Vocation: Finding Our Place in God’s Story (Part 2)

This article originally appeared in the spring 2019 issue of STILLPOINT magazine. View part 1 here.

By Jennifer Brink, Sharon Galgay Ketcham and Corey McLellan

In the light of this hope, our discernment process takes on new meaning. How do we know what we’re called to do? First of all, we learn to discern God’s movement in the world. Like any kind of practice, we get better at this over time. In everyday life, this requires responding to our Creator-Redeemer by being faithful where we are and in the places we find ourselves. Be a neighbor, read the news, pray for others, do your work well, and be open to the Spirit’s leading.

As theologian Tod Bolsinger (father of Ali Bolsinger ’19) describes, vocation is formed, not found. We discern calling through the unfolding of life as we orient our lives to our Creator-Redeemer. This is what Eugene Peterson describes as the long and faithful obedience in the same direction.

Secondly, we work this out in community. We weren’t created to be alone (Genesis 2:18). In fact, God is assembling a reoriented people just as God is forming us personally (1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 1:22–23). The Spirit moves among us in this process.

We can offer one another encouragement, correction, partnership and guidance as we face opportunities, decisions and trials. God uses the community of faith to remind and teach us ways in which we might discern God’s purposes.

Maybe instead of “What is God’s plan for my life?” a better question is “What is God doing, and how might I participate with others?” By reframing the question, we root our calling in a profession of faith: God is Creator-Redeemer.

Our focus shifts away from ourselves, and we reorient to the hard work of learning to love God, one another and God’s world. It takes commitment and community to discern what God is doing in the world. Our God invites us into this creative and redemptive work of all of creation for God’s glory.

Read about how Gordon alumni live out their widely varied vocations >


A Step in the Right Direction

How do we move toward (re)orienting ourselves to God and God’s redemptive purposes in the world? Gordon’s new Career and Connection Institute (CCI) is a resource for students and alumni along their vocational journeys. It blends personal, spiritual, professional and practical elements —all grounded in the support of a committed Christian community.

1. Connect with CCI
Contact [email protected] or book an appointment online through Handshake (an industry-leading networking tool). Talk through your own vocational journey or discover how you can help students and alumni navigate theirs. CCI staff members offer video calls or in-person visits in the new office space on the second floor of Jenks Library.

2. Join Handshake
The Handshake platform allows professionals to help and be helped. Set up an individual account to access a host of resources for your own job search. And make sure your company is active on the platform in order to connect with potential employees from the Gordon community.

3. Tune In
Hear from experts through CCI’s new podcast Honest Work at podcast.gordon.edu.

About the authors