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The Next Faithful Step

Week 7: Vocation

CF565: Empowering the People of God

This week's lesson is the third in our sequence on money, work, and vocation.  You will likely want to use more than the resources you encounter this week in responding to the case study.  Build off of things that you learned in many previous classes.

You will notice that the following case study has two parts.  Please read both parts, but write your response to the situation in Part Two.

Here is the case study, entitled "Dave the Salesman"

The concept of "vocation" or "calling" refers to the Christian idea that God calls people in particular action in the world.  There was a time when Christians only paid attention to people who were called to ordained ministry as their vocation.  But in recent years Christians have recognized that God calls people to minister in a wide variety of settings.  Vocation no longer refers to being "called to the ministry."

Resources On Vocation

  1. Gideon Strauss was the Director of the Max De Pree Center for Leadership at Fuller Seminary.Listen to how he defines vocation as "responding to God" and explains the difference between primary and secondary vocations.

How then is vocational discipleship related to other kinds of discipleship?

Finally, listen to how vocation relates to what Strauss calls "wonder, heartbreak, and hope."  Reflect especially on how wonder, heartbreak, and hope relate to the themes we have been discussing in this course.

  1. Reflections
    1. Kate Harris describes how vocation does not need to be something that you "go to" each day.  The daily responsibilities of life comprise a vocation for her.  Read her reflection called, "Motherhood as Vocation"
    2. Consider this quote from Douglas Shuurman in his book called "Vocation"

      Every time, then, a Christian refers to the spheres of spouse, parent, friend, citizen, lawyer, pastor, etc., as callings or vocations, the Christian is challenged to interpret the activities undertaken in those spheres in light of the call to love God and neighbor.  If the duties and obligations of the spheres serve the neighbor, they should be fulfilled "as to the Lord."  Doing so is a faithful response to God's calling in a person's particular situation…One is not called to be a Christian "in general"; one is called to be a Christian in the concrete social locations one presently occupies, as this mother to these children, this citizen of this country, and so on.   One is not called merely to be a wife, a husband, a mechanic;  one is called to be a wife, a husband, or a mechanic as a Christian "in the Lord."  Particular duties are callings or vocations insofar as the vocation or calling to be a Christian is expressed through them.