Friday, February 13, 2009

Calling and Employment

Many Christians do not understand the difference between a calling and paid employment. A calling is what God created you to do. It is what will make a permanent difference in the world. Paid employment is what you do to support yourself and your family.

A few Christians are able to get paid employment doing their calling, but that is not normal. People called to be pastors can often get paid employment doing pastoral work (many are actually doing management or administration). A person called to be a prophet is unlikely to get paid employment doing their calling. That is why so many become pastors, which is a pain for everyone.

Paul was called to be a apostle, but that did not pay well, so he often took paid employment as a tentmaker. This will be the situation for most Christians. They will not be able to get someone to pay them to do their calling, so they will need paid employment in field where they have skills to earn a living to support themselves while carrying out their calling. They should seek paid employment in a role where the can earn enough to live on as quickly as possible. This task may not be fulfilling and it may not have much eternal significance (all Paul’s tents have rotted away), but that does not matter, if it leaves lots of time for the real calling.

I am called to Christian economics. I have never seen a job advert for a "Christian economist", so I cannot support my family doing my calling. My solution has been to find employment in a role that has very little eternal significance, but allows me to earn a living in three days a week and gives me plenty of time to fulfil my calling.


Gene said...


The only thing I would say is there is great freedom in not taking a paycheck from a congregation and being able to prophesy without consideration for if they will write me a check next week.

I would say the same about you. Having used your materials raw in teaching others about the poor and charity and how many of them reacted, it's good neither of us are beholden to anyone but the Spirit of God.

I'm glad I can make a living selling bushes.

Your series on DANG was excellent. I posted the whole thing on a PJ media blog. With attribution of course.

Since this is the birth month of Darwin, I would be interested in how you believe Christians are to respond to unbelievers and some Christians who try to walk both sides of the argument. I have an opinion. Even posted on it. I'd be very interested in yours.

Thanks for your really good insights. AND NOW with attribution, I will post this post. It's that good.

Anonymous said...

I needed this post.