Creative Leadership

Are You Committing Adultery With Your Calling?

Last year I was invited to speak at the Born to Win leadership conference at Impact Church in Jacksonville. The pastor of Impact is George Davis, who’s a very influential leader, and one to keep your eye on for the future. At the conference, the other speaker Pastor Davis invited was Sean Moore, pastor of Faith Christian Center in Phoenix. Sean’s message was brilliant. He asked an unusual question:

Are you committing adultery with your vision, purpose, and calling?

What a insightful concept!  For so many of us, we feel we have a purpose or calling, and yet at numerous times in our career we “cheat.”  We dabble with this or that – mostly out of insecurity or fear. But if you’re trying to achieve “mastery” of your skill or creative calling, monogamy with that calling is absolutely essential.

Sean used the illustration of Jesus when He taught on pruning. Today we face far more options, activities and distractions, so it’s harder than ever to focus. But if we’re going to be truly creative leaders, then it’s time to prune a few things and focus on the dream you feel called to accomplish.

I’ll leave you with two other thoughts from Sean:

1) Stick with your idea long enough to make it happen.  I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve worked with over the years who have bailed just before they might have succeeded. They’re not willing to spend time in the trenches, working at their craft until it’s ready. But the bigger the dream, the longer it often takes to happen.

2) You’ll never be able to fulfill your calling if you’re not willing to be misunderstood.  I’ve spent too much time in my life being a “people pleaser.” One of my great regrets is that I wish I had been more willing to stick to my guns no matter what others thought. In my desire to make everyone happy, I believe I damaged the possibilities of what I could have accomplished with my life.

Let me know if you resonated with Sean’s thoughts like I did. And you can follow him on Twitter at @PastorSeanMoore and follow George Davis at @GeorgeLDavis.

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  1. Thanks for the reminder of this on time message from Pastor Moore! I carried a vision for 3 years. Finally, this is the year it will come to pass on a greater scale than I envisioned.

  2. This general idea has been rolling around in my head for over a year now. There are two books that I read last year that y’all may already have heard of, but they both address this topic from different angles. “The Art of Work” by Jeff Goins ( challenges you to understand your “calling.” I found it very helpful as I was personally going through a career shift.

    Also “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown ( is fantastic! This one is a bit more broad in scope as it really applies to all aspects of life. I have been recommending this to everyone I can. From his website: “The Way of the Essentialist involves doing less, but better, so you can make the highest possible contribution.”

    1. Both are excellent books, although perhaps because I wrote “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do,” I was less interested in “Essentialism.” But they’re all terrific concepts and worth considering. Thanks for the reminder Jason!

  3. This hit me hard today. There are many things that are good to do. But what has God called ME AND ONLY ME to do?
    I believe I know what that is. And I am determined not to let any more “people-pleasing” slow me down.
    Thanks, Phil.

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