[ WordBytes on “The Master Needs You” ]

To discern your calling, use this worksheet to identify areas where God has gifted you and is calling you to ministry so you can make a difference in the world.

Discern your calling

Test #1: Getting to Know Your Giftedness

ANSWER THE FOLLOWING 5 QUESTIONS:

  1. Think of any ministry you are currently involved in, no matter how small or insignificant it seems to be. How does this ministry advance the Kingdom of God?
  2. Why did God call you (instead of your neighbor or another family member or another parishioner) to the particular ministries in which you’re already involved?
  3. What makes you special in the eyes of God?
  4. What makes you special to the people around you?
  5. What is it about your personality that contributes to this?

 


Test #2: What paralyzes me from saying yes to the right calling?

The two biggest obstacles are Pride and Fear. Use the following to determine how much (or how little) these obstacles are interfering in your life. Be honest. There’s no benefit to falsifying your answers. If your answer is somewhere between Yes (Y) and No (N), choose the one that is more-so.

PRIDE

Y

N

Do I think I’m so good at hearing God that I’m always right?

Y

N

Am I looking for His answers only in super-spiritual ways and not everyday events or people?

Y

N

Do I go overboard in responding to God? Doing more than what common sense directs?

Y

N

Are my priorities out of order, eg., thinking material gain and other self-serving goals are more important than service to community?

Y

N

Am I waiting for God to reveal the whole picture first?

Y

N

Am I waiting to become perfect at hearing all God’s directions?

Y

N

Are my motives for ministering wrong? Do I want to glorify myself? Do I count on good deeds for getting me into Heaven? Am I motivated out of guilt?

Y

N

Am I waiting for God to tell me what I want to hear?

Y

N

Am I waiting for a bigger, more glamorous career?

 

FEAR

Y

N

Am I afraid of what others will think of me if I get involved in a Church vocation?

Y

N

Am I afraid God will get mad at me if I respond to His call and then mess it up?

Y

N

Am I afraid of misinterpreting God, as if He won’t straighten me out?

Y

N

Do I believe God has only one “perfect” will for my life and ministry, and if I’m not absolutely sure what it is, it’s wrong to try anything?

Y

N

Do I think God is hiding His call from me?

Y

N

Am I so sure I know what God’s will is for my life that I get confused by obstacles in my path and the lack of opportunities to further my career goals?

Y

N

Am I afraid of the cost of service? Of not liking His choice for me or being given more than I can handle?

Y

N

Am I worried that God isn’t concerned about my needs and feelings?

Y

N

Am I saying “Yes but–” like Moses?

Y

N

Am I afraid that my ministry will be too big or too public or uncomfortable or distasteful?

 


Test #3: Testing Your Talents

The following is a survey of your gifts, talents and personal experiences. It can help point you to what your calling in ministry might be. It’s not all-inclusive, nor will it provide the final word for making any decisions. It’s to be used only as a guide to help you discern what the Holy Spirit has been preparing you to do, in combination with prayer and other forms of guidance.

Write down the first answer that comes to you; this will be the truest response, hopefully by-passing your intellectual or emotional prejudices. Be assured that God is speaking to you as you come up with your answers.

Questions 1 through 4 help you focus on where your desires for ministry really exist. Take seriously these desires. God created you to do a unique work that no one else can do the same way. And you are not really satisfied until you are doing what God created you to do.

  1. List the ministries you have been involved in. Then, put a star next to the ones you feel most passionate about (the ones that excite you the most).
  2. List the ministries you have ever considered doing, even if only for a brief time. Include those you dismissed as impractical or unrealistic. Then, put a star next to the ones you feel most passionate about.
  3. What ministries do you see others perform that gives you one or more of these feelings: “I wish I could do that.” “I feel there’s something wrong with me that keeps me from doing that.” “I envy the person who can do that.”
  4. What ministries have ever caused you to think: “I would do that, or I could do that, if only….”

Questions 5 through 7 reveal the areas that have caused you the most growth, the deepest insights, and the greatest ability to help others. In what ministry can you best utilize these tools?

  1. Name the worst experiences you have had in your life, the hardest or longest trials you have had to live through.
  2. What experiences or activities in your past led you away from God or caused you to lose faith?
  3. What do you regret doing that happened when you didn’t know God or when you were away from the Church?

Questions 8 through 10 indicate the know-how, skills and aptitudes you have acquired. Nothing is ever wasted, because sooner or later, sometimes in unexpected ways, God gives us opportunities to use these for His glory. Could these strengths of yours be used in a Church vocation?

  1. What do you enjoy most about yourself? (What gifts do you believe God has given you? E.g.: your faith, ability to have good relationships, organizational skills, love for serving, etc.)
  2. List the skills you’ve been educated in through formal schooling, self-taught, seminars, etc.
  3. List the types of jobs you have held. Put a star next to the ones you enjoyed most.

Question 11 deals with your passions. Whatever you feel passionate about is where you could serve in ministry with zeal. People often burn out in ministry work because they don’t have a strong love for it. Follow your heart to the type of service where you really care to make a difference.

  1. What bothers you most about this world? (E.g.: abortion, euthanasia, poverty, pornography, immoral television shows, lonely people, aging parents, hospitalized children, the popularity of the occult or New Age movement or satanism, the crime rate, violence in the home, substance abuse, sexual abuse, the divorce rate, inactive church members, non-Christian cults, adoption issues, bad government, AIDs or cancer or other traumatic diseases, children who lack faith in God, damage to the Earth’s environment, etc.)

Questions 12 and 13 give you a glimpse of how others see you and your calling. Listen to their feedback. They can recognize your areas of giftedness more objectively than you can.

  1. Do people admire something about you? What is it?
  2. Do people tend to come to you with their problems? Is this because they believe you are a good listener, you care, or you give good advice? What kinds of problems do they come to you with? What is the pattern here?

Question 14 takes a look at your dreams. Where do you think the inspiration for your dreams comes from? God, of course! Dare to put no limits on your discernment process. God will help you refine your dreams and guide you in reaching the right goals once you dare to believe in yourself and in your lofty goals.

  1. If money and time and space were not obstacles, what would you most like to educate yourself to learn? Or what kind of work would you most like to do?

Download these tests to print and answer.

Self-Assessment Tests for Discerning Your Special Calling
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This worksheet is from the ebook “Knowing God’s Will” >>

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