How does our primary Christian vocation (or calling) "to enter the kingdom of God in faithful obedience" transform our choice of jobs and careers, and our deliberate preparation for these through experience and education?
Our contributors disengage "vocation" from some modern assumptions and recover its original mystery and power. We do not simply "choose" a vocation. We respond to a summons - one that is often against our will and involves hardships to be overcome. God's gift of vocation, which comes through and is oriented toward community, is discovered in a way of life nourished by prayer, Sabbath-keeping, meditating on God's Word, fasting, hospitality, and spiritual direction.
"As we study for a profession, let us sing the 'Doxology'!" Howard E. Butt, Jr. urges, for we can be "builders, following Jesus the builder-building our capacities and building other people up, building relationships and organizations, a company, a service, a breakthrough-building our ministry in daily life."
The study guides and lesson plans integrate Bible study, prayer, and worship to help us explore God's gift of vocation and its application to our daily work. The guides can be used in a series or individually. You may download and reproduce them for personal or group use.
- "The Meaning of Vocation," by A. J. Conyers
- "Called Through Relationship," by Elizabeth Newman
- "Investing Ourselves in the Divine Economy," by Lee Hardy
- "Following Our Vocation in Organizations," by Gordon T. Smith
- "The Dilbertization of Work," by Al Hsu
- "Vocation Goes to the Movies," by Jill Pelaez Baumgaertner
- "Not the Righteous, But Sinners," by Heidi J. Hornik, on Caravaggio's Calling of St. Matthew
Hymn and Worship Service
- "Call and Occupation," by Paul J. Contino
- Gary D. Badcock, The Way of Life: A Theology of Christian Vocation
- Lee Hardy, The Fabric of this World: Inquiries into Calling, Career Choice, and the Design of Human Work
- Jean Leclercq, The Love of Learning and the Desire for God: A Study in Monastic Culture
- Gilbert Meilaender (ed.), Working: Its Meaning and Limits
- "Discerning God's Call," by Amy Castello
- Bruce K. Waltke, Finding the Will of God: A Pagan Notion?
- Gene Edward Veith, Jr., God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life
- Debra Farrington, Hearing with the Heart: A Gentle Guide to Discerning God's Will for Your Life
Study Guides and Lesson Plans (Download the set of six Study Guides)
- "The Meaning of Vocation"
- "Called Through Relationship"
- "Called Out, Not Left Out"
- "Investing in the Divine Economy"
- "Following Our Vocation in Organizations"
- "The Dilbertization of Work"