14 Feb God’s Calling Confirmed
Isaiah 49:6b I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.
Shortly after I became a believer, I came to the realization that God’s plan for mankind was bigger than my own little world in Greenville, SC. During a week long mission trip to Nicaragua when I was 16, God broke my heart for the nations. As I went on to pursue a missions degree at North Greenville University, I came to understand that not only did many places around the world live in extreme poverty, but millions of people had never heard the name of Jesus, let alone the Gospel. During my years in college, my calling and passion for missions intensified. I preached missional sermons in various churches, started a missions club on campus, and spent nearly 4 months overseas sharing the Gospel with unbelievers. I also met my future wife during my time in college and she too shared my missional calling to one day serve overseas. We began praying and making grand plans of how we would further God’s kingdom in some far away country. We both graduated, got married, and then something neither one of us expected happened; our priorities shifted.
As it turned out, we needed money, just like everyone else, so I accepted a worship leader position at a traditional Southern Baptist church in Greenville while also juggling two other part-time jobs. I was also taking 3 seminary classes a semester, which made my expected graduation date about 5 years down the road. There were bills to pay, deadlines to meet, services to plan, jobs to go to, all while trying to figure out how to have a biblical marriage. Our missional calling soon got pushed to the back burner, and was almost completely forgotten.
To make matters worse, many of our friends from college who had previously felt called to move overseas began to put down roots in Greenville. Instead of preparing to serve internationally, they were buying houses, having kids, and investing in their retirement savings. None of these things are bad things to do, however, they were huge obstacles to their previous calling and as a result, many of them began to express that they felt called to something else. All of these things began to weigh on me, leading me to question my own call. I started to rationalize that there were great ministry needs in Greenville, that I was pretty good at being a worship leader, and that maybe I misunderstood my original calling.
However, if I had been honest with myself, the truth was that I had become comfortable with my role in ministry. I had figured out how to do my job well, I was being paid, and on top of that, the church was growing. It seemed like I had developed the perfect system for my area of ministry and I was so tempted to leave it on auto pilot and continue in this newfound complacency.
Thankfully God had other plans. He began to stir our hearts to remember our original calling; to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. After several weeks of discontentment, we finally listened. We prayed that God would lead us to a church where our calling and passion could be encouraged, developed, and utilized. I reached out to the two pastors of the church at Blue Ridge, a small church plant 10 minutes from our house. I agreed to serve as one of their interns, doing anything and everything that might be needed in a church plant, in the hopes that I would learn and one day plant a church as well. I resigned from the worship leader position in December and in January my wife and I stepped out in faith and joined with this new church.
Since then, a month has past and we are so thankful that God has brought us to be a part of the community of TCBR. The church is driven by a missional heartbeat that affects every aspect of its ministry. The members have included us from day one, allowing us to be a part of their community where we are both constantly affirmed in our calling and held accountable to live transformed lives. The complacency that we once felt is gone, replaced by a desire to serve where we are while we move to what God has for us in the future.
If you had asked me 9 months ago what my calling was, I would have probably said missions in a foreign context. However, I would have lacked conviction and assurance in that call and my day-to-day ministry then would have portrayed a completely different calling. If you were to ask me that same question today, I would confidently tell you that God has called us to be a light to the nations so that they might know the power of the Gospel and experience his salvation. While the journey that he has called us to will no doubt be a long one, we are so excited to spend the next season of it making disciples in the community of Blue Ridge.
Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began. 2 Timothy 1:8-9
Generation LINK Resident
The Church at Blue Ridge