Tag Archives: Christian Calling

Rethinking Christian Calling

Many well-meaning Christians often want to baptize their aspirations and decisions with divine approval. It’s not uncommon to hear young people encouraged to figure out who, where, and what God might be “calling” them to. Consider three little anecdotal stories. John is talking with some friends when he confidently announces that he has met the girl he will marry. When asked how he can be certain he says God has called him to take her as his wife. Susie is getting ready to graduate high school and decides to go to a particular university. When asked why, she says God has called her to go to that school. Ben works as a plumber. When asked why he chose that profession he says God has called him to that work. Do you see the pattern?

While it may not gain me popularity points I want to rethink this common idea of God’s calling. Biblically, the call of God is used in reference to our salvation and to Apostolic office (see e.g. Romans 1:1 and 1 Corinthians 1:1). Foregoing the second of these, the Bible says we have been “called to belong to Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:6) and “called according to his purpose” […]

Calling

For a variety of reasons, most notably of which is a class that I am taking on leadership, I have been reflecting on calling.  God calls his people to special areas of service, and he has impressed five lessons on me lately about calling.

Every believer has a calling.  Clearly Luther made this point in the Reformation teaching of the priesthood of all believers, but it is one that often gets lost in the church.  The temptation is to believe that only “special” people, be it a wildly successful entrepreneur,  a highly talented entertainer, or a self-sacrificing missionary, are called.  Yet clearly every person whom God has created, redeemed, and gifted to one degree or another has a calling.  The church is to be a place where the members of the body of Christ help identify, encourage, and celebrate the unique calling of each of its members, however insignificant any person may appear to the world.

We are called along the lines of our giftedness.  One wonderful book on this subject is The Call.  Written by the prolific author Os Guiness, he offers vital insight for discovering one’s God-ordained purpose for being placed upon the earth.  One chief way Guiness directs his readers, punctuating […]

Just Doing His Job…

On this morning in which much of the world is celebrating Christmas in one way or another, I know how my friends at the Cairn Farm in Coleraine, Northern Ireland are spending it. At around 4:30 AM their time, they got up, just as they do every day, and went out in the pitch blackness to milk and then feed their cows. The process took them around 3 hours – perhaps longer today because they will have given most of their employees the day off to be with their families. My friends will steal some time with their own family during the day before returning to the barn at around 4:00 PM to repeat the milking and feeding process all over again.

Milking cows can be dirty work, but it needs to be done – twice a day every, single day of the year. There are no exceptions. This is the type of responsibility that most people want no part of – it is simply too demanding and it requires too many sacrifices to be responsible for hundreds of animals, which need daily care.

Driving back with one of these farmer friends, an elder in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Northern Ireland, […]