What Happened to Me, Part 4

I am one who believes in the divine call to vocational ministry.  In other words, making the ministry your job.  However, I do not believe one need be solely employed in the ministry for this moniker to apply.  Most ministerial workers (those who refer to themselves as “called”) are part-time by wage (not effort).  Dave Ramsey said eighty percent of those in professional ministry are bi-vocational.  It’s not as cut-and-dried as I perceived in my youth, and this understanding sunk my battleship years ago.

Consideration should also be given to the biblical fact that not all divine calls are lifetime calls.  A good number of Bible prophets and others received revelation that their tasks were for specific time periods.  I believe it is much the same today.  At the same time, the Bible record is replete with ministers who serve their entire lifetimes. So, it’s a mixed bag.  The divinity of the call is the thing rather than the duration of the call.  Whatever may be said and rightly or wrongly, a lot of people serve with vigor for a short time, and most preachers change churches a time or two.

Of importance to me is the origin of ministry.  Did the idea come from one’s own desires or from somewhere a little higher up?  Having said that all ministry is not of long duration, I also believe that many so-called servants do not “stick” because they were never called in the first place.  I don’t want to be judgmental, only observational.  For the record, I have been single and bi-vocational, and God has shown me not to call any man common or unclean.  My heart leaps seeing those who have made full proof of the ministry.

I would not have lasted if I had not felt the call of God.  I’m not bragging or complaining, only stating the reality of my life.  Personally, I know the feel of the hand of God and have known his direction though my progress has been uneven.  Life as a pastor has been enjoyable and extreme.  It not all been roses, but I’ve had a lot of fun in my life.  In these days, I reflect over many years of effort and wish to try again.

The essential call of God does not erase the necessary conduct of believers.  A few cases will rest on a single individual, but, for the most part, a minister cannot be successful without the input and effort of other believers who work for the Kingdom in non-professional (unpaid) capacities.  We could say that, in most cases, understaffed ministries (divine-called or no) will fail.  God touched the hearts of certain men and sent them with Saul.  It is the same today.  It is true that we are all builders for eternity.  Most of God’s work is done by volunteers.

Every three weeks or so, I will pass a sleepless night.  An initial annoyance, I’ve come to view these restlessness times as gifts from God.  I have learned to use the hours reflecting on the work of God in my life.  They are good times to pray and give thanks.  In the dark of night, I remember the projects of my life, but, more than these, the people.  When I thank God for His presence, I thank Him for sending comrades my way, some of which I have been separated from for decades.  We will meet again.

The most important thing in your life is the will of God.  Sometimes, urgent matters will direct otherwise, but the fact remains.  God has the power, but you need help to reach your potential. 
Here’s hoping the hand of God rests on your life, and others join you on the heaven road.

Sterl

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