I took the day to read Edmund Clowney’s Called to the Ministry and it was a little book of good reminders as I process how all Christians are called to ministry.
I am further challenged to think that the “fruit” Jesus is talking about in John 14 & 15 is that of an evangelistic nature. He is sending his men out to make disciples and enlarge the kingdom – their fruit is those added to Christ in belief. This is the call then for all believers – to be about fruit of salvation, a fruit others enjoy as they meet Christ.
Some of us may be called to vocational ministry as well and by no means is this a more important call or one that holds all the responsibility to share the gospel. Instead it is a call of equipping, living in such a way that believers around us are prepared to evangelize and truly live the gospel. Vocational ministers are the example not the exclusive worker.
What does your ministry look like and why have you been denying your call to it? These are questions the believer must answer daily as we live to share what we have…
Some of you may delete me from your readers for mentioning Rob Bell, but he has an interesting tale of his calling on CNN this morning that speaks at least in some extent to calling.
This week in a class on determining my “ministry” potential we were discussing “calling” which is defined a million ways and wrongly too often (I define calling to be our purpose in life; ministry or not – extending to all seasons not simply a temporary space in life). Bell, in this post of suffering, reveals that his “call” to ministry came following a brain infection.
He saw God using suffering and a “change of plans” to put him on a path to his purpose.
In the days and weeks following the band’s breakup, people I barely knew would stop me out of the blue and say things like, “Have you thought about being a pastor?” Friends I hadn’t talked to in months would contact me and say, “For some reason I think you’re going to be a pastor.”
Me, a pastor? Seriously?
The idea began to get a hold of me and it wouldn’t let go. A calling welled up within me, a direction, something I could give myself to.
Have we responded to hardship or trial in our lives with a view toward a new or refined calling? Does a call have to come after a transition or pain? These are questions worth asking as we determine our purpose and how to live in response to the cross.