How to Figure Out Your Calling with Steph J
I am thrilled to welcome my friend Steph J on the podcast today! Steph and I met at Lehigh University – on her very first day there. We’re getting into a beautiful conversation about faith and work. Where do they intersect?
What is your calling? How do you figure it out? And then how do you live it out? Join us as we talk through these questions and more.
What We’re Talking About
- Faith and work
- How to figure out your calling
- Is calling only for certain roles?
Steph’s Career Story
At Lehigh, Steph studied Psychology and Africana Studies, along with being involved in a sorority, attending Bible studies, and enjoying college. From there, she moved home – not a popular thing for Lehigh grads! Steph believed God had a calling on her life, but at this point, she didn’t know how that would play out. She says she found her way through an internship where she learned hard work, meekness, and humility. And she began to listen for the next steps.
From there, she started a role as a high school college counsleor to help students pick which college to attend. It helped prepare her for the role she has now in many ways. Then she worked at a private school running their auxiliary programming. She also learned a lot here, especially from the younger students at the school.
Now Steph serves at the Next Generations Director at a church in Florida. It’s challenging, and rewarding all at once. She said that every part of her story has been orchestrated to prepare and equip her for this very role. She calls herself a vocational minister. And then on the side, she’s part of an incredible pageant coaching team as the Director of Joy and Encouragement!
Where Do Faith and Work Intersect?
Steph has worked both in ministry and not in ministry over the years, so she brings a unique take on the view of faith and work. When she first heard “faith at work” she realized it’s a double entendre – “faith at work is what you do, but if your faith isn’t at work, it won’t work.” You have to actually activate your faith in your days and your job.
You need to put faith on every day. For Steph, she has a practice of putting joy on in the morning just like she gets dressed for work. Wearing it. She talks about how to live life transparently – when coworkers ask you about what you’re doing, be honest. It may open avenues and conversations down the road. She says it doesn’t have to be super complicated. Build relationships, be a real person, love the people you work with. There may come a time when you can share verses or ore directly about your faith. But first, show up at work well and love well.
Christians are a body – we’re every single one of the crayons in the crayon box, not just one! And every one of us serves a unique function. The world needs your unique reflection of faith and love.
One of the things that faith at work looks like is also doing your job exceptionally well. Be on time, dress appropriately, don’t gossip, be gentle, and kind. Look in your Bible, see what the instructions are, and heed them. It’s okay if you fail, keep on coming back.
Do everything as unto the Lord. Whether you work at a church or not, your job is unto God. Your daily work, every bit of it, is unto God. You’re not working for “the man” or yourself, you’re working unto God. Small continuos steps in the right direction leads faith to come more alive in me. And then it can cause it to come alive in others too.
Where Did the Idea of Calling Come From – And What Do We Do With it?
Steph has had many a conversation about this with high school students now and in her former jobs about this very thing. Those questions of “Who am I? What am I supposed to be? What do I want? What is my calling?” can all get very overwhelming.
“The simplest way to understand calling is that if you are called to something, it comes naturally to you.”
Steph gives us the examples of riding a bike – if you can ride a bike, you are called to that, you’re a bike rider. To know if you have a bikini body, you put a bikin on your body – bikini body. We overcomplicate it. It’s really very clear.
So think about if it comes naturally to you, if it flows naturally to you. And if you feel guided or led there. She shares some ways to engage more with the voice of God in your life and connect with that voice.
Secondly, recognize that wherever you are is on purpose, and be there fully. As Steph says, “Wherever I am, I am, and I’m called to it.” God may move her at any point, but her choice is not to grumble about where she’s been placed but to be where she is, fully engaged, full a part of it, and know it’s right where she is called to be, right now. If she’s called to be elsewhere, she’ll be there when it’s time. For now, be present where you are, right here, right now.
Calling sounds super mystical. But there are some practical steps to it. Every single one of us is gifted. Some gifts and callings are for certain seasons and others may be used in different times. There may be a time of preparation for a certain calling or gift to be best used. Regardless, we’re all called to minister. And it may change over time, but it’s always a calling.
“There’s a progression, not perfection. Faith at work in our lives as believers is continual.”
Get In Touch with Steph J
Connect With Jena
Steph J Is a Lehigh University Alum with degrees in Africana Studies and Psychology. She’s also a longtime friend!
Though she spent years working in education, she has always had a passion for ministering to the Next Generation. She currently serves as the Next Generations Director at a church in Fort Lauderdale, FL. She is passionate about bringing faith into her many spheres of influence, including during her time competing in pageants. As if she didn’t have enough going on Steph is also the founder of an online “soul sisterhood,” as she likes to call it, called You are Crowned. You can find her online @lifewithstephj & @youare_crowned
How to Figure Out Your Calling with Steph J
September 2, 2020