What Does “Find Your Calling” Really Mean?

This idea of “finding your calling” has been a thing in churches for some time. Maybe you’ve heard, “It’s not a job, it’s a calling,” in reference to pastoral positions. Or maybe you’re unhappy in your job and you’ve been given the very helpful advice, “you just have to find your calling.” Maybe you’ve seen youth in your church struggle and stress as they choose a college major, trying to figure out what their calling is in life. It’s a big deal, finding your calling.

Find your calling, but only in the church.

Now, to be fair, there’s nothing wrong with feeling called to something. The problem is that we as Christians have made it seem like “callings” are restricted to positions within the church. Like the only place, in fact the place where you can have the biggest impact for God, is in a “ministry position.”

 

There are multiple problems with this idea. First, is the concept that God only calls people to be pastors or worship leaders or children’s ministry coordinators. Second, is the idea that we can only serve or worship God when we are in church or doing some kind of service. We could have a long drawn out discussion here, but let’s cut to the chase.

 

Your calling is to glorify God.

 

That’s it. And guess what? We should be glorifying God with our lives. Not just at work, not just at home, not just in church. All day, every day; we glorify God, we fulfill His purpose for us with our lives. So this whole idea that you have to find your calling in that perfect job that was perfectly created for you is just really not the point. In fact, it’s missing more than half the point.

Have you noticed all the cool jobs that people in the Bible have?

Remember all the cool jobs that people in the Bible had? Yeah, me neither. Look through the Bible. There isn’t a whole lot of career advice in there. Sure, there are fishermen, and tentmakers, and tax collectors, and kings, and soldiers, but the narrative isn’t focused on their jobs. It’s focused on what those people were doing (or what they weren’t doing) to glorify God with their life (sometimes through their jobs). You didn’t really see Jesus saying, come, find your calling as a church leader. Jesus called people to follow Him, and the other stuff came as a result. So why are we so focused on our jobs as our calling?

 

Maybe it’s because our jobs make us feel like we have a purpose. Jobs give us something to be a part of, to work towards. But our purpose shouldn’t be tied up in our jobs. Our purpose is to glorify God.

Finding What You are Meant to Do

You’ve probably heard it, “I just haven’t found my calling.” Yes, that’s why you’re so unhappy with your job. It’s just not what you were meant to do. Or the opposite side, the one we all strive for, “I found my calling as a ______”; Of course we all want that! The job that never gets dull. In fact, it just doesn’t even feel like a job, it must be your calling.

But even these “callings” have hard parts. Just ask any youth pastor, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. The truth is that no job is perfect, they all have tough spots. Which is why we shouldn’t place all of our intrinsic worth and purpose in our jobs. That would just be silly.

 

When you accept Jesus as your Lord, you’ve already identified what you were meant to do. That is, to glorify Him. To serve His will. Should you figure out where God wants you to be and pursue a career there? Yes. After all, God does call us to serve in specific places at specific times. But don’t forget that your ultimate purpose isn’t to find “the perfect job”, it’s to serve your Lord.