Welcome to the Calling Lab

To get started, watch the Preface video below.



The greater potion of the curriculum can be found on a workbook that you'll find below. Feel free to either print it or keep the digital copy so that you can follow along- you will need it to complete the course.


This training environment was created by the Underground Network, a missional ecosystem designed to support and serve missionaries to plant incarnational churches.



Throughout this Lab, you'll see twitter integrations like the one below. We'd love for you to tweet and share your progress though the curriculum with your followers. Here is an optional first tweet for you:

Calling Lab Landing.png



In this video, Brian walks us through the general idea of calling. We'll look at how people may mistakenly approach calling, the way we should come into this process, and consider the kingdom as the bigger framework for calling.

"There is this notion floating out there that if I can find my calling, that thing I was made for, I was designed for, I'll be happy. Whether its job satisfaction, or productivity, or creativity, we think and believe that there is something out there for us to do, and if we do it, we'll be whole. And that is true, but I think it's like Fredrick Buechner puts it,  "Calling is that place where your happiness and the world needs meet."



Next, Brian will talk about where we'll start this process: with Jesus. We'll consider the necessity to take some time to offer ourselves to God, and before you hear anything from God it is right that we say 'Yes' to God.

"Our seminal call is to God. Before we begin anything else, before we look for the specifics, of where to go, we know that we are called to Jesus. And then, a part of that encounter and relationship is that He sends you."
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
— Romans 12:1



To finish this first section, Brian briefly talks about the process we'll be walking through for the rest of the Lab. At this point, we'll consider all the different elements that will make up our triangulation model.

"What if we wanted to know what this was, and what it was for- that is, what the designer intended for it to do, what it's creator meant for it to accomplish? You'd have to look at it from various vantage points... The point is, you need more than a singular vantage point. People need to look at their lives and the design intention of God from them, from various vantage points.


The Outer Triangle: The objective state of our person which shows us the more concrete indicators of our calling

Personality Inventory: Discovering the type of personality that clarifies who you are

Vocational Assessment: Discovering the role God designed you to fill

Opportunity Analysis: Discovering the experiences that have helped shape you


The Inner Triangle: The subjective sense of our person which serves to clarify the more abstract clues to our calling 

Emotional Evaluation: Discovering the areas we are naturally drawn to

Listening Prayer: Discovering the words God is speaking to us

Counselor Input: Discovering the advice of our mentors and leaders

His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence
— -2 PETER 1:3


To start the Outer Triangle, Brian will discuss the soft science of personality typologies. We talk about how this portion applies to us as a person and a laborer in the Kingdom.

"What typologies do is allow us to see there are commonalities between human beings, patterns that emerge over time, ways that you may react to problems and stress, and learn that there are other humans beings who respond in a similar way. And we can see in those commonalties revelation and discovery about yourself. That is helpful. As long as we don't see these as an identity, but instead see that we handle and look and deal with things in a certain way, it can be incredibly enriching."

The above button will direct you to an official site where you can read about the different personality types, and how the Enneagram system evaluates them. Most websites have monetized their Enneagram tests, and the website has a $10 cost to taking the exam. If you are interested in taking an exam, many free options are available online.

There is no longer a free version of this test. You'll need to purchase the book to get an access code and use it on the site provided in the button to take the assessment.

"The Enneagram is first of all a key to self-knowledge. The point is not to nail others down or to have others nail me down, but that I ask myself who I am, what dangers and possibilities there are within me, and how I can find my ‘true self,’ which God put inside me. Ultimately, I am the only one who can identify myself with a certain type or life program of the Enneagram. This process may move very quickly, or it may take a long time. I determine the tempo. Even those who don’t immediately figure out their type can observe their own life story in the mirror of the new type description and thereby make progress."
- Richard Rohr, "The Enneagram"

Next, Brian will discuss the idea of our vocation within the church and how it affect, or should affect, our missional life.

"Figuring out our spiritual gifts, and the vocation of spiritual gifts, is a way in which Jesus inside you, Christ in you, comes out, shines through, in a design and a pattern that is recognizable to other people. When I see you, I see Jesus in you in a certain way."

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
— Ephesians 4:12-16

To finish the Outer Triangle, Brian addresses how our past, present and future can deeply inform our calling. We'll consider the clues found in our stories and how we can make sense of what God has brought us through.

