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The Power of Calling

Written by Chuck Olson

The Power of Calling

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Let’s take a quick glance over the shoulder to see where we’ve been.

You may recall that a couple months ago, I rolled out a BHAQ (Big Hairy Audacious Question). It went like this: Is it possible to be more passionate, more energized, and more productive for the Kingdom…a year from now?

Sound familiar?

It’s an important question, for sure. You know it like I know it: All too often we are sucked into a mode of life stamped SURVIVAL. Or maybe on a good day we upgrade to SUSTAINABLE. But how many of us live in the land of RENEWAL—a place where we actually anticipate the prospect of being more alive for God and His plans and purposes twelve months from today?

That’s what I want.

And I suspect you do too.

In chasing down this BHAQ, we pulled to the side of the road to talk about three spiritual practices that God uses to move us closer to this renewable rhythm of life. Practice #1: SABBATH. Practice #2: SOLITUDE.

Today we talk about Practice #3: CALLING.

What is “calling”? If you punch in “calling” at Dictionary.com you get a laundry list of definitions. Soup to nuts. Some of it helpful. Most of it not. So what are we talking about here?

Allow me to lead up to a definition by telling you that I am a student of “calling”. I study it. Read about it. Reflect on it. Believe in it. And in many ways I could serve as the proverbial poster child for it. (Just ask me what the discovery of my calling has meant in my life’s journey).

Now when it comes to definitions, I might be more than a few points off the standard deviation. Truth be told, while some folks collect coins, I collect definitions. (A well-worded definition shoots a rush of adrenaline straight through me!). So in my studies of CALLING, the best definition comes compliments of Erik Rees in his book SHAPE. It goes like this:

Your Kingdom Calling is way more than a career. It is a special commissioning from God to make a significant difference on this earth.

Every Christ-follower has a calling—a special commissioning from God to make a difference on this earth.

Every Christ-follower has a calling—a special commissioning from God to make a difference on this earth.

As a teenager, I read a book that carried the title For This I Was Born that had considerable impact on me. The author of the book was a man by the name of Louis Talbot. Born in Sydney, Australia in the late 1800s, Dr. Talbot was one of the senior pastors at the historic Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles, CA—the church where I grew up. He was the second President of Biola College (its seminary would later be named after him—Talbot School of Theology). He was a pastor and friend to my family, dedicating my parents as infants and speaking at my grandfather’s memorial service. AND he was a man who knew his CALLING as evidenced in the title of his book, and more importantly, by the life he lived. Louis Talbot had no doubt about God’s call on his life.

To know your calling is to know your “sweet spot”. Your sweet spot is simply the intersection of God’s PURPOSE, your PASSION, and your PROFILE. Let me unpack that in brief

God’s PURPOSE is described in Christ’s wrap-up words to His followers in the final chapter of the book of Matthew (the Great Commission). Your PASSION is what uniquely fires you up. What energizes you. What makes you mad. What makes you weep. What makes you say, “this cannot stand!” And your PROFILE is that wonderful and customized blend of your gifts, strengths, talents, personality, etc.

This sweet spot, this calling is what I give myself to—without reservation. It is MY part in GOD’S grand story. And when I’m living in it, I experience unmitigated joy and fulfillment. And energy.

Calling is what I give myself to—without reservation. It is MY part in GOD’S grand story.

(By the way, practically speaking, the discovery of your calling is a journey of many steps and more importantly, one of many conversations with the Author of the One who formed and fashioned you. In taking this journey, I have found Tom Paterson’s book, Living the Life You Were Meant to Live, to be very helpful).

So what’s YOUR special commissioning to make a significant difference on this earth?

I close this three-part series with one more money-back guarantee: lock on to your CALLING, add in the practices of SABBATH and SOLITUDE, and I guarantee you that a year from now you WILL be more passionate, more energized, and more productive for the Kingdom.

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  • Michael says:

    Thanks Chuck. It is easy to see why the Lord is blessing and using you. You have a heart that follows hard after spiritual matters along with a contagious desire to bring others along with you.

  • Warren says:

    I have just read Tom Paterson’s book, Living the Life You Were Meant to Live. And just as you said Chuck, it was stimulating and so helpful with this entire idea.

  • Seth says:

    If every single Christian were to take this serious, that are here on an assignment, wow! we would be making great strides for His Kingdom purposes.

  • Peter says:

    When you helped us work through and spend time figuring out our Kingdom Callings in Rock Solid, that was a pivotal time for me in my life. I am not sure I would have taken the steps I took three years ago without having the understanding and ability to grasp what this could really mean. And now, the Lord is blessing my steps in amazing ways.

  • Tim says:

    When you say every Christian has a Kingdom calling, it makes me think that there needs to be so much more awareness brought to this front. I am quite certain that most people in my work place would have no idea of this.

  • Kieth says:

    I think I have been living at a sustainable pace lately, but then there are days when all that goes out the window. I cannot seem to even get glimpses of what it means to live in the land of renewal.

