I previously wrote an article focused on mission and how individuals are busy living out their Christian faith in many ways through their days:
“Trawling through many parish websites I have enjoyed finding so much variety in what is on offer to the wider community! And, as a happy consequence, I have also found lots of variation in how members of the churches are meeting together in interesting and creative ways – invigorating for their faith and their friendships.
However, I have also observed something that is missing from our websites! It is possible to see people, to see calendars, to see events, groups and activities on the pages. It is even possible to read between the lines and get a feel of what the services will be like in style and content. But what about the relationships? These you can’t embody on a screen!”
This week we’re thinking about vocation and I’ve been asking people what this means to them. How does their vocation as a Christian, called to share the Gospel and love of Christ, impact on how they live?
Here are some responses from around the diocese…
Jenny is a mum of two young kids, a keen runner and loves going on new adventures with her family!
“As an independent hairdresser, I get to know people pretty quickly! People are given time and space to talk about whatever is on their mind. I try to listen to the client alongside listening to the Holy Spirit, praying that He will direct our conversations. It’s amazing that people are so open to conversations about God and faith and I often end up praying for/with my clients at the end of the haircut.
My hope is that clients always leave the hairdressing chair feeling encouraged and uplifted!”
Caragh is President of the Student Union at her college (part of Durham University). She loves coffee, Eastern Europe and Jesus:
“My role gives me almost daily opportunities to serve others in new ways, I try to embrace these opportunities to support, encourage people and (hopefully!) to reflect God’s love.
I also share Jesus in my daily life by being honest about how my relationship with God influences the decisions I make whether short term or long term. This often allows my friends the space to ask me about my faith and for me to share the gospel with them.”
Eline grew up in the Netherlands, moving to the UK over 10 years ago to study for her doctorate in archeology. She spends her work hours both researching and teaching others:
“The only place I really come into contact with non-Christians is work, and we rarely talk about non-work things there (academics are a weird bunch!). They all know I’m a Christian, but they never ask anything about it – contrast really to my undergraduate days where I once found myself teaching a bunch of fellow students the Lord’s Prayer on a fieldtrip!
Since moving to the UK my spare energy has gone into supporting other Christians (mainly those in academia, and mentoring international students) in thinking through what their faith means for their everyday life. I’m from a different theological tradition really, reformed rather than evangelical. I have not grown up with an emphasis on evangelism but more on serving God in whatever you do, including, say, cleaning the house, serving your community, or carrying out scientific research. So that is what I have sought to do.”
Cameron is a student in Durham where he is Vice President for the St John’s Common Room and loves many sports – both playing and watching!:
“I try to share my faith through breaking down stereotypes and challenging preconceptions people may have.
As a young person who studies theology, leads worship, and preaches, people can’t get too far into a conversation with me without faith cropping up! Plus, the fact I do these things often surprises people and leads to interesting questions being asked; to which I hope my answers expand their idea of what Christianity looks like and what it could mean to them.
My passion for social justice also allows me to share my faith, because by being an authentic witness to God’s transformative Kingdom vision, people get to see God’s love in action and hopefully be compelled to think about it more deeply. Also, when people ask me why I’m a so passionate about certain issues I can tell them about my faith-rooted motivations”
David is a husband and busy father of four who recently moved to East Durham and loves exploring the great outdoors (sometimes for some peace and quiet!):
“I find people very open and interested to talk about Jesus. People in the community know that I am a Christian and inevitably people, over a drink, maybe over a meal, or chance meeting on the street, etc neighbours and friends ask me about my faith. I am always astounded when this happens yet I am coming to expect it.
For example, I live in an area where we have a private lane behind our row of houses. I have made friends with many of the neighbours, most of whom are long time friends of each other. Privately many of them have come to me to talk about faith, to ask about Jesus, to inquire about the Church; and I understand that they are now discussing these matters amongst themselves as well.
Last year I discovered though that I needed to offer much more than just answers to their questions; that what these new friends were seeking for needed to be experienced. Now when we meet I always offer to pray with them. My hope is to assist them with their first baby steps on their pilgrimage of faith, that they would know the love of God themselves, to know that Jesus has saved them. I feel privileged to accompany them in this way.
Thus far we have been meeting mostly by chance, for the odd drink or meal here and there. Now as a group we are planning to meet on purpose. I look forward to see what God will do amongst us as we now meet in His name.”