The Call of God – The Father’s House Church of Stockton
We Are All Called
The illusive term “The Call of God” is such a tricky thing. Most act as if a call of God is only for full time ministers while others talk of us all having some sort of call on our lives. Here we go again using a term that basically is common in the American church but not in as much detail in the Bible or used completely the same way. Paul used the term four times about himself and about the saints. Paul said he was called to be an apostle and noted in two his letters that he was speaking to those called to be saints. The word in the Greek means to be invited or like a vocation, much of what we would say in the church world today. If you search your favorite Bible program from the Strong’s Greek work numbered 2821 you will see in the preponderance of passages that the Bible does imply that all believers do have some sort of vocation or calling to serve God. Never is the term isolated in such a way to say “those of you with callings on your life” but always with the implication that everyone has some sort of calling to serve.
Training, Task (Call), and Location
If we can all agree that all Christians have some sort of calling on their life then what comes next? In a secular sense people choose a vocation and location to work within. If they are serious about both vocation and location they begin working on the required training and experience that will open the door to work what they have chosen in the location they have chosen. Often compromises are made in life as we work toward the dream job in the dream location. So if all Christians have a God chosen vocation or calling and a location on their life, then likewise all Christians need to be working on their skills and training to move into the location and call of God for their life. Just as in the world, even more so it is important that a mature Christian be working in their call of God at the location God called them to.
Training – Discipleship
Most Christians get their training in thirty minute intervals on the Sundays that they attend church. This may be why most people think a calling only pertains to full time ministers. The more serious people are about serving God and being all that they can be for God they will find ways to learn their godly trade, often enrolling in a Bible College of some sort. The reality is the American Christian on average believes a calling is for a full time minister and not for all Christians and with this as the majority belief system the opportunity and desire for real discipleship and training to fulfill a call of God is really lacking in America. God is serious about each one of us being all that we can be.
It has become so popular to talk about the Five-Fold Ministry. This term is derived from Ephesians chapter four.
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
This is the only place in the Bible where this list exists yet people in some circle of believers have locked onto these five positions as if these are the exclusive five jobs in the church. In other lists similar to this the evangelist and pastor are left off and we also get lists of gifting’s as well. What about all the titles we have in all the churches today such as worship leader, Sunday School Teacher, Board Member, and so on?
Hungry people that truly want to serve will find out where they fit and who they are in the Lord. The Father loves us so much that if you ask, He will show you some way where and what you ought to be doing.
Location, Location, Location
Doing the right thing in the wrong place is doing the wrong thing. Just ask a surgeon if amputating correctly the wrong limb from the wrong patient is doing a good job. Oddly enough these things have been known to happen. A demolition crew showing up at the wrong address could be a disaster as well. Your location as a Christian is equally important. By location I mean not only the city but the ministry as well. Everything I said up to now was to get this location portion. Christians today are often confident about their call but very lax on the location. Often location is selected by opportunity not by divine providence or call. Even many pastors are searching for a church the needs a pastor not a church in the city they feel they belong. Getting back to all Christians having a call, all Christians have a location as well. If the call is correct and the location is wrong it all is wrong.
The Local Church
If we are hearing and doing the will of God for our life, we will end up in the perfect location as well. The perfect location may not be the perfect place though. I once felt called to serve in a horrible church. The people were nice but the music was awful, the building was run down, no children’s ministry, and pastor was less than charismatic and often made poor decision but that was where I belonged. I served with all my heart while I was there and opportunity to grow and serve came my way. Today most people pick the local church they attend by whatever reason they personally decide. This choice may merely because other family attended there, they got saved in that church, or it’s the only church of that denomination close by, the will of God is not even considered. For this reason much of the local churches are out of order and are places of pleasing people not doing the will of God.
Since people have chosen the local church they attend and not God, these people feel at liberty to leave a church anytime something does not go their way. Talk about personal growth, if you keep attending and serving God with all your heart in a place where you are not exactly happy with, God has got some great things for you. If every time something does not go your way or even the way you think the Lord wants it and you leave and locate somewhere else, how can God bless you? Yet this is much of the church world today. People claim to know the depth of the Word and who they are in Christ, yet when they leave a church it was because of conditions not because God told them to leave. Being a pastor I have seen many people come and go, it’s said that the average church rotates a large portion of its congregation every seven years and I believe it. In what I have personally witnessed, over 90% of the people that change churches do so because of a personal decision and not because they said God called them to a different place. If someone is so sure of their training and their call, something is greatly wrong when they don’t know the location God has called them to.
The New Christian
If someone is a newer Christian they are learning who they are in Christ and they most likely need to stay put where they are attending to grow in knowledge of God and understand what God has called them to be. If they are truly hungry and hearing God’s will for their life they will be stepping into the right position and the right location to be all that they can be for Christ. In conclusion, the apostle Paul shares in the book of Acts how he was lead of God to go certain places and not go others. God is no respecter of persons; He will do the same for you.
Acts 16:6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
Acts 16:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
Get it right, the training, the call, and the location, ask the Lord He will show you.
Pastor Farris Baker
The Father’s House Church of Stockton