How Will You Remain True to Your Call?

dereko@saddleback.com
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How Will You Remain True to Your Call?

Postby dereko@saddleback.com » Fri May 04, 2018 12:07 pm


cas.sufficool@gmail.com
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Rockbridge Student

Postby cas.sufficool@gmail.com » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:59 pm

Burn out is such a prevailing factor in the growing number of pastors, volunteers and ministry leaders who are leaving the church ministry. I know there are a lot of factors that play into why someone leaves the ministry but burn out always seems to be a part of it. When Steve talks about calling and hanging onto that calling when ministry times get tough, I see this play into why people are burning out in ministry.

Losing sight of the calling that God places on our lives can easily lead to seeing the greener grass on the other side of the fence. Steve said it, doing ministry is easy when everything is going smoothly, but when the devil and sin wiggler their way into the ministry and things take a turn for the rough road; ministry becomes exponentially more difficult. It is in these times that the grass where they are at turns brown and the grass on the other side looks so much more lush, even though it’s really not. Yet, we often forget, that the world and our lives go through seasons, just because difficulty arises, and the grass turn brown doesn’t mean it’s time to quiet. It simply must remind us that just as the seasons change, the rain comes and brightens that grass back up, so will ministry brighten up once the season is weathered.

I appreciate Steve talking about the importance of self-care in ministry because often the care of our ministry leaders can be neglected in view of results. As well, taking time away from ministry to be with family, to recharge the batteries and to stay focused on the cross takes time away from the ministry. In the rural churches around me this often is seen as selfish. “You are putting yourself and your family above your duty to the church,” or “You are not giving it all to the Lord.”

Now these remarks come from a place of love for the church and the ministry, but they forget to love the person. Since Steve talks about selfcare, it is an encouraging reminder to look after myself and the other leaders in the ministry no matter what season we are all in!

kenthall5@gmail.com
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Rockbridge Student

Postby kenthall5@gmail.com » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:50 pm

Like Steve said, this is a more introspective chapter. If my walk with Christ is not solid, then I will not be effective in living my calling and my witness to others will be compromised. As with any action, it will not just affect me, but others as well whether positively or negatively. We each have that responsibility.

When Steve quoted Hebrews 3:13, I wanted to see the bigger picture of that passage. I believe it is more powerful to see the surrounding verses as well, “Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end.” (Hebrews 3:12-14 NAS) Again, God accentuates a responsibility for each of us to stay close to Him and refresh our calling. In my church, I have attempted to get people to realize their calling through spiritual gifts testing but have had little response. Have any of you found effective ways of getting people active with living out their callings?

On page 212, Steve outlines his simple plan for soul care. His first point resounds in my mind, “schedule time each day.” This idea reminds me of the Practicing the Spiritual Disciplines course with Rockbridge. We learned many different ways to invite the Lord into our lives each day. Before that, I used to do the usual prayer and devotional each morning. It became rote and boring. Trying new disciplines really opened up my spiritual life. The bottom line is that we need to have time for God.

janetporter@sandyplains.org
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Rockbridge Student

Postby janetporter@sandyplains.org » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:19 am

I appreciate that Steve has included this chapter. Ironically, soul care can be a challenge for those of us in vocational ministry. I love my job and am so grateful I get to study God's word for a living! On the flip side, I find myself neglecting true, personal soul care because I am constantly caring for the flock and doing God's work. Am I spending one-on-one time deepening my personal relationship with Jesus? Am I resting in His care and allowing Him to recharge my battery? I must spend time connecting with God and connecting with others, like a mentor, for my well-being. And studying for the next kids worship lesson does not count for connecting to God :)

Steve said in his video that my calling will be the fuel that keeps me going. Even as I was reading this chapter, God reminded me of the vision He gave to me before I even knew He would call me to vocational ministry. Steve is right! When I think about my calling and look back to see how it is all connected in leading me to this moment, I get excited all over again. God has called me to this church, at this particular time, with these people to do His work in this community. I need to constantly be sharing my calling and the vision that God gave to me with others because it is part of my story of what God is doing in my life. This focus on my calling would help me to not focus too much on the many tasks and checklists.

