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Calling is About Alignment

Calling is About Alignment

Every time I hear someone reflect on the moment of their calling it seems so magical.

The skies opened. A light fell on them from the Heavens. And, in a stunning moment of clarity, the Lord spoke directly to them and confirmed, “This is why I created you. Now, go and do this with joy everlasting!”

Whatever “this” ends up being is perfect.


“This” supplies every day with excitement and accomplishment.

“This” is the thing they have always longed for and needed in order to be purposeful in their living.

Yet, the way I have experienced calling has been much different. It’s been a journey. Elusive. A tapestry woven together with many chosen pieces of my story and God’s unique work.

You there with me?

I wish clarity about my purpose came with divine intervention and a voice from Heaven, but often I find myself wondering about whether I am using my time, gifts, and energy on the right things.

A reminder from my post last week: Calling sometimes has to do with your vocational identity, and sometimes it is a unique opportunity apart from your daily work.

I love my job as a pastor. In every sense it is a part of my calling, but I don’t think working at a local church is the only thing God created me to do.

My identity is much more.

In fact, if I were to list the characteristics of my identity, I think “pastor” would be number four or five. Let me see…

  1. Follower of Jesus
  2. Husband to Merri
  3. Dad to Adam, Ellie, Zachary
  4. Lifelong Learner
  5. Pastor at Reynolda Church

See, told ya!

Even more, I feel just as called to #1-4 as I do #5.

The more I discover what defines me, the more I have to acknowledge that calling is taking the best of what God is doing in and through me and sharing it with the world for my good and God’s glory.

Or said with more clarity (quoting from last week), calling is “the desire to know clearly how my gifts and talents align with my passions for this season’s contribution.”

I think that calling is best understood and known in the context of aligning these three things: identity, gifts, and talents.

Like a tapestry, it is the interweaving of those three things to discover how God wants to use you in the world.

So start here: “What do I want to do when I grow up?” Deeply know my identity.

Next week, it will be all about identity. So, here’s some homework for you. Ugh, I know!

Make a list. Number your paper #1-10 and write down the 10 things you do with your life that define you. Now, once that is complete, make a rough guess at how much time you spend on each one each week. Finally, write them down in order of how you WISH you spend your time each week.

As we continue, this will become more important as we all discover how our gifts and talents align with our passions for this season’s contribution.

Until then…journey on!

Chris Lawson

Founder of, husband to Merri, father to Adam, Ellie, and Zachary, and executive pastor @reynoldachurch. Lives to make Jesus famous. He enjoys watching the Atlanta Braves and UNC basketball, as well as demeaning and insulting whatever sports teams you root for. He knows a disturbing amount about television and movies.

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