It’s a day that many of us will never forget.
October 13, 2010. Just 69 days earlier, a significant cave-in at the 121 yr old gold and copper mine in San Jose, Chili, had left 33 Chilean miners trapped 2,300 feet below the surface. Search and rescue teams were brought in to determine if anyone could survive this cave-in. Eventually, eight boreholes were drilled down to different parts of the mine to see if, by any miracle, they could make contact with anyone who had survived. Then, miraculously, 17 days into that search and rescue, attached to the end of the drill bit’s 8th attempt, came up with this message: “We are well in the refuge,” signed the 33.
Resources poured in from countries around the world to execute this impossible mission, and nearly two months after they first made contact, the rescuers brought the last of the 33 to the surface. It was an incredible feat of engineering and human resolve.
The miners would then travel the world, telling their incredible story of survival. As the days and weeks progressed, their stories began to fall off the front page of newspapers, the nightly news, and eventually all together. Life goes on.
A year later, CNN did an article checking on these miners. What they found was fascinating. They found some of the miners doing well, but several were struggling. One guy had been arrested for domestic violence, several were dealing with panic, anxiety, and PTSD, as you can imagine. They even found one guy building a wall around his house, and he had no idea why. The article that CNN released was titled with this question: “Do The Miners Need A Second Rescue?“
Because even though the miners had been rescued from death, what they struggled with was adjusting back to life.
I think in the Church we face a similar kind of struggle. We leverage countless resources for search and rescue, which is a REALLY, REALLY GOOD THING. Because we’re going to meet people that have had their entire world cave in around them, and they might feel 2,300 feet below the surface, and we NEED to make a tremendous effort to help as many people crossover from death to life in Christ!
But, if we’re not careful, one of the problems we end up with is a lot of people who know how to be rescued from death but have no idea how to step into life and fully thrive.
What Are You Called to Do?
As followers of Christ, our calling lies firmly in the person of Jesus. Ephesians 2:1-9 articulates the dire situation that left us much further than 2,300 feet down. Paul also shares the lengths that God went to in order to rescue us from death.
The Chilean miners were 100% at the mercy of those above to rescue them. They could do nothing to remedy their situation. Our Christian life is no different. God does it all. We are clearly saved by grace through faith. Not by our strength or efforts.
Yet within that incredible rescue, we were given a job. Eph. 2:10 shares that even though we weren’t rescued by good works, we have been rescued for good works that God prepared in advance for us to do.
So what are the good works God has given you?
Said differently, what is your calling?
Your calling goes way beyond your occupation or job. Your vocation or ‘calling’ is what you do, no matter what you do.
General Vs. Specific Calling
General calling applies to all followers of Jesus. The specific calling is the unique way God has designed and gifted you to glorify Him and make disciples in a way that only you can.
Every believer is called to glorify God and to make disciples. It’s easy to say that “that’s a given,” but the state of our churches suggests most believers don’t, or won’t, disciple others. The call remains whether they don’t know how, haven’t been trained, or any other reason that prevents us from following that mission.
However, the fact that Jesus has uniquely gifted every one of us to do the work of ministry (Eph. 4). Amid the unity we share in Christ, He has carefully knit us together individually with gifts, passions, abilities, dreams, desires, personalities, and strengths all our own. The beauty is that in unity, we share tremendous diversity. All of which leads us to understand the specific calling that God has given us.
Articulating Your Calling
So how do we figure out our calling? In scripture, some followers had miraculous visions, dreams, or encounters with the Lord that told them exactly what they were supposed to do. Moses had the burning bush. The Apostles had Jesus himself. Saul got knocked off his donkey on the way to Damascus, etc. While I believe there are still times and seasons that God speaks or impresses on us what we should do or where we should go, we need to pursue the deep work of discerning it through the power of the Spirit.
A few years ago, I encountered an incredible process guiding and directing disciples to understand their unique calling. The Younique journey exists to assist you in articulating five fundamental questions about your life:
- What am I called to do? (LifeCall) – This is your mission. The driving force and purpose of who you are. Dave Rhodes says, “if you don’t find out who God has called you to be, you will become whatever people pay you to be.”
- Why am I called to do it? (LifeCore) – When you are solid at your core, you can be soft on everything else. What are the core values by which you live? Why do you do what you do? Your Life Core is a simple set of values to reveal your firm foundation.
- How do I do it? (LifeSteps) – Most of us spend time determining what we do and why, but we rarely stop and ask how we do it. Once you know your mission and values, the next question is to ask, “how do I live out my calling?” That’s what your LifeSteps are. It helps you discern the next intentional steps in your life.
- When am I successful? (LifeScore) – Howard Hendricks once said, “experience isn’t the best teacher; evaluated experience is.” How do we determine whether or not we’re successful at living out the mission God gave us? Your LifeScore is a clear and measurable evaluation to know how things are going in every aspect of your life.
- Where is God taking me? (LifePlan) – Vision lives and dies in execution. Coming up with some cool language is excellent, but having a plan to live it out is another level of obedience. A lot has been written about life planning. But in the context of a Gospel-centered life design process, a LifePlan can take on a whole new level of meaning. A LifePlan helps you live intentionally, dream God-sized dreams, pursue passions purposefully, and do it all in the context of your God-given calling.
The entire journey begins with an investigation as you look back on your life to see the hand of God at work. He truly does work all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Rom 8:28) From that investigation, the process helps you uncover your sweet spot by helping you uncover what you do best, what you’re most passionate about, and where you thrive. Doing the deep work in these exercises leads you to articulate with stunning clarity what God has called you to do and plan your life accordingly.
The Power of Your Calling
Since 2019, I’ve had the privilege to lead and coach others in the Younique journey and the outcomes are incredible. There is a renewed sense of passion, conviction, confidence, and excitement that is visible in the eyes of my friends. Chains are being broken. Lives are being changed. Believers are living on mission in a way they never have before. All of this is possible because they finally believe that God has created and gifted them for a purpose.
My friend Caleb describes the change in his life this way:
“Going through the Younique process with Andrew was a game-changer for the way I viewed my life and opened my eyes to how God has uniquely gifted me. Before this process, I had never been given or even thought about taking the opportunity to think about myself. I was basing my life and vocation on what I thought were my gifts and what other people had told me about myself. Now after going through this process and putting in the work I have confidence and freedom that I have never experienced before because now I know how God has uniquely gifted me to care for my family, my church, and others.”
It’s been said that vision isn’t everything but it changes everything. Having a clear understanding of what God is uniquely doing in and through us regardless of our job is a game-changer. I’ve seen Him change my life through it. I’ve seen Him change others through it.
While it still boggles my mind that God entrusted the most important of missions to a bunch of misfits, the evidence of his strength and empowerment is clearly seen. Our lives matter. Our mission matters. Our calling maters. Countless lives are counting on us to be obedient and to live out the mission God gave each of us. We must shed the lies that the enemy has put on us, leave the shame, and step with confidence into the life we’ve been called to live.
Christ commissioned us with all authority in heaven and on earth. Christ apportioned to us the gifts to build up the church and make his name great. And Christ is with us as we live and walk in humility as He did. We must live our lives accordingly.
Initially posted on visionclarity.org