Hearing the Call
Fall 1987. I sat in a McDonald’s booth just off campus. My friend and discipler, Lynn, sat across from me. Jesus had asked me to lay aside my future plans. His call wouldn’t let me go, and through tears, I choked out the words, “Jesus wants me to give Him my vocation, my future. I don’t know what that looks like, but I’m laying down my plans.”
Living the Call
Since that day, He has led me. All of those roads have led me to this place, today. At times, I’ve taken detours. Three times in our 29 years of marriage, Dave and I have left or planned to leave full-time, vocational ministry. Each time, Jesus has wooed us back. We can’t shake the call on our lives. To date, we have worked for–
- 2 Parachurch Ministries: Youth for Christ & Forge
- 2 Church Plants
- 1 Christian School
- 3 Churches
I’ll be the first to admit that I have grown cynical about the church. After one difficult season of ministry, I didn’t go to church for over a year. So, when I went to a conference this week for ministry leaders, I put my guard up initially. But, Jesus met me there, in my guarded cynicism.
Renewing the Call
This week, Dave and I spent a few days at Gateway Church, Southlake, Texas, at a church leaders’ conference with 15 of our fellow staff members. The teaching and worship were focused on equipping church leaders and experiencing Jesus’ refreshing presence.
Below, I listed 2 take-aways that reinforced the call on my life and renewed my vision for ministry. I also hope that I encourage someone reading this blog who wants to walk away from their ministry calling.
Weariness and discouragement are by-products of our ministry calling because we run into the battle and support the broken-hearted, bound-up, and lost when others run from it. Click To Tweet
Weariness and discouragement are by-products of our ministry calling because we run into the battle and support the broken-hearted, bound-up, and lost when others run from it.
Gateway Conference Take-aways for Renewed Vision
- Never forget that we live in a war zone.
- Our enemy is real, and I have been equipped and called by Jesus to stay in this war for my family and those who need to hear the gospel.
- The pressure that I sometimes feel to quit or walk away from the war should signal me to rest.
- When I feel like quitting, that is the moment that I need to do the opposite and persevere.
- The church is called to a mission that I want to be a part of.
- To declare the good news that Jesus died & rose again for all people.
- To equip & train other people for the mission to the world.
- To preach / teach the Bible.
- To give dignity to the poor in Jesus’s name.
- To welcome the outcast in Jesus’s name.
- To show the world what real love & unity looks like between people of every group or ethnicity.
I still believe in the mission that Jesus gave to his followers. I still want to be a part of the mission. For me, part of the mission is writing this weekly blog to encourage my readers to stay rooted in Jesus. I’ve written two short books for the same purpose:
- Led: Learning to Listen & Follow, lessons from the Good Shepherd
- Surrendered: Learning to Trust & Rest, lessons from the True Vine
I’d love to send you a book. It’s available here in a soft cover or a downloadable PDF. I’d also love to speak to your group, no matter the size. Here’s what to expect if you invite me: