A Calling or a Career

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I recently finished reading Richard Stearns’ book, “The Hole in Our Gospel”, which is one of the best books I have read in years. On page 93, he quotes Pastor John Ortberg:

“American society does not talk much about calling anymore. It is more likely to think in terms of career. Yet, for many people a career becomes the altar on which they sacrifice their lives.

A calling, which is something I do for God, is replaced by a career, which threatens to become my god. A career is something I choose for myself; a calling is something I receive. A career is something I do for myself; a calling is something I do for God. A career promises status, money or power; a calling generally promises difficulty and even some suffering - and the opportunity to be used by God. A career is about upward mobility; a calling generally leads to downward mobility.”

I do think people can be called to the for-profit world just as they are called to non-profit service and people in the non-profit community can treat their vocation as a career or a calling.

I can confidently say that at Gladney, most of our staff views their jobs as a calling. And the way Pastor Ortberg describes a calling captures well the mindset and heart of our staff.