5.07am on Monday 20 May 2024

Exploring Vocation banner

A fresh look at making sense of our calling

In practice

Helping you put the ideas from these resources into context.


Click play to hear an overview of the resources in this section.


Links to books, websites and articles about Exploring Vocation.

How to use the resources in Exploring Vocation with your group

Exploring Vocation is divided into 7 sessions that can be explored in a series, or as one off sessions. Click on the session title to expand s description, download session materials and listen to an audio guide for the session.

If you would like to use this as a series, we offer these seven sessions as a course called   There is more information about this in the last drop -down section below.  As well as a complete set of materials for facilitators and group members, you will find a downloadable leaflet which you can customise to publicise the course.

VOC1 Debunking Vocation

How do you understand the word ‘vocation’ or calling?  Within the Church it is often understood to be about getting ordained or entering a religious life or occupation. We want to explore a much broader understanding of the idea of vocation that can  apply to everyone and makes sense of our work and daily lives. We will share our experiences and explore some myths that need to be challenged.  This should equip you to explore your vocation or calling and open up new possibilities and ways forward on your own journey.

Useful Resources

  • Copies of 'Who has a vocation?' images (full colour). Note that the group member's handouts has a small black and white version of these pictures

VOC2 Discerning Vocation

What is involved in exploring and working out our vocations as a calling from God?  How can we know that a calling is of God and is not just us satisfying our own needs? People have been struggling with this issue for thousands of years so there is a lot of experience to draw upon.  In this topic we suggest a structured approach that we can use to help us discern God’s call in our lives.

Useful Resources

  • Bible Reading : Exodus 3- 4:17 Moses and the Burning Bush. This is available to download above.

VOC3 My Story

How do you make sense of your life story so far, all that has happened to you and all that you have chosen to do?  In what ways do you see yourself as being on a journey and what might the next stage of it open up for you and others?  Here is an opportunity to reflect on our story and how we have been shaped to be the people we are today.  We will also consider how our relationship with God has been part of our story. This will open up for us the possibility to consider who we might yet become in God.

Useful Resources

  • Each group member should bring along their own 'Lifeline', based on the instructions available to download

VOC4 Looking Inwards

Who am I, what are my gifts, what am I passionate about and when do I feel most alive?  These, and other such questions, are all important when exploring the issue of our own calling.  God has made us uniquely and has planted in us particular gifts and purposes that he wants us to use as partners with him in his work.  This topic helps us to explore and name our purpose and what we feel we are able to offer to others.  Being clearer about that helps us to work with other more creatively.

Useful Resources

  • This session is based around group member's thought and reflections about themselves. The exercises 'Party Time', 'Who am I?' and'Know your Gifts' should be complete before hand to help the discussions.
  • For the final reflection, the song 'O God, you search me and you know me'. This can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKsB9NcYSBg If no internet connection is available, the words to the song can simply be said aloud.

VOC5 Turning Outwards

What do I currently give my attention to in my daily work and life?  What might God be calling me to give more or fresh attention to?  How might that affect how I spend my time and what I get actively involved with?  God calls us to participate in his kingdom building work as partners in creation. In this session we will think about what God is calling our attention towards and what we engage with now, and might do in the future.

Useful Resources

  • This session is based around reflections from group members taking note of events out in the world. The exercises 'Read All About It' (encouraging the group members to look at newspapers, magazines or other media to see what their attention is drawn towards), and 'Stop, Look and Listen' (encouraging group members to go to an unfamiliar place, and reflect on what they notice), should be completed before hand.

VOC6 Signposts to New Beginnings

As disciples of Christ, we invited to become caught up in His work of renewal and transformation - change is part of the Christian life.  Starting something new can be both exciting and daunting at the same time.  For some, this may involve a significant change in their life and work. For others, it can be something apparently very small. However, we never quite know what the long term impact will be, of even something small. In this topic we will explore how God might be pointing us to something new and consider how we might respond.

Useful Resources

  • Bible Readings : The Call of Abraham (Genesis 12), The Call of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1: 4-10), The Call of Mary (Luke 1: 26-38) and The Call of Peter (John 21: 15-19). These are available to download, or the group can use their own bibles.
  • The exercise 'People with a Mission' should be completed BEFORE the session. This encourages the group to think of heroes/heroines in terms of their mission.

VOC7 Sustaining Vocation

Our vocation in God is something that needs regular attention to be sustained.  Through God it changes and develops over time.  We have to be open to new promptings and surprises as God reveals more of his purposes for our lives and for those he calls us to engage with for his sake.  Vocation is a shared activity.  We are members together of the body of Christ and we need each other for encouragement, support and as partners in God’s work.  What do we need to do to support each other on our journey and sustain the clarity of our calling? 

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