The primary consideration (of vocation) is not discovering the self; it is to serve the neighbor, even to the point of sacrificing the self and its interests…Vocation is first of all about serving God through serving the neighbor. The modern association of self-fulfillment runs against (this)…The point is not to seek one’s self….The point is to love God and neighbor.Douglas Schuurman, Vocation: Discerning Our Callings in Life, p123-124
The Volunteers Exploring Vocation (VEV) network supports young adults who come from diverse backgrounds to explore the relationship between faith and work during a year of service. We partner with more than 18 faith-based service organizations to create programs that help volunteers to discern their vocation and calling, as they build a life of faithful servant leadership.
VEV integrates vocational discernment as a benchmark of every program, along with service, social justice, community, a simplified lifestyle and continued spiritual growth. During their year of service, VEV participants:
- Explore vocational leadership through curriculum and discussion, retreats, spiritual direction, and connections to other faith-based groups.
- May be nominated to attend vibrant ecumenical gatherings to explore vocation and theological education. As they convene with leaders and peers from partner congregations and community ministries, VEV participants have the opportunity to discuss lives of service and faithfulness.
For many VEV participants, the operating concept of vocation is shaped by the wisdom of FTE Fellow Frederick Buecher (1954), “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Guided by the call to “to love God and neighbor” through service, emerging Christian leaders discover vocational identity through their relationship with FTE partner organizations.