I became a follower of Jeff Goins after I read his book Art of Work. I listen to his podcast, I read his blog and subscribe to his mailing list. Jeff provides great value for anyone who follows him like I do. He has started a 7 Day Blog Like a Pro Challenge.
I have not blogged recently because much of my time has been focused on getting the 2 Bald Pastors Podcast up and running. I have found so much joy in podcasting and this love is multiplying as my children are showing their interest in creating media content to share.
The challenge for the first day is to create a manifesto. Jeff writes “What’s your worldview? What gets under your skin? What wrecks you? These are the questions great writers, and incidentally great bloggers, must ask themselves…And once you’ve identified it, that thing you’re writing about, you’ve created something powerful for your readers to connect with.”
I know my calling is to create and share quality content that helps people connect with God. But it is more than that; I need to identify a problem in the world, I need to figure out how to solve that problem and then work towards creating a tribe to help me in my calling.
A few years ago I signed up for Michael Hyatt’s Platform University. The community in Platform University is amazing and they give so much encouragement and feedback. I was working on a value proposition with the help of the Platform University community. This is my finished statement I am a pastor, writer and blogger helping multi-generational families thrive as they learn their faith story and connect with one another, by helping each family member identify with their unique role, discover their personal gifts, and know what it means to live their best life.
Over the last year any content I have created focused on a certain aspect of that value proposition. However, over the last few months, especially as I have worked with different kinds of content creation I have come to the conclusion that my value proposition needs to be updated.
Recently I spent some time at Camp Calumet (one of my favorite places in the world) and I worked to identify my “one thing.” What is the one thing that I can do with my life that would help make everything else easier or unnecessary? (focus question found in the book The One Thing) I want to start with the one thing and then branch out into other things that connect with my one thing. You get it?
So I read, prayed, pondered, wrestled, wrote and reflected. I determined that my one thing is creating content. I know I am called to create content and right now I do that through sermons, newspaper articles, newsletters, blog posts, podcasts and any other opportunity that I find. I love creating content that instills good values, that connects people with their faith and helps people find direction in their life.
So here is my manifesto, this is an in depth look at the things I think about on a regular basis, how I believe that we are all created for something great in this world and how I have come to find my purpose in life. This manifesto will look at questions I want to answer and things that you can do to help me with my cause.
There is a point in life that when we find ourselves at a crossroad. We may be confused about the next steps in life and we are unsure about our future.
The search for our passion and purpose begins when we are young. When I was a child I had dreams of being an inventor, football player, designer, and cartoonist (just to name a few). I consumed content every time I had a different idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I eventually settled on becoming a musician. But eventually that changed as well. Because of my lack of direction, focus and purpose my grades suffered and I felt lost. I started to fill my time by working three different jobs, I was depressed and confused. I tried to seek help but I did not know who to turn to and what to do to find my “one thing.” I did not have the tools to figure out my next steps. I did not know what was going to make me happy and I wanted to escape from the world.
I ended up leaving college after my junior year and I started to work at Camp Calumet. I worked with a retired pastor and retired poet and we talked weekly about life, God, the church, and faith. They answered my questions and walked with me as I created an identity that was faithful to my life’s calling. With their encouragement I spent time reflecting, studying, reading and praying about my life and about my future and things came into focus.
I learned that life without purpose and direction is a life that is not worth living. I learned that there are many ways to find our calling but we need support, encouragement and love.
I spent three years working on the year round staff at Camp Calumet. During that time I talked with anyone who would listen about figuring out life, how to be faithful to our calling and how to find our purpose.
While at Camp Calumet I decided to pursue my calling as a pastor in the ELCA. I finished my degree, worked in a church as a youth director and then I went to seminary to study pastoral care and theology.
The problem is that we go through life without direction. We have some inkling of what we want to do with our life, but as we live our life our experiences can change our heart and our calling. We may have a dream of becoming a professional athlete starting in elementary school thru college. But when that dream doesn’t come true what are the next steps to figure out life?
Someone may have a calling to be a teacher. After a 30 year career you may retire, what do you then do to fill your time and to still make a difference in the world?
The only way I can fully explain the feeling of finding one’s calling is transformational. When I finally accepted the call to be a pastor I felt transformed. I was energized and excited, I know that my life had a purpose and that God was leading me in the direction I felt called.
We all can experience this transformation. It is an amazing thing and I pray that you will take the next steps in your life to find your calling and to take action.