Vocation: How does God call us to live out our faith?


Vocation: How does God call us to live out our faith?


This is a part of the Living Like They Believe series from Faith and Leadership (Duke University): 4 visual poems (videos) with accompanying lesson plans for participants and the facilitator, and the ways four ordinary people live out their Christian vocation. 

In the first lesson,  “Vocation as worship,” Ella Russell, the creator and owner of E-dub-a-licious Treats, sees each task of her work in the bakery as an opportunity to honor God. As God provides Ella with the resources and opportunities to do good work, Ella returns to God thanksgiving and praise and leads a community of people to delight in what God is doing in her life. Ella compels us to reflect on how our daily lives become an act of worship.

In “Vocation as service,” we meet entrepreneur and boot-maker Joshua Bingaman, who encourages us to reflect on how Christian vocation goes beyond service to the self and connects to the deep needs of the community. Joshua’s story of healing and transformation in community is creatively retold through his work as a boot-maker. Joshua challenges us to humbly serve others in all that we do.

Jillian “JJ” Simmons, in “Vocation as obligation,” invites us to consider how Jesus’ love obligates us to live differently, reflecting Christ in the world. JJ’s faith in Jesus compels her to go about her work as a radio personality, nonprofit leader and mother with a drive to bring change in the world. Her grateful obligation inspires a renewed courage to follow the call God places in our lives.

In “Vocation as commission,” sculptor Anthony Suber challenges us to get to the work of telling the story of God’s love in tangible ways, fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission. When we answer God’s call and begin to see the imperfect parts of ourselves and others with new eyes -- God’s eyes of love -- we are able to tell a different story about those imperfections. With God’s eyes of love, we are commissioned to live differently.

Accompanying each film, there is a guide for conversation, Scripture study, practice and prayer. The guides are designed to suit a broad range of audiences and ages, from high school youth to adults. Through open-ended questions, they allow facilitators to shape the conversation to meet the particular needs of their groups. We encourage facilitators to watch the films ahead of time to become familiar with the people and themes in each.

The lessons follow a basic pattern:

  • Gathering conversation, introducing the theme
  • Visual poem viewing and discussion
  • Scripture study, exploring the intersection of the poem and God’s word
  • Practice
    • In the room – kinesthetic or creative exercises to engage group participants in a deeper way
    • In the community – challenges to take the conversation about the poem and Scripture into participants’ daily lives
  • Closing prayer
Brief commentaries on Scriptures used are also provided along with a Resources section of books, videos, and more, at the very end for further reflection.




August 2016


Laura Addis
Dominque D.Gilliard
Kelly Gilmer
Marlon F. Hall
Alaina Kleinbeck


Interactive resources


United States

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“Vocation: How does God call us to live out our faith?,” Anti-Racism Digital Library, accessed March 2, 2021, https://sacred.omeka.net/items/show/128.