Steve mentioned that it is important to "keep your Sabbath." How do you make sure you take care of your soul and keep your Sabbath? Has anyone ever scheduled a monthly day away just to be with God? If so, how has it strengthened you and your ministry?

cas.sufficool@gmail.com
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Rockbridge Student, to Kent:

Postby cas.sufficool@gmail.com » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:02 pm

Kent,
I think I understand the point you are making Kent when you say, “If my walk with Christ is not solid, then I will not be effective….”, but how do we measure a solid walk with Jesus to the point that we become effective? There have been many times in my walk with Christ that I have not felt solid, when I have been in the midst of my pornographic struggle or in a bout of depression. I believe relationships with Jesus is the best drug to depression, but since I wasn’t walking strongly with Him the depression crept in. Yet, it was in the middle of these season that God has often used me the most effectively!

So, how do we go about saying that our walk with Christ has to be solid in order for us to be effective for the Kingdom of God? I appreciate you speaking this out as it has caused me to wrestle through the saying and as I wrestle through it, it seems we are almost talking about perfection. We have to be perfect before we will be effective. I am sure you don’t think this is the truth as perfection is something we strive for (Mt 5:48) but is only obtainable in Christ (Heb 10:14), but I would wonder if you could explain your sentence a little further?!?

That is great insight into the passage, thank you Kent. As to your question, the only way I have found that motivates people to live out their calling more deeply is to see the need that their calling serves. Is their gift and calling is to serve the poor and impoverished, I have gotten them on a mission trip with me that focuses on that. The result is they come back home strengthened, envisioned and motivated to keep the flame that God started on the trip alive by serving locally. So, getting others to see the need that their gift can fulfill has been a way God has shown me to motivate people to live out their calling.

janetporter@sandyplains.org
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Rockbridge Student

Postby janetporter@sandyplains.org » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:48 pm

Chad,
Well said! It is sad but true how people think that if we are in the ministry we must have it all together. As people, we tend to forget the pastors are people, too, and they have a life outside of the church. I agree with you ... we need to remember to love on the person above the ministry. And, if we as ministers are focused on the cross, then we will have enough love for all.

I have experienced a couple of seasons already where the grass looked greener on the other side. I tried several times to leave my current place because I felt like I was in the wrong place. I am so thankful that God is sovereign and patient and wise. He gently kept pushing me to stay and closed every door I tried to walk through to leave my current position. It is through these times that I did take time to do self-care because I was seeking answers from God. God also opened my eyes to see people differently and I realized that He had placed me here for a reason. I also began to see that He gave me everything that I needed to do the work that He had put in my heart to do. I only needed to seek Him first. :)

Chad, have you had seasons of burn out or thinking the grass is greener on the other side? If so, how did you deal with it?

janetporter@sandyplains.org
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:49 pm

Rockbridge Student

Postby janetporter@sandyplains.org » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:58 pm

Kent,
Thanks for the reminder to seek out more from God's word. Hebrews 3:12-14 is a fantastic reminder for me to hold tight to my calling and helps me remember that God does not make mistakes. When I think back to the weeks of praying and wrestling with entering into vocational ministry, I remember the excitement and joy that I felt once I realized where God was leading. That is what I need to remember when ministry gets tough. I need to remember the God who created the universe has created me to do exactly what He is calling me to do.

You have asked a great question that is difficult to answer and live out. I think that it, again, goes back to relationship building. People do not want to hear what we have to share until they know how much we care about who they are. Plus, once we spend time with them, it is easier to see some of what God is calling them to do. I have seen this unfold several times over this last year as I spend time getting to know people outside of the church or I spend time serving with them. I begin to see their talents and what makes them want to serve. Once I have this information, it becomes an easier to help them serve in their calling because we have past experiences to reference. It is like I have evidence that what I am suggesting just might be what God is asking of them!


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