What is required for you to serve? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Just recently, I was dialoguing with someone who apparently went to a church that guilted them about the Great Commission. Now if you read this blog faithfully, you know I have a joke about the whole idea of always doing something for Jesus. It comes from listening to a video with a Christian complaining about playing Pokemon Go with saying “You could be doing evangelism.”
Follow this through and it won’t work. I could go and do my job to provide for my family, but I could be doing evangelism instead. I could be sleeping at night, but I could be doing evangelism. I could have a family game night with my family and enrich my relationship with my kids, or I could be doing evangelism. I could be making love to my spouse, or I could be doing evangelism. On and on we can go.
However, the more I talked to this person, I told them that maybe if you’re asking questions so much about the Great Commission, you should consider being a missionary. The response I got was that they had never felt called. Sadly, I was anticipating such a response.
It’s amazing we have so many churches here that are Protestant and claim that Scripture is their final authority and yet go with this idea that you need to feel called in order to be a missionary or a pastor or anything like that. We will often point to Paul.
There is nothing that says what happened to Paul is supposed to happen to everyone in ministry. Nothing states that all are required to have a Damascus Road experience. It’s a kind of arrogance of our age that we all expect our lives are supposed to be just like the great heroes of the Bible.
Besides that, after hearing several ministers who are convinced they are called to preach, I wonder if they are really being called if it’s part of a divine punishment on the behalf of God towards us. Too many of these preachers just don’t have a clue how to preach or how to lead a church or both. It’s always fascinating also that when they think they are being called to another church, that church usually just happens to offer a bigger salary.
Instead, here are some criteria I would look for.
Do you have a desire. If you don’t have a strong passion in you for, say, the people of Turkey, you probably shouldn’t be a missionary over there. If you hate the thought of doing apologetics, you should probably not consider entering the apologetics ministry. On the other hand, if you have a strong desire to tell people you meet about Jesus and tell them how to become Christians, you should probably look into some material on doing evangelism, which brings us to the next point.
If you have the ability to do what you want to do well, you should consider doing it. I am not saying a Savant by any means. Everyone in every field will make some big mistakes. Everyone in any field will screw up at the start a few times and yes, even later on in their ministry they will make mistakes. This is more asking if you have a competency that can be built on. If you’re a good thinker, you could consider apologetics. If you’re an outgoing person, you could consider evangelism. If you know how to listen well, you could consider counseling.
The last is opportunity. Do you ever have the chance to do what you are wanting to do. In our day and age with the internet, this is becoming easier and easier. It’s been said that Paul would be absolutely crazy with excitement today if he could have the opportunities we have to share the gospel with the internet. We have more opportunity and means to share Christianity than ever before.
Please don’t rely on a feeling of being called. This is nowhere stated in Scripture and our modern emphasis today on feelings being the way God communicates so often with us I find to be quite dangerous. Most anything around you can influence your feelings. If I feel really tired, for example, and drink an energy drink to keep going, I will likely have anxiety the rest of the day as well. Again, anything can influence your feelings.
What we are looking at is something more stable to determine the best way for you to serve. Try going with that instead.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)