Following God’s Call Regardless

“…Do not say ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.  Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD.” – Jeremiah 4: 7-8

I’m going to be quite blunt…following God is scary, hard, and it can even seem humiliating.  I’m 27, don’t have a degree (of any kind not just seminary), and I have a tendency to be the person that says what everyone else thinks.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m 3 math credits short of my Network Administration degree.  God was very clear to me that I should not finish it so that I would see Him working in my life and not mistake Him for my own success.  I also have 10 years ministry experience, training, and study.  To put it in a way gamers would understand, I’m not a noob when it comes to ministry.

Today I had lunch with a friend of mine.  He’s got a few years on me, and will probably retire in 10 years or so.  We had the interesting conversation about the potential issues that we each have either had or are having while being looked at by churches.  He’s to the age where many churches look over him because he’s too close to retirement.  He’s not looking for a church currently, but if God called him somewhere else God’s hand would have to be there for it to happen.  I’m young and don’t have the magical piece of paper that declares one’s worth.

I’ve been putting out resumes and it just amazes me how many >200 people churches are requiring an MDiv and 10 years experience for them to even accept a resume.  I’m not saying that smaller churches don’t deserve a great leader and pastor, but I am saying that too many churches are relying on their expectations instead of leaning on God to provide.

God doesn’t care how old you are, nor how young you are.  He’s willing to use you if you’re willing to be used.

Shannon and I are still waiting and praying over several churches and organizations.  I know from experience to expect several “thanks but we found someone that fits our needs better” letters from churches that didn’t interview me and probably haven’t interviewed anybody yet.  The pat response from people is “God has something else for you, don’t worry.  If God wants it for you then it’ll happen.”  But that there begs the question of where God’s divine will ends and free will begins.  Can people choose to have their way and ignore God’s will?

Now I firmly believe that if God says that it will happen, then it will happen.  But God wants everyone to accept Him and be in Heaven.  This is His desire.  Paul tells us this in 1 Timothy.

But Hell is real…and souls will be there for eternity.  If God wants everyone to know Him and accept Him, why are some people going to hell.  It’s simple…free will.  People sometimes choose to not accept Christ.  Now there’s the argument “if we have the choice or not” and “if the potter has just made some pots for the fire” (Romans 9:21)?  But even the Calvinists that I follow and read say that we need to make the choice.

Without wanting to open this can-of-worms too much, my points with this off shoot is that we need to not worry about if we get a position or not.  It’s really not even important if people cause you to not get the position or if it wasn’t God’s will.  What’s really important is following God and never giving up.  Don’t be ashamed to follow God’s call in your life.  It might seem mediocre, belittling, or just plain unimportant; but if we are truly the body of Christ then we all have a part to play.  Not everyone gets to be the mouth, or the hands, or the feet.  Every body needs a kidney, a gallbladder, and a pancreas.  It might not be visible, and most people forget that they’re even there; but without them the body would fail.

Work for Christ where you are with passion.  If He calls you somewhere else, then find it with vigor and peruse God’s will with never ending desire.  Don’t give up, God isn’t giving up on you.  If you have accepted Christ and have the gift of the Holy Spirit, then your name is in the Book of Life.  Act like it matters.

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2 thoughts on “Following God’s Call Regardless

  1. Hi,

    Personally, I would steer clear of any “church” who requires a Masters of Divinity for you to serve there. At one time I was enrolled in a local Bible College and was talking to several local pastors about a potential ministry “job” in their church, upon me getting my degree. All of them said basically the same thing; that they promote from within. My opinion is, churches out there who will only accept your resume if you have an M-Div, are looking for a hireling; someone the ‘old guard’ elders can direct to their whims.

    Fortunately, through a word of wisdom from one of my BBC prof’s, and through confirmation; both from the Word, and through a pastor friend of mine, I got the heck out of bible college. Best decision I ever made.

    Two thousand years ago, a small group of men, most of whom had no formal (college level) biblical education (other than Paul), “turned the world upside down” with the Gospel. And it was because they were empowered by the Holy Spirit. That kind of power seems noticeably absent in much of the church world in America today. I know a guy who does have a Masters Degree in theology, and who has a ton of bible and historical ‘head knowledge.’ And he cannot even expound on basic bible truths to you. But he can stand on the shoulders of theological giants of old. He has totally missed the forest for the trees.

    A lot of well-meaning people (like myself) have desired to serve “full time” in a church somewhere. Be “really used by God.” But after waling with the Lord for over twenty years, I don’t think most people are supposed to be on staff in churches. Some of the most messed up people I have met have been on staff in churches.

    Bloom where you’re planted.

    God’s people are everywhere. Be used by the Holy Spirit to love those who are in your neighborhood, in your extended family, in your workplace, whatever that may be.

    Blessings in Christ,

    -M

    • Mark,

      Thank you for the kind words. I too have multiple friends who have M-Divs, but the one’s I know are well versed in action and theology. I tend to hangout with more of a missional crowd, which I really enjoy. When you are missional you begin to see the gaps between the Calvinist and the Arminians close. The understanding of doctrine and Theology mixing with the practice of living life as you are called. It’s a pretty awe inspiring thing to see the two together.

      I had been told by several people that God had been grooming me for church planting. And to be perfectly honest, I had felt the call for a few year…I just didn’t really want to do it. The time has come and God has opened the doors, so I now am pastoring a new church plant in Nampa, ID called Second Chance Church.

      You are completely right that most people are not called to be on staff in a church, and that some really messed up people are usually on staff :). That’s part of being a Christian, being messed up and loving that God is changing you from the inside out through His Holy Spirit.

      In Christ,

      Drew

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