by Phil Baker
When we hear the word “called” in church, most of us think of those who go into full-time ministry work. If you’ve been “called”, God has singled you out of the crowd for a very special purpose. In that way, we place extra value on ministers which demeans the work the rest of us do. But if everyone was a full-time minister who would deliver the mail? Who would pave the roads? Who would grow food?
The problem is we don’t think of our vocation as a theological concept. The word vocation actually comes from the Latin word vocaré which means “to call”. The Roman Catholic Church originally used the term for bishops, priests and monks. But through the ages its meaning has expanded to include any and all occupations. If you are called to it, God has summoned you to that vocation.
Now your vocation might not necessarily be your job. I work with many people who are phone jockeys by day and musicians by night. Their job is in marketing. But their vocation, their calling, is music. Some people are lucky enough that their job and their vocation are one and the same. But for others they are different (although God can certainly work in and through both). Often your job can even compete with your career. But if you have that calling, you make time for it.
So now I ask you – What is your calling? What is it that you do? What do you love to do? What has God made you to do? What has God called you to do? It’s that thing that takes no effort. It’s what you do with focus, excellence, and before you know it, it’s 4am and you didn’t even notice how much time had passed.
“God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.”
We’ve all heard that popular cliché. It is often used as a recruiting slogan for missions work. It is meant to motivate those who don’t feel worthy of the “higher calling” of ministry work. When we begin to realize our vocation IS ministry work the equipping part seems less daunting. God has already pre-wired us to go into that particular mission field. We just need a little spit and polish to convert our regular duties into righteous ones. That’s what church is for.
Think of Revive as MI6. You’re James Bond and M has just given you your mission. Your first stop is to see the Quartermaster, also known as Q, to get all the gadgets and gizmos you’ll need in the field.
Your mission is clear. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” One of Revive’s goals is to equip you for that mission.
I believe I speak for the rest of the leadership team at Revive when I say that we value everyone’s calling, everyone’s vocation. Your role is no less important than the pastor’s. Everyone has an equal part to play in Kingdom work, not just the church staff. We believe that God has created you for a purpose and we want to help you develop it, apply it and then mentor others who might have that same calling. Whether you’re a preacher or a teacher, a carpenter or a councilman, a nurse or a nanny, you are called.
YOU. ARE. CALLED.
As you begin your vocation this week, pray this prayer by Brother Lawrence:
My God, you are always close to me. In obedience to you, I must not apply myself to outward things. Yet, as I do so, I pray that you will give me the grace of your presence. And to this end I ask that you will assist my work. Receive its fruits as an offering to you. And all the while, direct all my affections to you.