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What's a calling?

Updated: Mar 23, 2022

From a young age I knew that God had called me into full time ministry but along the way as I began to search for what that really meant. Along my journey discovering the call of God on my life I began to discover more about God and more about being one of His people. As I read the Bible about the calling of a priest I began to find that this category breaks the confines that we as modern readers place them in today and even what the original audience would suspect. “There is a core problem that arises when talking about priests in the Bible. Priests are introduced in the Bible in a way that leaves ambiguous who they are and what they do. This is not a bug—it’s a feature of the storyline.” Why this is important in talking about a calling into full-time ministry is because I believe the church has limited the term full-time ministry to just mean those who receive a paycheck from a church.

When in reality the message of Jesus was one that evened the playing field for all believers and now all who follow Jesus are expected to give their entire lives for His kingdom. 1 Peter 2:9-10 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

Peter is talking to the entire church body in the five regions in Asia Minor. Not just to pastors. What we learn from this passage that a priest is not just someone who works in a church building but in Christ we are all called to be His representative to all the earth. There is no hierarchy of getting to God but we all have direct access and every follower of Jesus is expected to “offer their body’s as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1 NIV). Jesus has evened the playing feild, every one of His followers are called to live everyday showing His love to the rest of the earth. Everyone is called to full-time ministry in that sense. Following Jesus was never meant to be a part time gig.

By creating the term full-time ministry the average church attender feels as not as much pressure is on them to live out the entirety of what the Bible says. In the average church today the everyday believer is not expected to live out what they believe in the way that pastors are. This separation in between full-time ministers and the everyday Christian has been catastrophic to the church in the west growth. The Great Commission has turned from every Christian’s life purpose to something that pastors and church leaders are supposed to do. Do you see the problem?

Rather than making a call to be a pastor so special and on it’s own we need to broaden our category and change the language of full-time ministry because if we continue to use the term full-time ministry we will continue to create part-time Christian’s. Therefore, the calling we are talking about in this paper is the call to be a Christian leader. Not everyone is called to be a CEO just like not everyone is called to be a pastor. The frontlines of ministry is no longer the church front doors, parking lot or even social media pages. The frontlines of ministry is the workplace. Therefore, imagine if we were training strong Christian leaders who could lead successful businesses and that Christian leader could use his influence to bring others to Christ. Now more than ever the Christian business leader is just as important as a church’s senior pastor.

These two callings are different but at the same time they are one of the same. These are as similar as being a Kids Pastor versus a Small Group Pastor. They are for the same ultimate purpose of people coming to know Jesus and to grow in their relationship with Him but they look drastically different. By eliminating the term full-time ministry and changing this call to Christian leader, the church will be able to reach more people than ever before and help leaders identify their callings to serve the local church and not feel like a second class Christian.

The question still is what does this calling look like and how do you know if you are called to be a Christian leader? Well, everyone in some shape or form is called to be a Christian leader in some way, shape, or form. But there are a lot of people who do not feel called to lead organizations and they just want to be on a great team. These people are absolutely needed, and this is most people. The calling to be a great team member is not any less than wanting to lead the team, do not let anyone tell you other wise. Then there are others who feel called to lead a great organization and take a great team to accomplish a big goal. These people are the Christian leaders.

How do you know if you are called to be a Christian leader and what does calling mean? First calling means that God has assigned you to a specific task to accomplish the purpose of representing Him on the Earth everyone has a calling. Some like discussed above are to be a part of a great team, others feel called to lead the team. How do you know if this calling is to be a Christian leader? First it starts with your relationship with God. No matter what you think you are good at or what your skills are it starts with God and consulting Him on what your assignment is on this earth.

Think of Moses who was a stutter (Exodus 4:10) but ended up writing and teaching the nation of Israel the Old Covenant. After you have consulted God, you must begin to take opportunities to develop that skill and see if you feel fulfilled and natural when leading others. Like Joshua before He lead Israel to conquer the promise land he was fighting battles under the leadership of Moses. Then third and final step of seeking out your calling confirmation from others. Like Paul confirming Timothy’s calling, “This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight,” (1 Timothy 1:18) This verse shows us that God has confirmed Timothy’s calling and now Paul has given Timothy the opportunity to lead a church and is reconfirming the calling on Timothy’s life. These are the three things that make up a calling.


Sources used


Tim Mackie , “View Resource: Bibleproject™,” BibleProject, 2022, http://bibleproject.com/view-resource/426,2.


The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Letters of Peter.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., 1998. https://www.britannica.com/topic/letters-of-Peter#:~:text=The%20First%20Letter%20of%20Peter%2C%20addressed%20to%20persecuted%20Christians%20living,and%20is%20now%20in%20glory.

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