Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Called to Equip (part 1 of 3): HE Calls!

And He personally gave some to be . . .

Are you called to the ministry of equipping the saints? A few years ago my son was praying about whether or not God was calling him to full-time vocational Christian ministry. During this process he sought the advice of several friends. One friend explained to him that everyone is called to ministry, so he shouldn’t worry too much about a “calling” to ministry—it is something everyone has.

I must tell you that I did not agree with my son’s friend. Yes, we are in fact all expected to be on mission. In that sense we are all called. But when we examine the Scriptures, we see that there are specific calls to individuals to help build up the Body of Christ. Consider, for example, Ephesians 4:11:
And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers (HCSB)
HE . . .Paul refers to Jesus, the one who “descended” and “ascended” and who is ever present in the throne room of Heaven. HE, Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords . . .

PERSONALLY . . . It was not a cold, calculated order. Jesus loved so much that He came, lived, died, rose again, and resides in Heaven and in our hearts. He personally gave this to you.

GAVE . . . He gave to some of us the responsibility and privilege to be called out as prophets, evangelists, or pastors and teachers. This is not something of our own choosing; it is a grace gift from Christ. He didn’t just mandate this from Heaven but HE PERSONALLY GAVE . . .

SOME . . . not all. It is not a calling to become an elite group of theologians who lord their knowledge and power over the saints, but one for those who desire to serve with humility and wisdom. It is not a call for the faint of heart or those who desire to pursue the comforts that life might bring. It truly is a road less traveled.

TO BE . . . There are times when we get so busy doing the job of ministry we sometimes lose sight of what we are TO BE with this job.  What about you? Are you doing more than being? I know that I can fail very quickly in this mission if I am not careful.

Earlier, in chapter 4, Paul states that we are to “walk worthy,” exhibiting the attitudes that produce unity and peace. We are called to be leaders who help others “walk worthy” as we “walk worthy.”

Are you one of those leaders? If so you also might be someone who desires to share your skills, training, and talents to help other leaders; we are in this ministry together. Let’s “walk worthy” and encourage others as well. Let’s join together to share our skills and talents--our calling-- so that Christ will be glorified through a healthy church!

That is the reality of a calling to serve the body of Christ. What a privilege and an honor.