No matter who or where you are, God is calling you. Jesus called his first disciples with the words, 'Follow me' - and he offers the same invitation today. God calls all people into relationship and invites us to centre our lives on Christ. He calls each of us to use our gifts and talents in Christlike ways in the world around us.
God calls us as a people, and God calls each one of us. Within the common calling of God's people, every person has a unique calling or a vocation. In responding to God's call and finding our place among God's people, we accept commitments that shape our identity and the roles we fulfil. Vocation, is simply another word for the life-shaping commitment God is calling you to.
This calling emerges through a prayerful relationship with God and in conversation with other Christians. An understanding of vocation is informed by experience and develops alongside others who encourage us and share in our discernment.
We have come to understand Christian vocation in three areas:
Social vocations - our place within the workplace and the community and how we contribute to the common good;
Relational vocations - our calling in relationship to God and other people such as family, friends and neighbours;
Ministerial vocations - our calling to serve and build up the church community and equip it for mission.
One person may inhabit any or all of these callings at the same time and these may change over time.
We hope that these pages will help you to explore and discern how God might be calling you.
Explore Social Vocations
Serving God in our communities and workplaces
Personal discipleship and close relationships
Explore Ministerial Vocations
Lay and ordained ministries that build up the church in mission
Where to Start
All callings have their origins in finding and following God in everyday life. To learn more about what it means to be a Christian click here.
Discern calling through PRAYER
Discerning vocation starts with prayer. Pray that God would reveal how he is calling you. There are many prayer resources that help to guide the beginnings of a discernment process. Some people find fixed patterns of prayer useful. It might be an idea to keep a diary of any thoughts you notice as you are praying.
Discern calling in COMMUNITY
Discerning calling cannot be done alone. Try to find someone to talk to about what God might be calling you to - this might be a trusted friend, relative or your vicar. It might help to chat with a Christian you know in a similar working role, or with the same interests in community activities or wider societal issues. Explore their sense of calling to this role and in wider life. You can also read stories about calling here.
If you think that God might be calling you to a formal ministerial vocation (lay or ordained) contact your diocese.
Some people also find conversations with a Spiritual Director useful. Your diocese should have a list of people who provide this support, or you could book some time at a Christian retreat centre.
Discern calling rooted in the WORD
Kingdom Calling: The vocation, ministry and discipleship of the whole people of God offers a compelling theological grounding for the whole church, serving the whole mission of God in the whole of life. Building creatively on previous studies, it identifies the barriers in thinking and practice which prevent this, and offers pathways for negotiating these challenges.
Kingdom Calling (2020) and the companion publication Calling All God’s People (2019) are theological reflection resources from the Faith and Order Commission, written in conjunction with the Setting God’s People Free And Ministry teams of the Archbishops’ Council.
Published in October 2020 by Church House Publishing, you can read the resource electronically or purchase it from the Church House Publishing website
Copies of Calling All God’s People are also available from Church House Publishing.
Both are ideal resources for church discussion groups.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”Romans 12:2