I was baffled. As a young adult, how would I ever figure out what to say “yes” to and what to say “no” to? I passionately loved Jesus and wanted to follow His call anywhere He wanted to send me and to do whatever work would further His Kingdom, but I couldn’t figure out the short and long-term strategy.
Then a young woman came to my home for a mentoring appointment. Five minutes into our conversation she asked, “What makes you weep and pound the table?” She had attended a goal planning conference and was struck with that question. She continued. “What are you so passionate about that you would invest your time, your energy, your financial resources, and your influence in it for the rest of your life? Her questions pierced my heart.
That day the teacher became the student and after she left, I listed the topics and needs that God was calling me to address. My brainstorming sheet included:
- Sharing the gospel with the greatest number of people I could reach
- Teaching transformational truth from the Bible
- Equipping others to evangelize and teach
- Pointing hurting people to faith and hope
Then I was introduced to the writings of Frederick Buechner and this quote placed a fire in my soul: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
I had never heard of a mission statement, a tagline, a vision map, or branding, but I instinctively knew that God was calling me to use my unique giftedness to meet the needs of people who needed the Savior and to individuals who were longing for faith, hope, and answers to deep questions about their fears, pain, and theological questions.
I said “Yes” to God and began developing a strategy that would allow me to focus on living for things that would outlast my life. The result was joy, fulfillment, and multiplied Kingdom impact.
Clarifying our calling enables us to have single vision and establish a clear path to ministry success. When we accept that mission, our topics, blogs, manuscripts, and spoken messages reinforce the core beliefs we embrace.
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God…go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! (Heb. 12:2-3 MSG).