In today’s episode, I’m talking with the co-founder of TalentED, Ken Churchill. Ken has extensive experience in managing non-profits overseas and in the U.S. He is sharing his story today of how he discovered his calling both gradually and all at once.
What Ken learned in this season most was that having a desire and ability to do something is not worth as much unless the timing is also right. He now finds great joy in his work being able to help universities fill faculty positions with superior talent who may just be unrecognized.
Why Aren’t We Moving Yet?
Ken spent many years investing in his career at Morgan Stanley. And then suddenly it hit him. This type of job was great for a season, but now he was craving something that would allow him to have more of a spiritual influence.
So Ken began to dream and explore possibilities. He had the ability. He had the desire. He even had the affirmation of people who knew him well that this was worth something pursuing. It would almost seem disobedient not to act on this prompting. But the question that Ken failed to ask, was “is this the right time?”.
Ready and Waiting
Ken was anxious to hear from God about making this next step. He knew that he would have to make time and space to listen, so he did just that. He carved out hours to walk and pray. But after twenty minutes, there was nothing left to pray about.
Later Ken went on a week-long prayer retreat. Surely God would show up if Ken made that kind of sacrifice to listen. When Ken returned with little to no clarity, he was definitely discouraged. A friend reminded him that Ken would not be able to arm-wrestle God into offering the answers he was looking for. But Ken’s answer was closer than he imagined.
Hindsight’s Always 20/20
Those times that Ken sought God in prayer for wisdom were not a waste. They were just part of the means instead of the end. Ken was later prompted to ask a set of questions that offered a lot of insight. They were these two questions:
- Who is God and what is doing in the world?
- Who is Ken and what has he been called to do?
When Ken took time to dive into those questions and pay attention to where God was already at work, both in the world, and in his heart, things started to click. It was the place where the answers to those questions intersected where he found the most insight.
Ken would say his answers came both gradually and all at once. This was the way God would guide him to keep Ken humble and dependent on Him for every step of his journey.
How do you hear from God when it comes to pursuing your calling?
Ken Churchill hails from New England. He met his wife at Wheaton College prior to further studies at Harvard University, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and the University of Rhode Island.
In his early days, Ken managed non-profit work in Southeast Asia and East Africa. Later, he worked for thirty years with high tech entrepreneurs and their companies on Sand Hill Road. There he co-created a multi-billion dollar business within Smith Barney, later acquired by Morgan Stanley.
Ken co-founded and now leads TalentED. TalentED helps universities hire faculty of the highest caliber who have not yet been fully recognized.