I have resigned as a pastor in New Jersey and I am looking forward to what God has in store for me next. Here is one of the issues that I have begun working through mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. I have always allowed the church where I serve to give me my sense of “call”. When I say “call” I mean a sense of purpose, belonging, rootedness, misssional intensity, etc…
Alas, I am thinking that the word “call” is loaded with all kinds of unbiblical baggage. For example:
- We mistakenly believe that some people are called to ministry, others are not.
- Unfortunately, those who don’t feel called fail to center their life, their family, around the imperative of “seeking first the kingdom of God.”
- We tend to regard those who are called as the Navy Seals of the Christian world. One look at the disciples in the New Testament should dispel this myth.
- The lion’s share of kingdom work is placed on the shoulders of those who are called.
- We (unintentionally) postpone meaningful ministry until we receive our call. Life begins to feel like it is in a holding pattern.
- If we conclude that we have not been called we may begin to doubt God, his love for us, our value, gifts, talents, etc…
The point I am making is really quite simple. No matter what arena God places us to work we are all “called” to live out the gospel to our family, neighbors, church family, colleagues. As someone else has once written (paraphrasing), “we are all called into full-time ministry, God just chooses to route our paychecks through different sources.”