities. When we connect our faith with what we do from 9-5, five days a week, our lives help transform our industries and cities.

Here is one inspirational woman from distinctly different fields who are living out their faith vocationally:

Nikki Heckman

Owner, Bistro-To-Go, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Nikki is the owner of a restaurant in a North Side neighborhood of Pittsburgh called Bistro-to-Go. She is an amazing woman who is integrating her faith and work in several ways:

  1. Passion for community and bringing diverse people together. Nikki’s restaurant is located in a transitional neighborhood that’s economically challenged, yet near some commercial areas. Her choice of menu was deliberate: it’s eclectic, with selections that can attract everybody from the business lunch crowd to the guy working part-time down the street.
  2. Intentional design to model transparency and authenticity.Nikki’s restaurant has an open kitchen, which she calls the “fish bowl.” You literally walk in the door and come upon a big glass counter showcasing lots of ready-made meals you can take. Just beyond that glass counter is the open kitchen. You can watch Nikki and her staff prepare sandwiches and soups. She designed the kitchen this way deliberately because she believes in the Christian values of vulnerability, authenticity, and openness. She’s an evangelist at heart, and she wants her life to be an open window. She wants her customers to watch her work and interact with her staff, which sometimes includes seeing her get impatient with the employees, and then apologizing and asking for forgiveness. She lingers over the counter with customers, and asks what’s going on in their lives. She also has daily prayer time with her staff.

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