Lesson 1 - What is Calling?


Here Brian Gray, COO of Denver Institute for Faith and Work, introduces the topic of calling through the lens of church history. As Brian suggests, the key takeaway is this anonymous quote:

We do not not mean to be Religious, but we mean to live in the world religiously.

All are Called

Primary Calling

Let’s unpack Brian’s talk on the different types of callings. Historically, the Puritans gave the church the gift of organizing calling into two separate categories: primary (“highest”) and secondary (“specific”) callings. Our primary, or highest, calling is first to be in direct relationship with God. This is a communal calling: all Christians are called to love God at all times and in all places.

This primary calling honors the Great Commandment—to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and to love your neighbor yourself—at the centerpoint of your life (Mark 12:30–31). Loving God with the totality of our being is the first task in discerning our calling.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Colossians 3:23-24, NIV

Secondary Calling

String of Pearls


“What is all that I have to give? Consider your gifts, passions, experiences, failures, relationships, and cultural influence. What do I lack? What is it that I offer to God as worship and to the world as service? This will be different for all of us because we all have different gifts, passions, and experiences.” 

Brian Gray

As you gain a deeper and more biblical understanding of calling, start to think about the questions Brian posed. While you will perform a more in-depth exercise on discerning your calling in the final lesson, use the next few minutes to start brainstorming your answers.

Have you ever felt a sense of angst and restlessness regarding your work? Have you ever wondered if you were doing what God has called you to do?
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