I got this great question in reply to figuring one’s calling, [How can you figure out your calling] “if you aren’t good at anything?”
To answer this we first have to define what tells us what our callings are: Go here for the full explanation: What is My Calling?
Our calling is simply what God has called us to do, which are his commands, which is very simply: Love God and others (Matt 22:36-40)
In a practical sense “Love others” means to provide for the spiritual and physical needs of your family and others. Your ‘individual’ calling is just how you carry this out as an individual. There are three categories for your individual callings:
- Vocational Callings – Providing for physical needs. We have been called to provide for our family and others (1 Tim 5:18, Eph 4:28)
- Gift Related Callings – Providing for spiritual needs. We are a part of the body of Christ. (1 Cor 12)
- Positional Callings – Biblical commands specific to your position in life (parent, child, spouse, etc).
So you already know what your calling is: Love God and love others…So really you can carry out your calling to Love God and others even if you suck at everything. Get some job, provide for your needs and the needs of your family, pray and encourage those around you, and obey commands in Scripture concerning your position.
But I think what many people are looking for when they ask this question is “What is my individual calling?” Which really means… How do I know when I should minister to someone rather than someone else?
So what you really need to be looking for are opportunities to minister. But just because someone is in need doesn’t mean you are the one to fill that need.
A good place to start is looking at your Gifts, Talents and Resources. And included in your Resources are personality traits.
And this is a good place to begin because our personalities are a little bit easier to figure out than if we’re talented at accounting, nursing or offshore drilling. Maybe we don’t know our personality strengths, but we do know our weaknesses – and that’s actually a great place to start.
What we can do is figuring what we suck at and find its opposite. For example, I’m very non-confrontational, which makes me totally suck by allowing problems to go too long, confronting repairmen about weird charges, or allowing tenants to be late on their rent by like three weeks. But that same ‘weakness’ can be a strength because sometimes a non-confrontational person is needed because maybe a family member just needed a bit of grace and time to get over something and you can be the person they’ll turn to since you didn’t confront them every other day.
Another example is I’m not emotional and for some reason I always unintentionally look grumpy, which makes me terrible where a softer personality is needed like with children, the grief stricken, teenage girls, etc. But others prefer a direct approach. So if someone needs a kick in the pants and wants someone to be blunt with them – then I’m your guy. Take a look at this detailed diagram. There’s always an opposite of a trait you have. You just have to find the good part of it and match it up with the right person and situation. Remember, ministry is about relationships. And relationships are about people. And people are different. Which means God needs certain types of people to minister to certain types of people.
God will be able to use you where I would fail. There’s things we all have in common… we all have relationships (family, work, neighbors, school, church, whatever) and we also have a common calling to minister. So even if we haven’t figured out some specific callings like “God wants you to be an accountant for 72.4 months”, God has still given us all general callings. And general callings are a great place to start because it can have an immediate impact – you just have to wait till the next time you run into another person.
General Calling: Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”