All Christians are called to love God, to serve God, and to help point other people towards Him. But that doesn’t mean all of us are called to do it in the same way. God made each of us unique people with our own skills, interests, and passions. Each of us should find our unique way to serve God.
James Spradlin was a filmmaker whose startup focused on brand storytelling when God gave him a calling. “He basically said, ‘This is what I want you to do. I want you to enter into the front lines of my work. I want you to enter into the front lines of spiritual warfare. I want you to suffer with other people. I want you to see my power. And I want you to capture it, so you can take it back and you can share it with other people so that they may know me,’” James says.
James then left his production company and founded a new one dedicated to telling the story of what God is doing in the world and how He is impacting people’s lives. James had an eye for film and loved telling people’s stories so this calling is a natural fit for his skills, interests, and passions.
Jenny Jimenez was a computer engineering graduate working as a content marketer when she felt God call her to ministry. The person who introduced her to Jesus continued mentoring her through Facebook, eventually challenging her to get involved in God’s mission. She tried helping her church with their social media, but didn’t find the work to be effective or fulfilling. She served in a children’s ministry but that didn’t utilize her skills. After attending an Indigitous #HACK event in Manila, however, she caught the vision for using her marketing background for God.
“It renewed my passion and even strengthened the desire to see my vision through — for churches to use digital marketing concepts to strengthen their ministries’ potential in reaching out and making disciples,” Jenny says. Since then, Jenny has dedicated herself to using marketing for ministry.
A different route
Neither example is what most people think of when they think of ministry or of serving the Church. Making films? That’s for making art, not serving God! Marketing? That’s for selling products, not sharing the Gospel! But both can be used for God.
All Christians are often called part of the “body of Christ.” Paul talks about this in 1 Corinthians 12:
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.1 Corinthians 12:14
God didn’t make us all preachers. He didn’t make us all to serve on the staff of a church or to travel to another country and live with another culture as a traditional missionary. He made us differently so that we can serve God in the way that He made us to serve.
But how can you do that? If you want to find your best unique contribution to God’s mission, it helps to think through your skills, interests, and passions.
God gave you certain talents for a reason. He made singers to sing, painters to paint, teachers to teach. What talents did He give you? Start there and think through how they can be used to serve God.
For just a few examples:
- If you’re a photographer, how can you use photos to tell the story of what God is doing in the world? How can you use it to shine the light on causes that God cares about?
- If you’re a web developer, how can you create a website that helps people come to know Jesus? Are there any churches or ministries that could use your help with their websites?
- If you’re a social media influencer, how can you use your platform to tell people about Jesus in a way that resonates with them?
Unlike with James and Jenny, using these skills usually doesn’t require a career change. You can use social media for God without being the social media manager for a church. You can use photography for Jesus as a freelancer or even a hobby.
What do you enjoy doing? How do you spend your free time? If you were wealthy enough that you didn’t need to work, how would you spend your time?
There’s often overlap between your skills and interests.
- If you love film and writing, how can you write about film in a way that serves God?
- If you love graphic design, how can you design things that serve God? Maybe it’s helping your church, a missions organization, or starting something on your own.
When it comes to your passions, what problems in the world are you passionate about addressing? The world is full of injustice, brokenness, and sin. They’re all bad, and God cares about all of it, but what gets under your skin? What really upsets you? What do you see and just wish you could change?
“Start with what you care about most. Is it orphan children being adopted? Is it people suffering from malnutrition? Is it people not knowing the name of Jesus Christ? Is it human trafficking?” James suggests. “When you focus on the problem, then you can reverse engineer from there.”
If you don’t know where to start, and even if you think you do, the most important thing you can do is pray about it. Ask God to give you guidance about how to serve Him. Ask Him to give you opportunities. Thinking of your skills, interests, and passions, offer to use them for Him.
“The best advice I can give is to go to God directly and say, ‘Lord, I’m willing to use this for your glory,’” James says.