Calling: My Job or My Life? A True North Leadership Perspective

For many of us, our sense of calling is really a core issue that helps us answer the great transcendental question: Who Am I? Our sense of calling defines us. It’s our raison d’être. Having answered what we perceive to be our calling gives meaning to everything we do.

But I wonder if we’ve confused God’s “call” with our “vocation” rather than His intentions when He calls us?

· I was called to the mission field.

· I was called to be a pastor

· I was called to begin a television ministry

That last one has particular poignancy for me. It was the topic of my doctoral dissertation. The actual title was academically and appropriately lengthy. But in essence my study focused on the original intentions of nine founders of Christian television ministries (you know, televangelists). And yes, you would recognize many of them.

In qualitative research, we look first for patterns. My analysis discovered one overarching commonality: a sense of divine calling. A majority of these men (yes, they were all males), actually asserted they could recall the specific location, time and date when they “heard the voice of God” calling them to begin a television station to “preach the Gospel.”

This intensely personalized calling provided for each of them a supra-life purpose and resulted in various versions of “success” and fulfillment. It also created, as a sad side effect, a rather intense mistrust for everyone who didn’t buy into their vision and calling.

One founder hired and later fired his best friend who had begun to use the phrase, “my vision” within the company. When the founder learned that the “new” version of vision did not comport to the official and “divine version,” he terminated the offender.

I spent a great deal of time scouring the biblical texts for “calling.” Actually, a single click gave me 100 verses on the topic. What did I learn from these?

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Media executive. Educator. Leader. Innovator.

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Dr. Norm Mintle

Dr. Norm Mintle

Media executive. Educator. Leader. Innovator.

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