Called to Ministry
Perhaps you’ve heard the story of a person’s “call to ministry.” Often, there is a dark season in someone’s life that forces them to surrender everything to God. In these moments, the person may recount hearing the audible voice of God or receiving an understanding that they are to go into vocational ministry. They speak about the calling as if they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were called to ministry.
I truly believe God uses moments such as these to draw people into His calling for their lives. He can and does still speak audibly to many of us today. But, for many, even those who believe they are called into vocational ministry, moments such as this may never come. So, it’s easy to get discouraged when you hear of such moving moments through other’s experiences while you have never had such a moment for yourself.
And, then there are those of us who don’t feel called to ministry. Instead, we feel that God has placed us in the corporate world or appointed us to be a stay-at-home mom or led us to become a middle-school teacher. So when people talk about their calls to ministry, we feel left out and like we’re somehow less of a Christian.
In these doubts and struggles, we must remember something pretty amazing: all followers of Christ are called to ministry.
We are Called
When Paul begins the book of Ephesians, he tells the people of Ephesus exactly who they are right from the beginning. Paul doesn’t waste any time preaching the gospel to the people. He reminds the believers that we are “blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ” (v. 3), “holy and without fault in his eyes” (v. 4), and that God “purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins” (v. 7). It was important for Paul to establish the identities of the Ephesians from the start.
He then goes on to say, “God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time, he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan” (Ephesians 1:9-11 NLT, emphasis mine). What is that inheritance from God? For what did He choose us in advance? “He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding” (v. 8, emphasis mine).
No matter who we are or what our career is, if we believe in the name of Jesus Christ, we have a ministry. We have received God’s inheritance of grace, spiritual blessings, union with Christ, holiness, freedom, forgiveness, kindness, wisdom, and understanding. These are gifts from God, and they must not be wasted!
Not only that, but we have God Himself living within us. Paul writes, “The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him” (v. 14, emphasis mine). At the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit entered into each and every one of us. The power of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives within us (see Romans 8:11)! If God is within us, working within us, how can we do anything but spread His light and life with the world?
Yes, we each have different—and equally important—vocational callings. It is great that we have Christians who are teachers and doctors and bank tellers and waiters. And, it is in these occupations that we are called to live out the ministry we have been given. Being called to ministry doesn’t just apply to pastors and those who work for churches and non-profits. We are each called to ministry because our lives are ministry.
We can take each moment of our everyday, regular lives, and use them as a ministry for God’s glory. We are called to take our everyday life and use them for the glory of God.
Picture the curious faces of your students, and think about how you can minister to them. Recall each of your co-workers and imagine the ways their lives could be changed through your influence. Hold your children tightly and think of the power your prayers and love can have on their lives. Through these everyday actions, YOU are making a huge impact!
Faithful in Our Calling
Ministry isn’t just speaking to thousands from a pulpit or leading a large non-profit organization, although these are types of ministries that serve others well. But, being called to ministry is being faithful to God in the midst of everyday life. The simple activities we are called to complete daily for our spouse, children, family, parents, and community.
You see, it’s the simple things like taking food to your shut-in neighbor, checking in on a single mom and offering your support, or offering words of encouragement to the cashier at the grocery store that make a difference in the lives of those around you. Small gestures that make a huge impact and reflect Christ through your actions. It’s Reflecting Life.
Called to Serve
What does the call to ministry look like? It’s staying faithful each day while doing what you are called to do and serving those He places right in front of you. It’s keeping your eyes on Jesus and being attuned to where the Spirit is leading you in each moment. It’s surrendering to the Father, and resting in the work He is doing in you in His grace.
YOU are called to ministry. YOU are chosen for ministry. YOU were appointed for such a time as this so go and serve. Minister to those around you, and as Christ works in and through you, celebrate the joy of walking in your calling.
Serving is kingdom building at its best! And, if you’re struggling with your purpose or calling, know that you are not alone. If you’re in need of a spiritual mentor or confidante, I am an email, DM, or phone call away!
Keep on shining!