As part of creation, organizations participate in the Love-Life of God. In response, some organizations will graciously reflect this love back to God through service to creation. Given the ultimate reality of organizational life, the general vocation of every organizations is to promote harmony within the Love-Life of God.
Organizations come to live in harmony with creation by knowing their place in it, by realizing how they are part of the balance that supports life and promotes peace. For this reason, organizations are called to help maintain this balance and to work to rid the world of suffering and violence.
In addition to knowing this general vocation, every organization also needs to know its particular vocation, what they are called by God to do. An organization’s vocation is a specific path of service. It’s a means of devotion to God that serves particular people or accomplishes a task in a way that furthers God’s purposes.
While an organization’s vocation is spiritual, its also grounded in its day-to-day operations. Its an end that is accomplished through achievement of the organization’s mission. In fact, the vocation is meaningful to the extent that it is woven into the fabric of the organization’s life.
With that said, sometimes an organization’s vocation is more basic, the vocation is accomplished alongside the organization’s existence. In this case, the organization serves as a conduit for newness to arise, creating a space for prayer and possibility, rather than carrying out a previously established means of manifesting God’s love in the world.
Organizations that orient around their vocation ground themselves in God. By being grounded in the Source of Life and Love, they come to know greater health and vitality. Through their attempts to be faithful in their vocation, they also open themselves up to partnership with the Spirit of God. Through this partnership, the organization serves to co-create life as God desires it to be.
Do you believe that organizations are part of creation? Are you familiar with an organization that has a vocation? If your organization hasn’t identified its vocation, would you consider discerning what it is? Why or why not?
In the next post, I will discuss the relationship between mission and vocation and describe a couple examples. In future posts, I will describe a couple processes for discerning organizational vocation.