From Across the Net – “The Deficit of Discipleship: How the American Church Is Off-Mission”

Standard

Regardless of how churches can rephrase and reframe their mission statements, this is the mission: to go and make disciples. The American church is not called to make converts. In fact, to lead people in a prayer without offering them a pathway and companions for the journey is irresponsible. The American church is not called to make leaders. In Jesus’ view, the first would be the least. This doesn’t sound like western leadership. It sounds like discipleship. The American church is not called to make volunteers to staff the weekend services. In fact, to reduce the ministry of the church body to guest service roles is an affront to the New Testament church. The American church is not called to draw crowds. The American church is not called to build buildings. The American church is not called to make money. We are called to make disciples. (You can read more of the article here)

Photo by William White on Unsplash

Can I say this? Volunteering/serving, in a guest services role at church, week after week, is exhausting! And to top it off, having fellow church members treat you like you are “the help” is demoralizing. I get that volunteers are needed to keep the church model we use moving forward. But I’ve also noticed that it is always the same people serving. I often wonder what it would be like to just get up, go to church, and not serve just like everyone else. Yet, I believe in being the hands and feet of Christ even when no one else wants to… but something seems broken with the church model we use.

Your Calling Doesn’t Equal Career

Standard

Ivan Mesa, writing for The Gospel Coalition, wrote a fantastic article titled “3 Things Your Calling Is Not“.

This might sound like an obvious point, but part of my angst has been due to the assumption I had to grab hold of my calling or else it would slip away. I’d be lost, I feared, wasting my life because I hadn’t been decisive or clear-eyed enough to know what God had called me to.

For a long time, the Church preached to men that your calling equaled your career. I personally found this line of thought to be hurtful and confusing. The night before college graduation, I remember breaking down and crying. I had no clue where God was calling me, no clue what a career might look like. Tears running down my face, I prayed that He would make a career path clear to me. That He would provide for me a job/career so that I could make ALL the money and further His Kingdom.

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Looking back, I can see how I took the preaching I had heard for years to heart. How when God didn’t immediately answer my career/job prayer, I took His silence and withdrew into anger, resentment, and bitterness.

Through His grace, God has nudged me over the years–He is a slow and patient teacher to my stubbornness–. Teaching me that He calls me where I am. He calls me at:

  • Church
  • Home
  • And Work

He reminds me that I do not have to set out on a mystical spiritual quest to figure out His will. Thank God for that.

If there is one lesson God has taught me over the years, it is this:

When I focus too much on myself, life becomes depressing. When I step out of myself and focus on/serve others, I find life and joy.

Which stirs up and boils down to this:

Embrace where you are called.