August 22, 2010
The integration of worldview and vocation are essential ingredients for a flourishing life. A life is easily fragmented in a certain sense when these ingredients are missing or underdeveloped together. A person needs to learn how to think about and value the cultivation of both, and learn how to find means to grow in both areas.
Educators, and especially Christian educators and pastors, should intentionally find ways to bring encouragement and vision to learners in both areas. We need to form learning environments that are receptive to both biblical worldview integration concerns and space to mentor and coach people to learn how to be appropriately attentive to their vocation before God in light of learning to think Christianly about their life in the world.
Five values have informed my own sense of vocation:
- The value of love and devotion to the triune God, with special focus on Jesus Christ, along with an intentional plan to make progress in spiritual formation.
- The value of the mind and a developed intellectual life in which truth and reason are central.
- The importance of being a Christian activist, one who seeks to penetrate the world with a Christian worldview, with special emphasis on the Great Commission.
- The value of friendship and community in the body of Christ, in which one learns to give honor to others and to be genuinely enthusiastic about their successes and concerned about their hardships.
- The importance of learning how to live a supernatural Christian life, in which the miraculous power of God's kingdom breaks through in such a way that I become "naturally supernatural."
Anyone who knows my passions, or has read any of my books or listened to me speak over the years, knows that the above values make sense in light of my worldview and they are manifestly present in my life with varying degrees of emphasis over time. The above "package" has defined my sense of vocation for the last 15 years. You can even spot this progression in my books, for example.
The integration of worldview and vocation is meaningful and dignifying to being a human being, and this is all the more indispensable for followers of Jesus.
Being a Christian was never meant to be an extra religious compartment added to an otherwise secular life defined independently of Christianity. Rather, being a Christian is an entire way of being present in the world, and it informs, permeates, and shapes every single aspect of one's thinking, feeling, and acting. Being enraptured with Jesus Himself is the central core to growing as His follower, and because Jesus is completely worthy of such devotion, I have without reservation continued to make Him Lord of my life as best I can and within the limits of my own frailties. I have come to know that following Jesus is the wisest, smartest, best thing one can do with one's life.