Friday, September 2, 2011

The Call of the Wild

Don't you find it interesting that a lot of Christians see ministry as a vocation? I belong to a Christian discussion group on Linked In and there was a big to-do about all this. It did make me think, why do people get in the God business any way? Are there folks in ministry that God did not call? Are their folks in ministry that he did call, and they are dormant because they don't fit the religious molds of the church?

Here is what David thinks about all this:

The indicators of calling are spiritually discerned. If someone is called they would know it in their spirit. For others to recognize the call - in particular a very young person (IE: King David) - it would have to be revealed by the Spirit.

I teach about being called in our 5-Fold School of Ministry. Here are some of the points I believe are the building blocks of "calling.".

- Ministry is not a vocation.
- Ministry is not a position.
- Ministry is not a title. (I think that some folks have concentrated on the "office" and not on the role.)
- Ministry if filling a God-given role in the church.
- Those who don't recognize their call are often in religious structures that do not permit, or recognize the role they are called to. There is no one to model it, or a lack of teaching. (The very reason we did the 5-Fold School)
- Intimacy with God defines our call (or the lack of it) I likened it to salvation. There is a point where we cross the line (called), however; we have to work it out and mature.
- Relationship also helps define our role. Paul was in relationship with Timothy and Barnabas. Those relationships helped define the role that he was called to. The same was true of Phillip the evangelist.
- The fruit of ministry confirms a person's role in the church. IE:
  The apostle's fruit is sound doctrine, tasks and teams.
  The prophet's fruit is revelation, focus on the living word.
  The evangelists fruit is salvation and the watering of the saved.
  The pastors fruit is is the healing and wholeness of people.
  The teachers fruit is imparting the knowledge of God,
  They are the equippers for all other roles in the church.
  The elders fruits is teaching, and corporate healing.
  The deacons fruit is service.

Those that are called often go through a process:
-1 The Call (Hearing God)
-2 Submitting to Leadership (Learning to be obedient)
-3 Trained through Trials and Testing (Maturing)
-4 Desert Experience (Doing the right thing when no one is looking.)
-5 Reentry into the Church (Doing well in the little things, being a servant.)
-6 Appointment by Elders (Public recognition of the call)

I believe intimacy with God is the key. If we cannot see what the Father is doing, it is going to be really tough to do it.


photogr said...

I feel that the key is the intimacy with God in the ministry positions. Naturally one as a minister must possess the passion to lead others to Christ and be a mentor. It takes special people blessed by God's grace to minister to others effectively.

Andrea York said...

Good post David, but I'm still left with questions about the 5-fold ministry that I can't seem to find the answers to:

Are we all called to be one of those things? Scripture says that some are called to be apostles, some are prophets, etc

Is the 5-fold ministry intended for every church, region or global church?

David-FireAndGrace said...

You are correct Larry, if we are not close with Jesus, we will not have the inside scoop.

@Andrea - the 5-fold is simply a leadership core. It is "some," so no, not everyone is called to be one of these gifts to the church.

The apostle and prophet lay a foundation which involves working with local congregations. On that foundation lies the evangelist, the pastor and the teacher.

The main job of these folks is to train and equip others, not carry around business cards.

John Cowart said...

Hi David,

I think you hit the nail on the head in your point which says, "Intimacy with God defines our call".

By and large I've found that when somebody talks to me about ministry, that means they want me to do for free something they are getting paid to do.


David-FireAndGrace said...

Thanks for stopping by, John. What an honor!

... that and Matt let us down by not posting Monday! ;0

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