Monday, January 19, 2009

Is there such thing as God's Call?

"Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts." (1 Corinthians 12:27-31a)

My wife and I have been talking a lot about God's call lately.

As a pastor in the Church of the Nazarene, I have to have a firm grasp on what God's call is on my life. Credentials board often ask me about my call, I'm asked to give a testimony about my call on yearly reports or applications, and members of the congregation ask me what I think God's will is for my life. People want to know if I'm called to be a senior pastor, a youth pastor, a misisonary, or something completely different.

What about those who are called be doctors or teachers or janitors? Are their callings any less significant.

Sometimes I wonder if we have made up this idea of God calling us to specific careers. In Scripture, I do not find a lot of examples of God calling people to careers. The passage above talks about God calling people to specific functions within the body of believers. I can't find anywhere in the New Testament a list of God calling people to be carpenters, physicians, fishermen, etc. The only specific example of calling that I can recollect in the NT is Paul called to be "God's instrument to the Gentiles." And then Paul later claims that he is an apostle to the Gentiles like Paul is the the Jews.

Have we gotten it all wrong? Does God call us to careers, or just to specific places in the body? I know that I am called to preach, disciple, and work cross-culturally. I don't know if I'll always be a pastor.

What are your thoughts on God's call?

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