Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Missional:Theory to Practice (Personally)

A few day back I wrote a short article on what it means to be a Missional Christian. Well, lately I have been trying to come to terms with my calling and ministry in the light of realizing that true Christians are called to be outward-focused missionaries to those around us. I am realizing more and more that I have a growing passion to reach out specifically to the younger, post-modern generation. It's a passion for those who are in college, subjected more often than not to some professor with a captive audience that rails on about his wacky ideas, derailing the morals and beliefs of many instilled in them from the time they were born. I want to reach young families so they can know that there is so much more to life than pressing on toward the American Dream of wealth that leaves bitterness and emptiness. I want to reach young people that see no hope in this life, and show them the only true hope that we find in Jesus Christ.

Pastoral ministry is my heart's desire. It's almost like something is missing right now. Like a hole in my life that the Lord intends to fill with people that he has called me to love on, to pour into, to lift up and see them grow in the Lord Jesus. It almost feels like somewhere out there, there are people in need of me. Maybe those people are meeting in an established church. Maybe they've not yet come the Christ to be forgiven. But I know that God has people out there that he has called me to shepherd. I just don't know where.

Nor do I know why God has called me to do this. I feel like I can identify with the Apostle Paul's statement of being "less than the least of all the saints" (see Eph. 3:8). What do I have to give these people? What knowledge can I possibly bring? What accolades? I have no letters after my name. I have no degree. I have no real ability that I can readily see. But none of that matters with God. It doesn't make sense, but God's word tells me that he uses the foolish things to put to shame the wise things. He chooses the weak things over the strong.

I know what I do have. I have a willing heart. I am willing to do what God says to do, say what God says to say, go where God says to go. I have a love for these people that I don't even know yet. I have a desire to see them come to salvation in Christ, to see them grow in the faith. I want to help them become faithful ministers of Christ, not necessarily behind a pulpit somewhere, but to their families, on their jobs, at their schools.

This is where my frustration comes into play. The questions I keep asking God is "when?" and "Where?" But no answer. Even in my personal time of prayer, I can't get away from this calling. I sense it more strongly every time I pray. It is consuming my thoughts right now. I just can't shake it off. And whenever I try to pull a Moses and tell God he called the wrong guy, it comes back on me even stronger. I can't run from it. God doesn't call us according to our knowledge, our experiences, our talents, or our education. He doesn't call the qualified; he qualifies the called.

Pray for me, friends. I know that this is a serious departure from my usual blogging style. This entry is totally impromptu, and I'm sure it shows. I just hurt so much for this younger generation that has no anchor, nothing it can see worth holding on to. I wish I knew where to start.

God bless.


Neil said...

You write very well, it appears to be quite thought out...mine look thoughtless!

The call and passion of God are what differentiates between those chosen by God to the service of the ministry. It has been said that if one can do anything other than preach, you should. For that noble calling cannot be satisfied by titles or talk, something must be done with it. Teaching a Sunday School class or a Wednesday night Bible study, something has to transpire to fulfill and release the burning fire shut up in our bones. Jeremiah thought he would just quit, but the Word within him had to be released and his need to be obedient to the one that called him.

Everything that you are doing and feeling right now is prepartory for the time when God will open a door of opportunity...Be faithful where you are...God's got good things planned for you!

phil said...

the answer to the questions, when? and where? might be now! and here!
might there be an opportunity to begin in partnership with the church you are serving now?
might there be a time and space? if not, why not find a local coffee shop, discover a new relationship or two or five and begin to meet to build a friendship. you never know what conversation on what day might birth the exact expression of what is now a dream.

ruthrap said...

your recognition of a need is a start and your desire to supply that need will be your inspiration...you're a very intellingent and gifted man, and I believe you are determined to fulfill your calling!