Posted by Tim on 8th April 2013
During the week following Easter, Syzygy was represented at Spring Harvest by Tim, who was helping out in the Vocation Zone. This is a project run by Christian Vocations in partnership with Spring Harvest, which aims to help people recognise their God-given abilities and understand where they can exercise them appropriately, whether in the workplace, church or overseas mission.
A steady flow of visitors to Spring Harvest came through the Vocation Zone, many of them looking at vacancies in Christian organisations which were displayed on the jobs wall, taking home resources such as the Short Term Service Directory, or using the computers to do some of the reflective exercises. All these activities can lead to a discussion with an advisor (Paul, Tim and Rachel) who were available to help people think through issues and gain some focus for finding a way forward.
Many of the visitors to the Vocation Zone came because they were aware of dissatisfaction with their current role. A lot of them were teachers, frustrated with bureaucracy; others were people in dead-end jobs looking for more fulfilment, and many were facing redundancy.
One such visitor was a man who had been in the same job for 20 years and he didn’t like it. He wanted a change but didn’t know where to start. We started him off with some of our diagnostic tools. Having done a ‘career check up’ he had realised that his job wasn’t as bad as he had thought it was, and following a long conversation he discovered that he actually quite liked his job, but felt unsupported in it. Added to that, the general level of change and uncertainty in his life had left him emotionally unable to deal with the challenges he faced. Empowered by this understanding, he was able to develop a plan to engage better with his employers and develop his workplace skills.
Some of the visitors were people approaching retirement who were looking for ways to use their availability to serve God abroad, and a large number of the visitors were young people looking to do mission during their gap year. Using the Christian Vocations resources such as the magazine Mission Matters and the mission vacancies listings we were able to point many of them to the mission field, including several who’d never considered going abroad or had thought their circumstances made it impossible.
Vocation Zone is an important part of events like Spring Harvest as it gives a mission-focussed edge in the context of many thousands of Christians coming together. It is also at New Word Alive and Keswick, so make sure you drop by if you are ever at any of these events. Our friends at Oscar run a similar Missions Advice Area at New Wine. If you can’t get to any of these events, most of the resources are available online at www.christianvocations.org, and so are all the job vacancies, both in the UK and overseas. Please pray for the hundreds of people impacted by Vocation Zone each year.