Purpose Without Apology

Purpose, Calling, Assignment: What's the Difference?

September 23, 2019 Lisa C. Gant Season 1 Episode 2
Purpose Without Apology
Purpose, Calling, Assignment: What's the Difference?
Show Notes

Welcome to another episode of Purpose Without Apology! In this episode, I explain the difference between purpose, calling and assignment. These words are used interchangeably all the time in church settings, but how many of us really understand what they mean? Here, I break it all down into simple terms that you can easily apply to your everyday life.

Show Notes:
What is purpose?

  • According to Collins Dictionary, purpose is known as "the reason for which something is made or done"
  • Our purpose as Christ followers boils down into 3 parts:
  1. We exist to glorify God. (1 Peter 2:9)
  2. We exist to do good. (Ephesians 2:10)
  3. We exist to expand the kingdom of God by way of the Great Commission. (Matthew 28:18-20)

What is calling?

  • According to Webster-Merriam, a calling is "a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action, especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence." It is also defined as "the vocation or profession in which one customarily engages."
  • While purpose is a broader, more overarching term for why we exist, calling is more specific. It refers to your gifts, talents and abilities. (Ephesians 2:10)
  • Calling can include what you do either professionally or personally. (Romans 8:28) For example, being gifted at graphic design and mentoring women in a weekly bible study can both be examples of your calling in action.
  • Calling can be a role or status in society. (ex. You can be called to foster or adopt children, or to have a large family)

What is assignment?

  • According to Webster-Merriam, an assignment is "a specified task or amount of work assigned or undertaken as if assigned by authority"
  • While purpose and calling remain unchanged, an assignment is usually temporary, often limited to a certain season of time. (1 Corinthians 7:17)
  • If your calling refers to your gifts, your assignment refers to the specific tasks you do with those gifts. (ex. Being gifted at graphic design/artwork is a calling; working as a graphic designer is an assignment.)
  • You do not choose your purpose, calling or assignments. However, you can choose how to partner with God in order to manifest them on Earth.
  • Purpose is not a tightrope. It’s not a prison. It’s a wide open field with a fence around it. In other words, God does give us some boundaries, but we also have more than enough room to explore and try new things.
  • You are meant to be empowered by your purpose, calling and assignment, not burdened by them.

Action Step:
Using the definitions given in this episode, take 30 minutes and define your purpose, calling and assignment as best you can.

"The Truth About Finding Your Passion" - The Courtney Sanders Show, Episode 79