I think it’s important that church leaders recall and re-affirm their call at least annually. In fact, I encourage you to take a 1-2 day annual retreat for this purpose. Here’s why that’s important for me:
- It reminds me of God’s work in my life. My call to preach the Word was dramatic. It happened the first time I ever attended church, and it occurred immediately after God saved me. Within minutes of my turning to Christ in repentance and faith, I heard these words clearly in my heart: “I want you to preach my Word.” I’m still amazed that God chooses to use me.
- It gives me a sense of eternal purpose. Whatever I choose to do in life, my call to preach the Word has the most impact. I know that the Word changes lives eternally, and I’m privileged to play a small role in the process.
- It pushes me to keep going. Sometimes, ministry is hard. The grass often looks greener elsewhere. When I’m tempted to give up, I return to my calling. I can’t deny it – so giving up would be disobedience.
- It challenges me to keep growing. God called me to preach when I was 13 years old. That’s a long time ago, and I’ve spent a number of years in continual training for that calling. I learn every day, though, that I still have so much to learn. My calling demands that I never settle for where I am.
- It grants me freedom to change my ministry seat. God called me to preach the Word. He didn’t call me to a position. As I’ve written elsewhere, understanding this fact has given me peace not to worry much about the actual ministry position I have. As long as I’m proclaiming the Word, I can rest.
- It allows me to experience joy. Nothing gives me joy like preaching the Word does. Whether I’m in a local church, on the mission field, in a classroom, or in a neighbor’s driveway, I love opening the Word. I suspect that’s because I’m doing what God has called me to do. Reliving that calling only magnifies that joy.
I know that the process of your calling is different than mine, but I challenge you to take time to recall, re-live, and reaffirm it. You won’t regret it.