Three Taverns Church

A Call To Ministry?

7 Comments

I graduated from Northwest University today with a Masters in Ministry, though I actually finished my coursework in December. Recently many people have asked me about my future in ministry, and each time I have shrugged my shoulders because I don’t have a clue. I prayed throughout my degree program that God would reveal His plan for me, and I only heard a response once: “You are not ready.” As I entered this weekend I felt excited about the celebrations surrounding graduation, but there was a part of me still asking God to reveal my next step.

As I celebrated with my classmates, my prayers only intensified. I was surrounded by people who all seemed so gifted in ministry and who all seemed so certain of their calling…and there I sat, still waiting for a word from God. After a very nice lunch I drove home feeling resigned that I must continue to wait for God to speak…and then I think He did.

I do not have Scripture memorized, so anytime a verse ‘pops’ into my head while I’m praying I believe it is God’s Holy Spirit speaking to me. I remember asking God, “Where do I fit into all this?” Immediately Matthew 10:34 popped into my head:

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Strange.

Today during the commencement ceremony I felt very out-of-place and disconnected from the people speaking from the podium. The feeling was so strong that I began wondering if something was wrong with me, spiritually or psychologically. Here were people I was supposed to look up to, people being lauded as great men and women of God, and I felt…almost repulsed by what I was seeing. I began praying again, “God, is there something wrong with me? Why don’t I feel like I fit in here? What is Your purpose for me in Your church?” And again I heard these words:

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

I came home and looked up the verse; in Matthew 10 Jesus sends out His Apostles for the first time without Him. I don’t think it’s coincidence that God chose this chapter to speak to me as I graduate and officially get ‘sent out’ with my degree. When I read Matthew 10 I see Jesus sending the Apostles to preach to the Jews; I believe God wants to send me to preach to His people as well. But I feel…scared. There are implications of this chapter and verse that I’m not sure I am emotionally or spiritually prepared to accept.

Would you want to be told that you are not to bring peace to God’s people, but a sword?

7 thoughts on “A Call To Ministry?

  1. Maybe defining what ‘Peace’ means to you and then what ‘Swords’ mean to you will bring some clarity. ?

    • Yes, that’s what I’m working on. I’ve asked some people in my church to meditate on this verse and pray, and get back to me on what they think it might mean for me. We’ll see…

  2. This post really speaks to me.
    I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I feel repulsed in church a lot, and it’s getting worse.
    I live the people there; I really do, I’m not saying that in an Eddie Haskell sort of way.
    Something just feels so off about the way we’re “doing church”

    • legionwriter, I suspect this is a growing sentiment in the church…perhaps that is how God will choose to use me? As noted to stuartart, I am ‘testing the spirits’ on this one by discussing this weekend with folks from church. I’ve asked them to meditate on Matt. 10:34 and let me know if they have any insights. There is a very real temptation for me to get egotistical and assume that God wants me to ‘fix the church’…I want this to be about God, not me, so before I do anything I need others to confirm what I’m feeling.

  3. Well, remember what the Sword of Truth is Ephesians 6? The Word of God. The Good News. And for a lot of people who are comfortable in their ways (no matter how destructive, internally or externally, those ways might be), the Word of God does not bring peace. It is convicting. It is a spotlight shining into areas of darkness that people KNOW deep down in their soul that are in need of transformation. And they will often times fight back!! But when you’re sharing this with them in love, you are planting a seed that will grow. The growth might be extremely slow given the condition of the soil and external influences (peer groups that stillcencourage the old behavior, personal demons, etc.), but it will be there. Praying for you, Brother, and congratulations!!

  4. R.M…..CONGRATS! I’m happy for you and your accomplishment. And let me affirm you in how you are already being used by God to do great Kingdom work through this blog!

    I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I work/serve/minister in a church. Just today, I had a meeting that made me question the effectiveness of my life in this setting. Of course, if it was only today, it wouldn’t be worth mentioning. Nearly every week, I’m given reasons to wonder about the impact of serving in a “traditional church setting.”

    You are wise to seek Godly counsel & “test the spirits.” But I sense that God is doing much Kingdom Work outside the walls of the traditional church. I still believe strongly in the work of The Church (and churches throughout the world), but I do feel God is at work in some new and wonderful ways. I will be praying for you and with you!

    • Thank you so much! Your prayers are very much appreciated. Like you I am so very excited to see how God moves in the 21st century. I think we can all serve Him faithfully and fruitfully if we are willing to be open to new ideas and challenge our own models of how ‘church should be’.

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