We’ve all been there—sitting in a church service or group meeting when an announcement is made that this group or that group is looking for some new leadership. How many of us have said this: “Oh, I hope they find someone.” Sound familiar?
You’re enjoying your coffee after the service and someone approaches you and says, “I have something I’d like to ask of you!” Your first thought is, “Oh, no. I hope they don’t ask me to lead ______.”
Often in our lives God calls us to action through others. We can’t all be Moses and encounter talking shrubbery. Perhaps God is speaking to us through the voice of a friend, fellow congregant, elder, or minister. Perhaps God has put it on their heart that YOU would be a great leader for this important ministry.
When I was a teenager, our youth group participated in a Spiritual Gifts Inventory program. At the end of the program we were all presented with an itemized list of our Spiritual Gifts and a well-meaning note from the minister as to where we could put those gifts to use. Needless to say—most of us didn’t listen.
In Living Faith: A Statement of Christian Belief, under the heading “Our Calling” we read: “We are called to work out the meaning of our own lives and to find our true vocation in the love and service of God. We serve and love God by the service and love of creation especially the care of the needy. Every kind of work that is honest and serves others is a vocation from the Lord. Calling means the necessity to deny selfish ambition and desire in order to minister to others. In God’s service true freedom is to be found.”
How many of us are gifted teachers and sitting in a pew on Sunday morning rather than serving in our church school? How many gifted evangelists have never invited a friend, colleague, or stranger to church? How many are gifted with discernment yet haven’t volunteered to sit on the search committee? Far too often we are falling back on the prayer, “Lord, help them find the right person.” We negate the idea that the right person may simply be the one praying that prayer.
In 1 Peter 4:10 we are instructed, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Galatians 6:10 says “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
Answering God’s call to lead can be daunting, scary even, but we should recognize that God will prepare us fully for any task he asks us to undertake.
- Have you experienced God calling you to leadership? How did you respond?
- Do you think you have ever ignored God’s calling?
- How can we encourage one another to be active in the ministries that God is calling us to?
“I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much!” Anonymous/Mother Teresa (?)