How are you discerning vocation in this new era of ministry?
So much has changed about life in the last 33 months. Tonight at dinner we observed that the waitstaff in the restaurant was also bussing all the tables, cleaning the floors, and covering big sections. Staff shortages have changed the way many jobs are being done. We had groceries delivered to our porch earlier this week. Something we did not even really consider prior to 2020. We attended church in person this morning, and we wore masks. Another significant number of members and visitors participated in worship by zoom.
Our lives, our churches, and ministry itself have changed. And more changes keep coming from the ripple effects of the pandemic. These realities open up questions about vocation and purpose of work and life.
Tending the Fires of Vocation
During Christmastide, we offered a live zoom event (another new common reality of this era) for ministers, chaplains, professors, and lay leaders. During “Tending the Fires” we shared a set of questions to assist anyone who is discerning vocation in this moment. Vocation is one of the fires in our lives that needs regular tending. If we want to keep our purpose and focus for life clear, then we need to give questions of vocational discernment our consistent, compassionate attention.
Here is the five-minute segment on “Discerning Vocation.” A handout with printable page and worksheet is below. I hope this exercise with help you get a clear view of your current work or school or job search situation. Then with clarity, I hope you can make the change or renewal you need for your calling.
Where are you right now?
Perhaps through the many changes experienced in 33 months of pandemic pastoring, you are wondering where you are now and what you will do next? Maybe you are one of the thousands who left your work during the pandemic and are looking for the next thing in your life? Perhaps you are nearing the end of seminary or another training program and you are seeking a call? Maybe you are just ready for a change?
If any of these situations are yours, we hope you will take time to journal about the four questions of this handout. You might also consider printing out the full color page and posting the questions in your work space. This PDF has both printable and worksheet.
Are you writing about changes in your vocational life?
Maybe you are finding your discernment in writing about it. Maybe you are writing a book, a dissertation, a journal article, a weekly sermon, or poetry. Whatever you are writing, I want to invite you to join me at the Writing Table. We meet on weekday mornings and support each other in building our writing habits. In 2023 you can join us for FREE on Fridays. Or you can join on (most) weekdays for less than $1 per day. Learn more about the Writing Table and see if it is right for you.