I grew up in the wonderful and confusing world of church and ministry. My father and grandfather were both pastors with ministry that spanned more than a century. The wonderful part of this world was the exposure and introduction that I had to Jesus Christ and the love that I experienced from Him. That love transcends everything else in my life, and I am grateful beyond words for the spiritual heritage that was passed on to me.
The confusing part was the theology. I was the recipient of some real whacked out teaching! I am not blaming anyone or any organization. This stuff came from everywhere. Some of my greatest faith heroes sent me down bad kingdom corridors. And that does not count the corridors that I just walked down all by myself.
I am not bitter or upset by any of this. I think it was all part of the journey, and I truly believe it has all culminated into some life messages that I’ve experienced and get to share with others.
Here is one such life message…Calling! At the age of fourteen, I was called into ministry! It happened at youth camp. I felt this incredible pull in my heart that I was uniquely called into the ministry. The Calling was real. The Ministry was messed up…at least where I was coming from.
Here is where things started to clear up for me. When I was twenty-eight years old, I sensed another unique calling on my life. It didn’t happen at camp. It just showed up. I was called into business. AND, my calling into business was as strong as my calling into ministry. Was God confused? Did He change His mind? Ministry or business…which one is it?
What I’ve learned: Every Christ follower has been called into ministry. What I experienced at age fourteen is something that every disciple of Christ should experience. It doesn’t need to be an emotional moment, just a real moment of understanding. Check this out., “He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” Eph 2:10 (MSG) We are all called to this great work. When we put the work of ministry into a separate category, we take ministry out of the hands of all believers and place it into the hands of a few elect people. That’s called religion. Plumbers, pastors, and physicians are all called into ministry.
The Ephesians 4 ministry gift passages have nothing to do with a job. These are gifts that can be used in every ministry environment including, in my case, business. As we begin to understand how to mobilize the church to ministry as taught in the Book of Ephesians, we will step into a heuristic and exciting place where the church can begin to storm the gates of hell in our culture.