Discerning your calling is one of the most important responsibilities you have.
However, I’ve learnt that it isn’t as hard as you might think. As I reflect over my life I have to acknowledge I have certainly made the task more difficult than it actually is. I think one of the benefits of growing older and hopefully a little more mature, is that you get insightful perspectives on life that you didn’t have previously.
For me there are 4 basic ideas to discerning your calling:
1. Passion – What are you passionate about? What are deeply interested in? What human needs do you gravitate to?
2. Ability – What talent do you possess? What do others say you are great at? Where are you effective?
3. Opportunity – What doors for service are presenting to you right now? What are the needs around you that require your attention? What opportunities lie before you?
4. Listen – What is God saying to you at this point in your journey? What scriptures, words and ideas continually spring to mind?
The PAOL process can be applied to finding your next job, making life altering decisions and venturing out into new fields of ministry. This process requires deep understanding of self-awareness, listening to the counsel of trusted friends and spending time with God.
For service in the local church, I would encourage you to begin with opportunity. Opportunities abound in the local church. The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few (Lk 10:2). Every church desperately needs people to serve in some area. The more ministries you try and serve in, the better idea you’ll get of what you are effective in and what you are a gumby at. By the way, we are all good at something and a gumby at something. Enjoy!