"We always think ‘I need to move somewhere else. Where I am now can’t possibility be where I'm called because it seems so haphazard.’ Yet  in many cases you’re right where God wants you already.   And I really think that is a demonstration of the sovereignty of God - that you look around and see that your best opportunity for ministry is right here."
Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.
— 1 Corinthians 7:17,24


To begin the inner triangle, Brian talks on our emotions and how they reveal a unique aspect of our calling. We'll consider how and why we should pay special attention to this gift God has given us.

"In general, when it comes to our emotions and our spirituality there is a lot of mistrust. There is a devaluing of emotion. Yet, it isn’t right or scriptural. God Himself exhibits emotion in scripture. So, when it comes to our calling, often times we reject the emotional aspect of who we are. But we are whole people created by God, and part of who we are is emotional. Doing an evaluation on our emotions can be quite telling and helpful.  Our calling is emotional, and we can't afford to ignore that.  "

We'll use this video to guide us through the 63 images. Use your manual to write down your emotional response as well as score and analyze your data. Do not pause or skip around the video. This exercise is designed for you to rapidly and linearly see and react to each image. Remember, you only have 5 seconds to respond to each image so you'll need to write your answers down quickly.


Next, Brian will address what is, perhaps, the most agreed upon and thought of element when trying to discover your calling. We'll look at our role and God's role in listening prayer and give space to listen to God.

"We must spend time in the presence of God and at least by faith be able to say I believe I heard God say this to me. It has to come from God. If you have all these other components and leave this one out, it would be wrong to use the word calling because we must hear His voice. The other components contribute to us hearing His voice.  But right in the center of knowing our calling is hearing our calling.  "

This resource is an excerpt from the book "A Guide for Listening and Healing Prayer," by Rusty Rustenbach

This resource is based on a handout developed by The Navigators' People Resource Team.

Lastly, Brian will discuss what role other believers, and specifically wise believers, have in shedding light on our calling. We'll talk about how to approach this interaction, what to be listening for, and who might be best to speak into this decision we're walking through.

This can often be the last piece, but we tend to invert it and go to people first asking them what they think we should do. But this should be last, after having heard God and worked out some of this inner discovery for yourself. Then present some things to our trusted friends.   ...Human input is not the thing that makes this decision, but it is one of them. God speaks through people and we ought to listen. 

Congratulations! You've completed the Calling Lab. We hope and pray that you have been able to clearly hear from God and can confidently say what He is calling you to at this point. It is vitally important that you complete the 'My Calling' page in your manual. Write down your calling in the middle triangle of that illustration. It's ok if you don't get it exactly right, just give it a shot. God will always be revealing your calling to you in new and fresh ways. This isn't the end of your journey, it's the beginning. ico

  "To walk with Jesus is to act.  Faith without works is dead. 'The man who heeds my words but does not put them into practice is like a fool who builds his house on sinking sand.' So much of this journey and process could be just an expression of our narcissism, a desire to understand my favorite topic, which is 'me'. ... It is a worth while thing, to understand yourself, so that you can be light and salt in the world. So that you can live in a way that is constant with the one you love and follow."

It is of the utmost importance that you, right now, do something that will put you on the hook for being faith for the revelation. It is a grave sin, massive disobedience, to hear from God and not respond in faithfulness. His voice and presence is a gift and we must never stall or tarry when He calls. So, we have three actions for you to take to put yourself on the hook. We suggest you take all three actions:



Right now, text your leader, or whoever keeps you accountable to the way. If you're on a phone, we've made this easy for you:


Hopefully you've been tweeting and sharing your progress through the Lab. Take a minute to tweet one final time about what you feel God has called you to. Let your followers know and be encouraged that you heard from God.


Below, you'll see a collection of many others who went through the Calling Lab. We'd love for you to join the others and post what God has called you to.


If this curriculum has been helpful to you and your community, please consider donating to our team.



We trust you've heard from God and have an idea of what He is calling you to next. Discovering your calling is a big part of your life in the kingdom, but it's only the beginning. Now, the question becomes 'How do I live our my calling and stay faithful to what I've heard?' We have 2 options for you to check out, depending on where you're currently serving in the kingdom.



If you completed the Lab as a student, discovering your personal calling, we have a series of resources available to you to help you start your own missional community based on your calling. These are 5 worksheets to help you start, plan, invite, innovate, and (hopefully one day) multiply your initiative.


If you served as a leader through this Lab, walking others through the material to help them discern their calling, then you might be interested in learning more about creating a missional ecosystem designed to support and serve missionaries to plant microchurches.