Last week was a great week for me (Noah). Professor Matt Dee taught a class called Vocation and Calling, and it was super helpful in forming my plan for what to do after I commission from Impact 360 Fellows. I’ll explain why, but first, let me give a little necessary background.
I have an older sister (her name is Emma) and she is doing the Fellows program too. Before we came to Impact 360, we both planned to attend Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) right after our gap year. It looked like a great school all around, but the Christian presence is lacking on MTSU’s campus. We are so blessed by God; He gave us an amazing group of strong Christian friends who all have a passion for the lost students at MTSU. I seemed to be hearing from God that He wanted us to build a Christian community at MTSU through a college ministry that we would create. I didn’t understand why I felt this way until Matt Dee’s class helped me figure it out.
Matt started by explaining the nature of work. Our culture tends to have a low view of work, meaning we just work to make money and see no value in work itself. But the Bible actually holds a high view of work, and as Matt explained, we as Christians should value work itself. Yes, we still value work because we earn money, but we should also value working just for work’s sake. For one, God works. We see in Genesis 1 that God worked for six days and rested on the seventh. We also see that many of God’s names are job titles (Shepherd, Potter, Judge, etc.) Another reason is that when God created humans, He gave them the Cultural Mandate: “Be fruitful and multiply! Fill the earth and subdue it! Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that moves on the ground.” (Gen 1:28) God was assigning work to humans even before the Fall, and this was good. We were made to work and will continue to work in heaven as well.
Next, Matt talked about the difference between God’s moral will and His specific will. God’s moral will is revealed to us by His moral commands that teach us how we ought to live. God’s specific will is any plans He has revealed for a specific person. Matt taught us that if God hasn’t revealed anything to you, then you are free to choose any option within His moral will. But if He has revealed something to you, you better do that.
Finally, Matt talked about a good rule of thumb for wisely picking a vocation when God hasn’t revealed any specific plan for you. He said to look for the place where your gifts, your passions, and the world’s needs meet.
All of this was very clarifying for me and my sister (who sat next to me for every class). We learned that our passions for college ministry, our giftedness in leadership and community building, and the world’s needs in the form of a lost college campus all meet at MTSU. So, we decided it would be wise, and in God’s moral will, to start a college ministry at MTSU together. And that is what we plan to do.