Doing Life Together

girl-15599_1920People often ask, “Are you walking in your calling?” The answer depends on an understanding of what it means to be called of God.

In recent years we have witnessed a record number of ministers who have fallen or left ministry. We’ve seen egos out of control, infidelity, divorce, pornography, entitlement in the pulpit, pastors who act more like CEOs than shepherds of flocks. When I’m in a TV green room with a minister who yells at the make-up person and then turns on the care and compassion when the camera is rolling, I’m not only grieved, but see how all of this is creating a crisis of trust for the church. We have to get a grip on what is happening in leadership to be credible and not lose our way.

Given the larger culture in which we operate, I see falling as a crisis of calling. And it happens to all of us, not just pastors.

Living in a culture that reinforces success, numbers, growth, fame, entertainment, entitlement, individualism and even addiction, it is easy to lose sight of why we are here, what we are to do and how we are to live.

The prevention to falling is to fully understand and embrace our calling.

When I taught in the graduate school at Wheaton College, I used a book by Os Guinness as my integrative text entitled, THE CALL. I reread this book often to stay grounded and want to share a few of Os’ helpful thoughts.

Os describes calling as “the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do and everything we have is invested with a special devotion and dynamism lived out as a response to his summons and service.”

In the New Testament, Jesus calls his disciples to himself with a simple FOLLOW ME, but also calls them to act and to lead. Calling is holistic and a metaphor for the life of faith itself. Our primary call then is to God. We are called to SOMEONE.

Everything in life is a response to our primary calling. When we keep our primary calling central, it leads to our secondary calling (what we do)—not the other way around.

Thus, the prevention to falling is calling. Our primary calling is to God. Out of that calling comes everything else. When we make God our reward, and understand that everything else flows from that call, falling is less likely to occur. Our eyes are fixed on the person of God, not the tasks of ministry, on making money, competition or our own giftedness, but on THE ONE WHO CALLS US TO HIMSELF.

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