  • Phil says:

    Oh that we all would lean hard into understanding the pursuit of one’s calling.
    FOR THIS I WAS BORN!

  • Steve says:

    To find one’s calling is find a new approach to life with a keen awareness of an eternal perspective.

  • Dave says:

    Going through Rock Solid allowed me to figure out my calling and to step out with confidence.
    Thank you Chuck.

  • Bill says:

    I am getting closer to discerning what my calling is. Thank you for the work you poured into our group in helping each of us begin to cultivate and dissect the process.

  • John says:

    Your Rock Solid mentorship was profound in my life and journey of discovering my calling.
    Thank you!

  • Brian says:

    You have been instrumental in my discovery and pursuit of my Calling.
    Thank you Chuck.

  • Shawn says:

    So appreciate the way you are bringing so many men into this space of knowing our calling.
    Thank You!

  • Nick says:

    So true. To find one’s calling is to find a new lease on life and unimagined opportunities to be about work that will last to eternity.

  • Brian M. says:

    Thank you for the reminder that we are each given a calling. And that to discover that is to open doors for eternal significance.

  • Jim says:

    You seem to have truly found your SWEET SPOT.
    Thanks for sharing Chuck.
    You are an inspiration to me on so many levels.

  • Jason says:

    To know that you believe that every Christian, every leader, has a calling was a profound thought. We talked about that a lot in our Rock Solid group. and it impacted me greatly. I continue to resonate with the words that Your Kingdom Calling is way more than a career. It is a special commissioning from God for you to make a significant difference on this earth.
    Because of Rock Solid I am looking for ways to bring my calling into the fore front of my days and live it out beyond just my dreams.

  • Mark says:

    This sweet spot, this calling is what I give myself to—without reservation. It is MY part in GOD’S grand story. And when I’m living in it, I experience unmitigated joy and fulfillment. And energy.
    You clearly teach us about this in Rock Solid and it has changed my life.
    I am deeply grateful to be living MY part in God’s story with a boldness and a self-awareness that is new to me.

  • Clint says:

    Rock Solid gave me a firmer and real understanding of what my calling us. I am almost certain that without taking that journey, I may have missed this piece, possibly for years and years. Now I move forward with greater confidence and assurance and willingness to take steps of faith into the calling He has on my life.
    Such a gift.

  • Janna Howe says:

    Thanks Chuck for giving such encouragement in finding a way to be more fruitful in our earthly calling to worship and glorify Him. I often fail but so wish to keep getting up and try again always🙏🏻✝️

  • Randel Horton says:

    Chuck,
    Thank you
    For sharing
    For carring
    And leading with
    your life.

  • Chris says:

    Your Kingdom Calling is way more than a career. It is a special commissioning from God to make a significant difference on this earth.

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity through your ministry to discover my Calling. It has made a difference in the direction I am now heading, wanting my life to have significance in the here and now for eternity and the legacy I will leave.

  • Kevin says:

    I consistently need to be reminded of the necessity of renewal.
    The fast pace of my life as dad and husband and company leadership make it easy to neglect the care of my soul. I certainly need and appreciate your reminders and the way you point us to what is going to matter most at the end of life.

  • Roger says:

    This has been really great stuff to flesh out.
    Thanks for your leadership, passion to make a difference with your life and your words of wise encouragement that draw us toward God’s purposes with you.

  • Darren says:

    Still sorting through what is my calling and how to make the most of what the Lord has brought into my path, both career wise and in ministry leadership.
    I would sure like to be part of another Rock Solid. The experience was transformational to my life. Any openings in the upcoming season?

  • Al says:

    Your story of Louis Talbot brought back a lot of memories as my grandparents also spoke so highly of his walk and talk. He was a man who lived what he preached.
    Thank you Chuck for the way in which you have followed His call on your life and are leaving a legacy for others to follow.

    • Chuck Olson says:

      Al — Thank you for your email. So grateful for men like Dr Talbot who fought well and finished well!

  • john says:

    Three incredibly valuable steps to add to one’s life…you have modeled so well to many many men. Thank you Chuck.
    CALLING
    SABBATH
    SOLITUDE

  • paul sailhamer says:

    Good words, ideas and helpful definitions. Did you read the Os Guinness book on calling? I think Rick Warren read it and then thought “I’m going to re-write this book for the common person and call it “The Purpose Driven Life.” Thanks for mentioning Dr Talbot. When my brother and I were little boys he would sometimes come to our church and show his 16mm color films at the evening service. We never missed those. They were the closest thing our eyeballs could get to exotic films in those days. We also picked up the point of his stories…I’m sure. Good work on the news letter!

Chuck Olson

As founder and president of Lead With Your Life, Dr. Chuck Olson is passionate about inspiring, resourcing and equipping Kingdom leaders to lead from the inside out.  To lead, not with the external shell of positions, achievements or titles, but from an internal commitment to a deep, abiding and transparent relationship with Jesus. Serving as a pastor and leadership coach for over forty years, Chuck has a track record of building these truths deep into the lives of both ministry and marketplace leaders.

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