"When did you hear The Call young man?" "You are Called young man" "How old were you when you were Called into ministry?" Here is an expert from Exploreministry.com…
How do you know if you are called by God to the ministry? Some people experience a deep assurance, a firm inner
conviction that God has spoken to them, calling them to the work of ministry. For most ministers, however,
the sense of call is more ambiguous, more tentative. Many ministers and priests begin with only a vague notion
that maybe they are called to ministry. "
Man. When was I called into professional ministry? When was I called to be a pastor? Fundamentalists, Conservatives, please look away.
I don’t think I ever was called to professional or full time ministry. I never got that call. What I did get instead was a call to Sandals Church. A call to minister to a group of Ragamuffins just like myself in the basement of a small church in Riverside, CA. I am pretty sure that is the case. Most ministers would disagree. The CALL should be to full time ministry period. Right? To be a worship pastor. To be in full time ministry. I don’t think so. Here is my issue.
Say one day next year Matt approaches me and tells me that Alisha Keys has joined the staff and he won’t be needing me anymore. Is it then time to pack up my bags and go searching for the next place I am "CALLED" to? I’m not quite sure. I am convinced that God has called me into community here at Sandals Church. THAT IS MY CALL. Minister within this community. Maybe at that point I obviously should shift my focus to the next area of ministry he is preparing me for. But HERE. At Sandals. Who would I be to dictate to my wife and children that the relationships and lives they have built in community now need to cease because God is "Calling" me elsewhere? I just don’t think God meant for it to be that way. God has gifted us all. Yes? So when it is time for me to have that crucial conversation with Joe Blow on the worship team and tell him that the team has outgrown his talents he needs to go find another church right? Another church that can "USE" his gifts right? WRONG. Of’course not. So why would it be any different to a pastor? I don’t think it should. I know I have to feed my family. But heres the deal. I’ll teach. I’ll sing. I’ll work. But I will stay HOME. In community at Sandals. We have got to get this thing. God has me leading worship here for a season. He may only have me at Sandals Church for a season. God can take me wherever he wants. But why would He? Not because I got fired? Not because I don’t "feel" good here anymore. Not because I don’t "Like" it here anymore. It would have to be OBVIOUS. This is my family. God has called me HERE to minister professionally. Not to just minister professionally. Get it?
We are all called to ministry. Not just those few and proud pro’s. We should start looking at it that way. God has called us all to be in His will. And far too many pastors jump from church to church until they find one that "feels" right. Let me tell you something. 2 out of 7 days there is not a whole lot of "feeling" right where I’m at. It sometimes feels wrong. It does not feel right to share my core sins with the entire church. I’m a pastor for God’s sake!!! I am to be esteemed!!! Yea right. Maybe down the street but not here. At Sandals I am called to be real and minister to those who minister to me. There is nothing right feeling about that. Society in our culture makes it feel very wrong. But you know what. I cannot imagine existing any other way. So I urge you to review your CALL. Quit trying to figure out what you are called to do. Realize where you are called to and plant yourself for His Names Sake. I’m not saying you can never move. I just think that it should take more than feeling uncomfertable to make that decision. Then I think we will witness Real Community.