The Call

Last night my wife and I attended the ordination service of our District Council. Our worship pastor was receiving her license to preach. With our district having a denominational college, we have quite a few who receive their license to preach every year, although that numbers seems to get smaller every year as the college focuses less and less on ministry training. (But, I digress.)

Those who have been in ministry for at least two years with a license to preach can then apply for ordination. The ordination part of the service is very special.

When I hear those words taken during the vows, I am caught up again the call of God. The call to ministry is so sacred. Every one of us have a vocational calling. The call to ministry is dear to me because it is my call. I reflect on that call during a service like last night and I am taken back in my mind to a small church in Guadalajara, Mexico. It was a December night in 1983 and I was a senior in high school. A group of Kansas youth had given up their Christmas and New Year with family to go on a missions trip. On a Wednesday night, with the power out and all of us at the altar, I sensed God calling me to ministry.

The one person who was surprised by that event was me. Everyone else around me pretty much said, “Well, of course. You didn’t know?”

My call has been refined over the years. There are times I can reflect on when I heard the Spirit speak to me about what was to be done in ministry. I can go to the street corner today in my current place of ministry where the Lord spoke to my heart and let me know this church where I now pastor was to be the place for me.

The call to ministry is powerful. I don’t want to treat it like I’m trying to decide on a career like I’m at a job fair in college. This is sacred. I am thankful God asked me to be in this vocation.

1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Tim. 4:1,2)

11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. (1 Tim. 4:11-14)

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