AUTHOR: Todd Wilson
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016, (224 pages).
The opening verse to the song "Consuming Fire" is an apt description of what this book opines: "There must be more than this." While Tim Hughes's song leads us to the working of the Holy Spirit and unity, Todd Wilson uses this to point us to personal calling and purpose. Not satisfied with the status quo, he asks the fundamental questions:
- BE: Who are we fundamentally? (Our identity and design)
- DO: What should we be doing? (Our mission and purpose)
- GO: How can we release our fullest potential? (Our mission field and positioning)
In short, this book is about BE-DO-GO. Written in two parts, the first part, "Foundations in Calling" lists the ten truths of personal calling. The second part, "Discovering Your Calling" shows us the way on how to apply the framework to discover our own calling. The Ten Truths are:
- Trusting God to show us
- Stepping Forth in Faith
- Abandoning the Earthly for the Eternal
- Submitting to the Lordship of Jesus
- Embracing Christ's Mission to bring the Gospel to the Masses
- Living in common with a local community of faith
- Taking personal responsibility for One's Life
- Trusting the Holy Spirit to Guide and to Empower Us
- Following Our General Calling of core Identity, core Mission, and core Position
- Following Our Specific Calling of Unique Identity, Unique Mission, and Unique Position.
If Part One is theory, Part Two is very much the practical aspect. Without a doubt, discipleship is the first calling. This means surrendering to the lordship of Jesus. It is a wholehearted yes to God. There are many wonderful applications. For instance, there are the six elements of calling (cI, cM, cP, uI, uM, uP); where Wilson provides ample questions and intentional statements. Part Two looks more like a workbook toward the end of each chapter. There are assessment tools, metaphors, scenarios, and tips to discover our primary and secondary callings. Full of ready-to-use materials, Part Two is certainly worth the price of the book.
Overall, the book encourages us to begin with the ten truths of what personal calling is. It gives us the specific lens of understanding our calling before helping us to create a "dashboard" on what to do about our discoveries. Let me offer three thoughts.
First, the three-fold idea of BE-DO-GO is intuitively easy to catch and remember. Some books are great to read for their stories and content. After that, readers can also easily forget and struggle to recall what they have read. Like a three-point-sermon, this book helps us easily grasp the concepts and to apply them clearly. The ten truths of what calling help clear the decks and to prepare us of what Wilson is about to tell us. Readers who make it to the end of the book would be able to repeat Wilson's mantra like a broken record.
Second, I think books on calling are so important that there is always room for one more. Many Christian communities regularly cry out for greater clarity and in-depth teaching about calling and purpose. This book provides not only wonderful spiritual insights but needed resources to help us discover our own calling individually and communally. In fact, this is one of the better and more effective books in the market.
Third, this book is written with implementation in mind. Each step of the way, one can see that the author is not interested in mental gymnastics. True to the core message of the book, this book shows the way on what exactly it means to put into practice what we learn. The key to learning is that if we do not put into practice whatever we have learned quick enough, we will easily forget the lessons. In fact, there is no learning until implementation has been made. This is why I am grateful for Todd's presentation. The list of ideas and easy to use techniques will enable readers to apply quite quickly.
Todd Wilson is founder of Exponential, an organization that promotes church planting and evangelism. A nuclear engineer by training, he is passionate about equipping people in discovering their personal calling. For more, one can go to www.personalcalling.org for additional supplemental resources.
I recommend this book highly for teaching and discovering our calling.
Rating: 4.75 stars of 5.
This book is provided to me courtesy of Zondervan and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.