People, preaching, publications, and pencils. Those four Ps could serve as categories into which I could organize my vocation as a pastor - another P.
The first P defines my focus of ministry. God called me to pastor people. Without people, pastoring makes little sense.
The second P defines my primary gifting and vocational purpose. God called me to preach - to preach and teach the Word to equip God's people.
The third and fourth P identify my tools. I trust the Holy Spirit to speak through the Bible primarily as well as through the other sources of learning and instruction as I read. I, too, trust Him to guide my pencil as I write what I pray are and will be words of strength, encouragement, challenge, education, all with equipping power.
Those four words serve me as I pause to reflect on my vocational priorities. What four words could you use? Take some time to think about your vocation.
If you're a physician, might I suggest . . .
patients, practicing, publications, and pipettes.
If you're a teacher, maybe . . .
pupils, presentations, projectors, and pens (need red?).
If you're a server, you could use . . .
patrons, personality, pasta, and plates.
If you're a contractor, these come to mind . . .
purchasers, projects, plans, and power tools.
This might sound like a fun exercise to you or you might want to pass. Whichever you choose, I invite you to first take a look at the first P in each list. Here they are again - People, Patients, Pupils, and Purchasers. In each case (and every case, for that matter), the tools and disciplines come after the people. People first. When it comes to Ps, people always count most.