31 Jan Calling
Many pastors are asked to relate their call stories—the details of how they became pastors or preachers or ministers or whatever term you wish to describe someone whose vocation is the ministry. To be ordained, you must be able to articulate not only that you are a follower of Jesus, but that God has called you to be an elder (to use biblical language) in the church. As I have seen firsthand, call stories are different, and not everyone is called to full-time vocation. But everyone is called by God.
Many people are scared by the language of calling. I think this may be because if God is calling you, that means it is a calling for you. Just like when a phone rings, and someone has called your phone; the call is for you. That is exactly how God works.
A few years ago, I learned about a famous and successful photographer named Jeremy Cowart. He has photographed countless celebrities and people that are completely unknown to you, me, and the most knowledgeable celebrity-stalkers around. Cowart’s project, Help-Portrait, provides stylists and make-up artists to help prepare subjects for, potentially, the one and only portrait of their lifetime.
Cowart has gone to Africa and Latin America to photograph survivors of genocide and war. He has travelled to areas recovering from natural disasters and to parts of our own nation struggling with poverty and being marginalized. Cowart brings hope and identity by using his camera and his God-given ability to capture a moment when someone was beautiful—inside and out—and appreciated for who they were and loved for who God believed them to be.
That’s what Jeremy Cowart has done with his gifting. That is where he found his calling. What is your skill set? What is your calling? From teachers to medical professionals to photographers to encouragers to leaders…God has a calling for each of us. Your vocation is not always your calling, just as your calling is not always your vocation. There is a call nonetheless.
So when the phone rings, answer it. One of my scariest thoughts is that the phone will stop ringing if I ignore it long enough. That idea should scare you, too. When a calling from God comes…answer it. We can never know how meaningful that decision will be…not only in our lives, but in the Kingdom of God.
The phone is ringing…I think it is for you.
Blessings to you,