Discerning the Call
Last week, I shared my story of ministry "calling" with about a dozen folks who are discerning God's call on their own life. We've got so many amazingly gifted people at NCC that Mark Batterson and I decided we should facilitate a small group for those who were trying to figure out whether their life was destined for ministry in the marketplace or ministry in the church world.
My story is not orthodox. I chose biological engineering over theatre, stayed an additional two years for a masters degree, spent a couple years designing erosion control plans and writing air quality compliance reports, and then served as a policy advisor for a U. S. Senator for several years. You know, traditional ministry path. And when I finally succumbed to ministry, it was not because I saw a neon sign in heaven or was able to read the handwriting on the wall. I just made a decision to do it.
As I was sharing my convoluted and confusing path into ministry, I shared that there were three criteria that helped me make the decision. I simply looked at where I was feeling most fulfilled, being most fruitful, and having the most fun.
I looked at the Senate and at NCC and decided that the work I was doing with small group leaders-- training, discipling, writing, speaking, dreaming-- had become more fulfilling than the talking points and legislation I was writing.
I searched my soul and honestly evaluated my work in both spheres and concluded that I had become more fruitful in my work with discipleship than my work in politics.
And finally (and quite spiritually- but I will save the Theology of Fun for a different post), I was having more fun with small groups and mission trips than with committee hearings and CODELS.
My prayer for you is that your calling would be clear and certain. For some of you, the clarity will come in the form of smoke signals from heaven and the voice of God on the wind of your life. For others of you, it will be a simple discerning process of your fulfillment, fruitfulness, and even fun.