What could you do in your congregation to awaken and strengthen people’s sense of God’s calling in their lives?
Step 1: Listening + Learning
Listen to your congregation and learn where God may be calling your community.
Read 2 books to deepen your learning on vocation
Do 2-3 listening activities in your congregation
- Gather a focus group of congregation members. Read these suggestions for focus groups..
- Interview congregation members or community partners. Scroll to see interview suggestions under “Conducting a ‘Calling’ Interview”.
- Conduct a survey – demographic (Who’s actually in our congregation?) or thematic (What questions do our members have about their callings?) Learn more about how to create an effective survey here, and see PDF examples of surveys for adults and youth here.
- Map your demographics. Use this link to create your congregation’s own demographic map.
- Take a “walking tour” of the 1-mile radius of your church’s property. Check out this guide for tips.
- Conduct workplace visits with congregation members. Read about a pastor who visited & interviewed members at work about their sense of calling.
- Check out ideas in the Studying Congregations Toolkit: digging in the attic, using photos, making a “congregational timeline,” and stepping back to observe.
Step 2: Discerning
Discern your project’s focus by interpreting what you have discovered in listening to your congregation and learning about vocation.
Do 2-3 discernment activities:
- Lectio divina
- Visio divina
- SOAR analysis: Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, Results
- Appreciative Inquiry
Discuss the following questions with your leadership team to decide your focus for Year 1 of your project:
- What existing ministries could be adapted to have a vocational focus? What new efforts might your congregation create?
- Will you create one big project or multiple smaller projects?
- How will you integrate calling into different areas of your congregational life following the pray/study/work model? (e.g., worship, religious education, social justice or community service)
- How will your project engage personal calling and communal calling?