6 Must-Ask Questions to Help Find Your Personal Calling

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Asking the right questions is crucial for discerning one’s calling.

This article is an excerpt from The Catalyst Leader:8 Essentials to Becoming a Change Maker

For five years, I was part of the team that produced Life@Work magazine, a publication committed to wrestling through issues of faith and vocation. We had a definition of calling that formed the foundation of our work, and I still believe it to be better than most: “God’s personal invitation for me to work on His agenda, using the talents I’ve been given in ways that are eternally significant.”

For some of us, the invitation just appears in our mailbox one day with our name on it. But for most of us, it takes time and prayer and a period of discerning.

Asking the right questions is crucial for discerning one’s calling.

Oftentimes, we fail to ask the correct questions and then wonder why our answers are so dissatisfying. Seeking God’s will for your life begins by asking yourself, “What keeps me awake when I should be falling asleep at night?” The answer will expose what makes you mad, what makes you cry, what lingers in your mind when the world goes dark.

The second question you should ask yourself is, “What wakes me up when I should still be sleeping in the morning?” The answer will uncover what you value, what you’re committed to and what excites you.

Asking questions like these is key to finding the right answers. Here are several others I think are helpful for deciphering God’s invitation to you:

1. What are your passions and gifts? At the intersection of these two elements, you’ll find your purpose in life.

2. What would you work on or want to do for free? That is usually a good sign of what God has designed you to do.

3. What energized you when you were a child? Does it still animate you? Knowing your calling is often directly connected to childhood passions and gifts.

4. If you could do anything and take a pay cut, what would that be? You may have to blow up your financial goals in order to pursue your true calling.

Brad  Lomenick Brad Lomenick is Executive Director and key Visionary of Catalyst, a movement of young leaders. Over the last 15 years, he has built a reputation as a key networker and convener of leaders. Prior to running Catalyst, Brad was involved in the growth of the nationally acclaimed Life@Work Magazine and did management consulting with Cornerstone Group. More recently he has served in a number of roles for INJOY and now GiANT Impact. For several years after college, he rode horses for a living on a ranch in Colorado, and was even struck by lightning while installing a barbed wire fence, which some believe has given him powers equal to several of the Super Heroes. He hopes maybe someday he can be a professional golfer, or have his own hunting show.

More from Brad Lomenick or visit Brad at http://www.bradlomenick.com

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  • henry a. luciano

    yes this is true. we sometimes forget the very purpose of God in our lives. some of us really wanted to serve God but doesn’t know his calling.
    thanks for sharing your thoughts. God bless you more

  • @pastortomweaver

    The only thing you missed is approval and agreement by your leaders. While this is not always a guarantee, most of the time it is a good marker of approved calling. Jesus calls us to community, not a collective of one

    • pastor leo

      I want to continually serve God, but this issue of knowing his Calling has bing a prime subject with me. can some one help me out

      • pastor leo

        there pastor who can minister well but they are not called. how then will one know when another is truel called

      • Ben

        Leo, when God calls you know beyond any doubt. you know what gift you have and when to use it. The Holy Spirit uses you and your personality. why do you think your are a paster. Ben

  • http://www.facebook.com/paco.amador.37 Paco Amador

    Very helpful article. thanks a ton for sharing it. there is a generation looking for guidance. (but my geekiness does compell me to set the record straight: frodo is not a man :)

    • pastor leo

      can u tell me how u did understand ur calling?

  • pastor leo

    what really in ministerial calling? studies or…………?

    • Neil

      Leo you are already called as a Pastor, a disciole of Jesus. Your calling says in Mark16:15 “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all of creation.” Also fear not because God sees into your heart and knows you want to serve Him, so give it the best you have. God now bless Leo with his call. Amen

  • Rick Henderson

    It’s fascinating that an article written about knowing God’s will only offers self-focused questions. I think the questions presented are great. The problem is that they reveal more about me than they do about God’s will and his ways.

    The BOTTOM LINE of this article: God has a unique plan and purpose for you. It is found by looking within yourself.

    Is that really the thrust of what we find in the Bible on the subject of God’s will? Let me reiterate. I think these questions are great. They are helpful in elucidating passion and talents. We should align our passion and talents with the ways and revealed agenda of God. Yet this article seems to imply more than that. God’s got a personal plan for you and you discover by digging deeper inside yourself.

    This article may unintentionally promote a kind of Christian Narcissism.

    • Jerry Edmonds

      Rick, I agree that one could see this as promoting a kind of Christian Narcissism. That is certainly something we need to guard against.

      I also agree that there is value here. I have counseled many over the years who have looked into scripture to find their calling and purpose, only to conclude that God has called them to something that he had never equipped them to do or given them a passion and purpose for.

      I believe we need to look to how God made us to seek out how he wants to use us. Many people that I have talked with, who were struggling to find effectiveness in ministry (professional and lay ministry) were able to see God begin to use them mightily when they started following their bent and interests in the way of ministry. Some have even commented to me that something that they love, and that is confirmed as an ability of theirs, and that they have success in, ie. something that is easy for them, cannot possibly be what God is calling them to do. Malarkey.

      God will and sometimes does call shy, quiet, introverted people to preach and reach. More often that not, in my experience, he calls us to follow the path he laid out for us as he made us. Living in the “train up a child” way, as it is intended.

      MTCW, YMMV

      • Gregory Smth

        I think we may be over analyzing this thing a bit. Jesus’s message is simple and trying to pick a message apart because it it too simple is what scares people away in the first place. We all start with milk and move to soft then solid food. It does not mean that the food we start with is lacking in nutrition, but more developed apatite’s require a more substantial portion. There is no danger in drinking a glass of milk when thirsty. Pastors need to pastor which includes introducing God’s children to Him and helping them establish their very own relationship which will reveal one’s calling. I like this site because it does satisfy and refresh me. It even makes me hungry for a full meal.

  • bebs

    It such as the calling is follow direction what God mean to you..I mean ones God calling you as a servant were ever we go God search you becouse you are already his servant..God wants us to approve that we are choosin..with JESUS CHRIST..

  • Jerry

    Thanks for sharing your idea……I do respect your view about God’s call..Mathew was a tax collector, he was so busy with money matters. One thing I learn that when we are so busy God calls us….and when He calls he qualify the call…


    I quite agree with Rick on all the points. I just want to add that when God is calling you in a particular area, there’s a high tendency of your pastor, church leaders, people in the church, or even your locality asking you to play those roles. It happened to me and that was how I discovered I was a teacher. God often use those around us to mirror our gifts.



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