Discerning Your Calling

Day 1 of 4 • This day’s reading


Hierarchy of Callings

There is an unbiblical theme permeating the Church today which elevates the callings of pastors and “full-time missionaries” above “secular” vocations. If you’re an entrepreneur, photographer, artist, salesperson, doctor, musician, lawyer, or janitor, you have likely sensed this often unspoken hierarchy of callings.

Dr. Benjamin Quinn of Southeastern Theological Seminary says, “I [have been] awakened to the problem of the pulpit-pew divide—the centuries-old chasm between those who occupy the pulpit and those who occupy the pew. The physical space between pulpit and pew in worship spaces is necessary for practical reasons. The metaphorical space between the ‘ordained’ and the ‘ordinary’ in the church, however, is unfortunate and unbiblical.”

This pervasive idea that there is a hierarchy of callings for Christians is simply out of line with Scripture. When God created Adam and Eve and put them to work in the Garden of Eden, they weren’t donor-supported missionaries. Adam was called by God to be a gardener, a cultivator, and a branding agent. Jesus spent 85% of his working life as a carpenter and small business owner before he launched his “full-time ministry.” The highest calling on your life isn’t necessarily being a pastor or missionary; it’s glorifying God and serving others in whatever work God has called you to do.

Even if you’re able to tear down the man-made hierarchy of callings in your head and in your heart, the fact remains that “calling” is one of the most confusing ideas in the Christian life. How can your work feel like a vocation—a true calling on your life? What does the Bible have to say about the work God has uniquely equipped you to do? What are the best questions to ask when discerning your calling? Those are the questions we will seek to answer over the next three days.