Emma Sykes is a leadership specialist with CPAS, responsible for the younger vocations work in the leadership team, inspiring under-30s to pursue their God-given vocation. She explains the purpose behind the ‘Talk Calling’ resource.
At CPAS we long to see a generation of young people who are passionate about following Jesus and who are seeking the God possibilities for their lives. We want to encourage them to ask the question, “What does God want me to do with my life?”, and enable them to listen and have the courage to follow wherever He leads.
For those in their mid to late teens, it is often an important decision-making time. What subjects should I take at school? What am I good at? What are my interests? What kind of job or training should I do? We want to help them see that God can be part of those decisions and that He can guide and shape them to be the people He has called them to be.
Who knows what may be discovered? For some young people, their call might be to be leaders in their communities, the places where they live and work. It could be a call to serve the local community through sport, a call to teach those in deprived areas, a call to get involved in justice issues, or even a call to be a church leader. Talk Calling won’t necessarily give the answer, but it will get the conversation started.
What is Talk Calling?
Talk Calling is for anyone in Christian and church leadership and vocations work, including clergy, lay leaders, youth workers, school chaplains, young vocations champions, CPAS Ventures, Falcons leaders and others – anyone who wants to enable young people to explore the God possibilities for their lives. Talk Calling is primarily aimed at 14 to 18 year olds, although it can be a useful resource for university chaplains and those working alongside students and young adults.
It consists of a series of creative cards each of which has its own instructions and offers a different way to look at the theme of calling.
The picture cards help those who struggle with words articulate themselves through image. For leaders who don’t always know what questions to ask, the About Me cards help draw the young people out and share a little about themselves. The Bible verse cards bring God’s voice into the picture and the Blockages cards examine some of the barriers that young people place on themselves or have had placed on them that can then be discussed and overcome.
The cards are not intended to give answers, but instead to offer thought provoking questions and creative ideas, helping young people explore how God might be calling them, and how He can shape their lives for His purposes.
So for anyone who wants to encourage young Christian leaders in whatever sphere of life God calls them, this is a great resource to get the conversation started.
Developing a theological understanding
I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
We can be tempted to think that having a calling or a vocation to something is only for the chosen few but the Bible makes it clear that we are all called to be children of God. We are created in His image and therefore our primary calling is to know and understand this by becoming a follower of Christ. We are all chosen for that purpose: ‘You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit’ (John 15:16).
Once we have responded to that call we are then invited to shape our lives according to the particular purpose that God has for each of us. When Jesus invited those first disciples to “Come, follow me” it radically altered the pattern of their lives (Mark 1:17). Therefore an integral part of discipleship is to follow the call to live out God’s kingdom purposes according to the gifts, skills and talents He has given each of us, recognising the part we play in the body of Christ (Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12).
The fundamental question then is not “Am I called?” but “What part am I called to play in God’s kingdom?” How are you being shaped by God’s kingdom values so that others may come to know that they too are called by God? Talk Calling begins to address this question by helping 14 to 18 year olds explore the God possibilities in their lives in a variety of ways.
For more information go to: www.cpas.org.uk/talkcalling