Jeff Sandefer spoke at Emmanuel, Enid this past Sunday at all of our morning worship services and a special brunch for our graduating seniors. Jeff is the President of The Acton School of Business and he and his faculty teach using the Socratic method. The staff is forbidden from making declarative statements and must teach through asking questions of the students, allowing discovering to occur through a process of reasoning.
Jeff created his first business at the age of 16 and with the profits, paid his way through college. Now 49 years of age, Jeff sold his last business, a corporation with several billion dollars worth of assets, and made more money than any man would need in multiple lifetimes. Yet, Jeff told our church that the only thing that will really fulfill a man or a woman is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He said that if a person's goal is to win the rat race of making more money than everyone else, when they win the race, they still remain a rat.
The counsel Jeff gave our graduating seniors was some of the finest advice I've ever heard given young people. Jeff told them that rather than being concerned about "making money," they should find their "calling" in life. Their calling is discovered by asking three questions:
(1). What gifts or skills do I have, granted me by God's grace, that set me apart from others?
Jeff suggested that the students ask three individuals this question. He said that at Acton, professors discover that when their students ask three signficant people in their lives this question, all three will usually give the same answer. This is a surefire way to disover one's gifts.
(2). What is it that I do that brings me joy? More specifically, is there something that I spend time doing that causes me to lose track of time because I enjoy it so much?
Jeff called the quick passage of time doing those things you love or bring joy to you life "flow." Others might call it passion. Jeff said that "calling" involves discovering your gifts and skills, matching those with tasks that create joy in your life, and then asking ...
(3). Is there a need in society that is met by what I do?
Jeff said that when you find a need in society that is met by something you do, which also brings you joy, you have found a "calling." For Jeff, that calling is to educate students on the importance of freedoms in economics, politics and religion. His passion is creating and growing businesses and teaching others how to do the same thing. He derives tremendous joy from his "calling."
I couldn't help but think that "calling," as defined by the President of one of the premier business schools in America, is very similar to the "calling" that preachers receive. In other words, could it be that all Christians--not just preachers--receive "a call" from God?
I think so.