Posts tagged Ministry
So, if you wanna, you can head over to Badly Drawn Bible and read about “Life Behind the Pastoral Curtain.” It is just a little glimpse into the lives of ministers and some things to remember so you can better support them. While you are there help yourself to a heapin helpin of his writings and drawings, or what I like to call the good (his writing), the bad (his drawing), and the ugly (the left half of his face that he conveniently conceals in his photo).”
Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.
The thoughts being purged through my fingers by the dim light of my computer screen are the culmination of many things. I briefly want to discuss my thoughts in relation to being “called to ministry.” My thoughts in this area started to grow out of a conversation that a dear friend and I had about our experience in feeling the need to vocationally preach the Gospel and become ministers. Recently, he shared a blog with me that echoed our conversation from about a year ago.
I have heard many people say that one “must be called” to ministry. I understand what they are saying to a certain degree because some things are a fit for people and other things aren’t. In this sense, I was not “called to sports” because I am not an incredibly athletic person. I have also heard people say when someone asks them to serve in a particular form or fashion that they “don’t feel called to do that.” What does that mean exactly? Are they ill equipped? Do they lack the desire? Is it an excuse? I know I have used the phrase as a wonderful Christian cop-out that politely says “I don’t want to be a part of that but I want to look good.”
So what does it mean to be called? I have heard people spiritualize “the call to ministry” as if it was reminiscent of the scene in the Star Wars film where Luke and Obi-Wan stumble across a holographic image contained in R2-D2 where Princess Leia proclaims “help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” I never received my hologram from God. The sky never split where God said, “Hey Josh, it is high time you become a minister.” I never randomly opened the Bible and put my finger on a random verse that said, “Go and preach the Gospel into all the nations.”
So how did that “calling” come? Before I share how I came to become a minister please allow me to share something I read from Andy Stanley (who is certainly one of my hero’s) not too long ago. Andy and his Father, Charles Stanley (maybe you have heard of him, maybe), had a conversation one day as the drove down the road. Andy asks Charles, “Dad, does a person have to be called into ministry, or can they just volunteer?” Charles pondered this question for a few moments and responded, “Well, I guess it is okay to volunteer.” So Andy did just that. He volunteered. No fanfare. Fairly anti-climactic. He simply volunteered to become a minister, and he has done some very significant things for the kingdom of Christ.
Back to my experience in this area. I grew up in a pastor’s home. Essentially, I have been tied to ministry in some form or fashion for most of my life. As a child and adolescent the last thing I wanted to do was be a pastor, preacher, etc. My plan was to major in psychology, get a M.A. in psychology, become a licensed professional counselor, and minister to people by helping them work through their difficulties in life. I started down this path and it was, and still is, and incredible journey. After pulling away from God, making a few bad decisions, and then drawing closer to God amidst sorting through some things in my life I found myself wanting to serve in a greater capacity. I then started reading more and devoting more time to spiritual pursuits. I felt a gap I had created between God and myself begin to narrow because, after all, God never moves away from us. Instead, it is we who move away from God. My family and I would watch DVD’s of preaching in the evening, sometimes for several hours. One night while we were watching sermon after sermon, message after message, and series after series, I realized I also wanted to volunteer. I wanted to volunteer to preach and teach. In some ways, I was naive. Not realizing the difficulty, frustration, heartache, and even loneliness that comes at times with becoming involved in ministry. On the converse side, it is also incredibly rewarding and exciting to be a part of what God does in other people’s lives. Tonight all of these thoughts caved in on me as I watched a sermon that I go back to from time to time that I have on DVD that ministers to me in a significant way. It reminded me of when I first realized that I wanted to serve Christ through preaching. I know I am suppose to preach, teach, help others with their difficulties and share insight with others. If someone gave me a million dollars tomorrow, I would still do these exact same things only in a different capacity. This lets me know I am doing what I should be.
So what am I trying to say exactly? Only this. We all have our unique set of talents, gifts, abilities, interests and passions. If we wait for a hologram to be projected in the air, we will never serve. It’s okay to volunteer. We are all called to serve Christ in some capacity. So what are you good at? What are your passions? What do you feel interested in? Harness these things for the cause of Christ! Ministry and serving God cuts across all vocations. Don’t wait to be asked. We are all commanded to serve.
Just remember. It is alright to volunteer.
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
I Corinthians 10:31
Walk Good. Live Wise. Be Blessed.