Vocation comes from the Latin word ‘vocare’, which means ‘to call’. It begins not with what we do, but with what God does - calling, choosing and desiring us to be the person we are meant to be. Discerning your own vocation is hearing that call and responding to it. 

A vocation might be a “calling” that involves specific work and is followed through in the course of a lifetime. 

Or, vocation could be a commitment to growing more loving relationships in our families and communities. It might involve ministry in the Church, or other work in the world. Just as our relationship with God develops over time, so our response to God and the shape of our vocation will change over time.

If you are a member of the clergy and/or church leadership seeking to foster a sense of calling in the places where you minister, visit the vocations events page for more resources to help.

If you’re exploring your own sense of calling, browse these pages to see if there is anything that strikes a chord.

A call to ordination

A call to formal, authorised lay ministry in the Church

Vocational living in day to day life

Setting God’s People Free

The national Church of England website also has some helpful information.

What does the Bible say about vocation?

Our Christian vocation begins at our Baptism. There are lots of examples of people in the Bible who are called by God: judges and prophets, like Samuel, Isaiah and Jeremiah, called to speak God’s message to the people of Israel; the Virgin Mary, called to be the mother of Jesus; the disciples, such as the fishermen, called to leave their nets and follow Jesus; and many more. 

For all of them there was an awareness that God was asking them to do something, followed by an act of obedience, even if they were reluctant and thought they were not good enough. For all of them, their willingness to say ‘Yes’ to God was matched by God’s willingness and desire to equip them for the task.

Each of us is gifted, and our vocation is a calling to realise our God-given gifts. St.Paul describes a variety of charisma, or gifts, being given to the Body of Christ, (e.g. 1 Cor 12.8-10,  Rom 12.6-8). These gifts are not given to individuals just for themselves, but gifts given to members of the Body of Christ for the health of the whole Body.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. Jeremiah 1:5

See, I have engraved you on the palm of my hands. Isaiah 49:16

If you like to speak to someone about vocations please contact the Mission and Ministry department: T: 0116 2615317/mmbookings@leccofe.org or contact Liz liz.rawlings@leccofe.org 

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