This summer, I’ve taken two more courses with Fuller. The first is on mentoring, and the second is called ‘a focused life’, which continues study on Clinton’s leadership emergence theory which I found so interesting from another course.

Mentoring is something we have been dabbling with and been doing naturally over the past decade through God given relationships. We’ve not yet however considered a framework to approaching this, something that we could both use as a roadmap in intentional mentoring and train others in as well. So I’m really excited about the learning and books I’ve been diving into. The professor comes highly recommended, he’s a former missionary for +25yrs to south america who has been teaching this course for around 10 years now. I’m learning that in the end, it’s not the topic you dive into when it comes to deep discovery, it’s the souls who have something life giving to share during the process. I look forward to learning from them. The whole course comes from the perspective of life as story, considering where God is at work in our lives, and those we are coming alongside and learning to discern along with folks, vs giving them answers. I think this is a lost art form due to our western logical, didactic styles of academic ‘knowing of info’… to ask good questions, to sit with folks and truly listen together what the Spirit might be inviting to address, or discover as the persons story is revealed towards a meaningful role in God’s meta plans. Anyway, cool stuff.

In the Focused Life series, this is going to be difficult! This course is a week by week plan that builds historical (personal) events in your life, where God shaped you, how, and compiles towards a end of course portfolio. I did something like this at the beginning of my Fuller experience, it was really challenging and revealed in me, or began to, my false self, the person I was so longing to become, and allowed me to see things I’d never seen before.. both liberating and depressing! Anyway, looking at dozens of biblical characters lives and 100’s of historical leaders that finished well, considering the patterns, this is something I know will be richly rewarding and helpful not just for myself, but those I’m given to help journey with in their knowing of Jesus and their embracing of their true selves, and gifts etc.

It’s been cool so far to reconsider, perhaps unlearn might be better word, some concepts and origins of ‘calling’ or ‘vocation’. I’ve found this topic immediately engaging as my entire life’s trajectory was set at a young age when God ‘called’ us to the Russian speaking world. So seeing this through some fresh and historical perspectives has been liberating already. If there’s one question every new believer asks, its, “What is God calling me to do?”… or “be”..

“In families, schools, workplaces and religious institutions, we are trained away from true self towards images of acceptability” (Palmer).

“The deepest vocational question is not “what ought I do with my life?” It is the more elemental demanding “Who am I? What is my nature?”

“Vocation at its deepest level is, “This is something I can’t not do, for reasons I’m unable to explain to anyone else, and don’t fully understand myself but that are nonetheless compelling.”