About this Study
Lutherans have a special understanding of vocation. A vocation, or calling, is not simply a refence to your professional job or, perhaps a specific role in professional ministry. Instead, the word vocation encompasses all the roles in which God has placed us. God calls us to work as for Him and not for men (Col 3:23-34) in all areas of our lives. This includes the obvious- the jobs we hold as professionals and/or students- but also our roles as siblings, children, friends, community members, and so much more. All these vocations are lived out under our largest vocational umbrella, given to us in our baptisms- that of people called to follow Christ.
The theology of vocation is such a gift to all people, but especially to youth. By understanding their lives as a collection of God-given vocations under the larger umbrella of their call to follow Jesus, youth are invited to consider what living a faith-integrated life might look like. Rather than feeling like they are juggling their vocations as teammates, band members, students, children and more, this study seeks to invite them to consider the intersections of those vocations and how they can follow Jesus in each of their vocations. Understanding these vocations can help students be better prepared for whatever is coming next in their lives.
Session 1 – Vocation: Child of God
This session really sets the tone for the whole series, and we’ll return to several of these concepts over the course of this study. Any discussion of vocation must be firmly grounded in our baptismal identities as children of God. In this session you’ll discuss what it means to follow Jesus- that we are called to faith and equipped to share the Gospel with others through words and actions. Our vocation as children of God is not a vocation that changes. Instead, this vocation serves as the roots that help us to weather the storms that come throughout our lives.
Session 2- Vocation: Family and Friend
This session will explore vocations that are familiar to all people- what it means to be a member of your family and what it means to be a friend. This session will include some discussion of the second table of the commandments as a framework for horizontal relationships as well as Biblical examples of caring for family and friends. We will explore what it means to pray for one another, to carry one another’s burdens, and to point others to Jesus, all as we live out our primary vocation of following Jesus. These vocations can and do change over time but understanding that we are called to be faithful in these relationships should shape how we approach those changes.
Session 3- Vocation: Kingdom Worker
This session will explore texts about the Body of Christ. As people called to follow Jesus, we are all kingdom workers. In this session we will explore professional church work careers as well as what it looks like for a lay person to do kingdom work. In having this discussion, we will further paint a picture of what it means to live out our calling to follow Jesus.
Session 4- Vocation: Community Servant
This session will explore several texts that encourage believers to view their roles in their communities as callings from God. Whether a youth is considering running for class office, joining a service-learning organization, playing on a sports team, or considering their next steps after high school, they will be challenged to consider how they can put forth their best effort to the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31). Each of these vocations are celebrated because they give youth opportunities to use the gifts God has given them to walk as an example to others (1 Tim 4:12) as they live out their calling to follow Jesus. By understand their role as community servants now, youth are challenged to consider how God might continue to work through the roles they fill in the future.
These lessons have four devotions that run parallel to the Bible study. These are designed for you to use if you meet multiple times a week or for you to share through email or social media in between lessons.