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CNLP 231: Jon Thompson on How to Discover Your True Calling and Gifting And Why Operating Outside of Either Can Be Exhausting and Dangerous

One of the more perplexing questions people ask is “What am I truly called and gifted to do?” Jon Thompson, Preaching and Vision Pastor of C4 Church and adjunct faculty at Tyndale Theological Seminary, answers that question both for people in the marketplace AND church leaders. We also dive into why operating outside of your calling and gift set is both dangerous and draining.

Welcome to Episode 231 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

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Spiritual Gifts – C4 Church Sermon Series

Canadian Church Leaders Podcast, Episode 011 (CCLP 011): Jon Thompson and Barry Parker on Transitioning Stuck Churches into Growth, Reaching Your Community and A Big Initiative for Toronto

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3 Insights from Jon

1. If your spiritual gifts aren’t obvious to you, seek them out

Pray – Ask, from a trinitarian standpoint, for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to show you what gifts you have been given.

Read Scripture – Find out what the Bible has to say to you about your gifts.

Community Advice – Often people around you can more clearly see the gifts that you may be dismissing.

2. Knowing and understanding your calling category is crucial in ministry

Jon has found four ways people can receive a call to vocational ministry. There’s no superior type of calling, but it’s crucial to know yours in order to thrive. When you’re calling is clear, you can do it well. But if you’re unsure of what brought you to ministry in the first place, your journey is in danger because you’ll eventually doubt your ability to lead.

  1. The “I have no choice” calling: Experiencing a spiritual encounter that can’t be ignored.
  2. The “Gifting” calling: All your spiritual gifts led you to thrive in ministry.
  3. The “Family” calling: The Spirit worked through years of prayer or molding from the generation(s) that came before you.
  4. The “Community Affirmation” calling: Being affirmed and appointed to lead by the people within your community.

3. Steward spiritual gifts well by living out 1 Corinthians 13

Without love, it doesn’t matter how many gifts you discover, how powerful they are, or the amount of influence they provide.

The reason why we all like Jesus so much isn’t because of all the things he can do, but because of the way he loves. Jesus is 1 Corinthians 13 incarnate.

As a leader, pray over 1 Corinthians 13 daily, because it doesn’t matter how you’re anointed or appointed – clinging to love is the only thing that’s going to maintain your calling and your spiritual gifts in the long run.

Quotes from Episode 231

Most of us who are Christians love Jesus deeply, but we don't trust him. @pastorJon_T Click To Tweet If sovereign calling in any form is the inception point in the power, love is the way you make it in the long term. @pastorJon_T Click To Tweet Calling has been lost in the church in many ways. If we don't regain calling, we're going to be in real trouble. @pastorJon_T Click To Tweet You can have right gifts and still sin with them. @pastorJon_T Click To Tweet The pastor's role is not to dismiss experience but to evaluate it. @pastorJon_T Click To Tweet Calling is not just the bedrock for perseverance, calling is the bedrock for the authority to stand up in the first place. @pastorJon_T Click To Tweet A lot of people walk away from their calling before God has walked away from their calling. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 231

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

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Over the years, one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about being a public speaker is having opportunities to hang out with Carey…It’s not a matter of if you’ll run into these challenges; it’s a matter of when. Be prepared by spending a little time with a leader who has already been there.” Jon Acuff, NYT best-selling author

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Next Episode: Christine Birch

Christine Birch has been part of three large churches in both Canada and the US. How do you connect people in a large church, and how do you connect them at your church? Christine shares her experiences on both sides of the border as they apply to large and small churches alike.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 232.

CNLP 231: Jon Thompson on How to Discover Your True Calling and Gifting And Why Operating Outside of Either Can Be Exhausting and Dangerous

1 Comment

  1. Andrew on April 11, 2019 at 7:06 am


    Really enjoyed the conversation, but still am confused on one point. Everything he is talking about is great, but seems completely contradictory as a Calvinist because everything he is saying requires free will, not a deterministic world view.

    Just looking for clarity as it seems very confusing to me.

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