Last week I found myself with my best friend Andre walking down memory lane, so to speak. 4 years ago if you had asked us what we thought we’d be doing after college, he’d have said full-time ministry, and I’d have said something corporate, with lots of opportunities to climb the ranks.
So it’s ironic that today, in a big twist, I’m the full-time minister and he’s worked his way up to assistant director of a big out-patient treatment facility for children and adolescents. We are two people who’s lives now mirror what we once thought we’d be doing.
Yet we are also as Dre put it, “two lives on different paths ultimately ending up in the same place – living out the purposes God had intended for us.” Why and how did this happen you might ask?
Because God called us.
Calling vs Dreams
Especially in college, the majority of students don’t major in something just because they like it.
It’s also usually because this is going to help them get to where they want to go, doing what they want to do and being the person they want to be.
But when it comes to Christians, is life simply just about what we want to do? Or could it be that God in His infinite wisdom, didn’t just create us, but also has a specific plan and purpose for each of us, wherever we’re at?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
All are Called
As I’ve journeyed through ministry over the past few years, I’ve noticed that sometimes Christians can be a bit funny about callings. What I mean by this is that whether intentional or not, we tend to rank what we think are more important positions in ministry.
There is this strange mindset that you are only doing something important for God if you are a) a pastor, b) preaching on stage, c) a worship leader or d) a bible study leader. All other Christians? Well, they’re just striving to get to one of those 4 places and we’ll applaud them when they finally make it.
But the reality is not all of us are meant to be in leadership positions all the time. I mean, think about it, where would Moses have been if he hadn’t had Aaron and Hur to help him hold up his hands so the Israelites could win the battle? (Exodus 17:12)
Both Aaron and Hur understood that they were called at that moment, not to be the big leaders, but to support Moses. And because of their obedience to God’s calling, they helped win the fight, and bring glory to God.
The Smallest Jobs can sometimes be the Biggest
It’s understandable that sometimes, in your ministry it might feel like you’re not as important as other people. But just because you’re not in the spotlight, doesn’t mean you don’t matter.
For the past 5 years I’ve been a musician at my church on the worship team, playing all services, every service. But I’ll tell you right now that when it comes to a worship service, the most important person (in my mind anyway) isn’t anyone on stage, it’s the guy at the back, running sound.
Why? Because no matter how well we play or sing, none of it will matter if we don’t have someone turning on the speakers, un-muting the instruments and balancing the mix. Could you imagine a service that was just all drums? Or all bass? It’d be terrible!
We’ve got to understand that it’s the unseen jobs that often times are the reason things work. (1 Corinthians 12:22-26) So if you’re the person who helps your campus minister file papers in the office, or set up the equipment before worship, you’re important! And things wouldn’t work without people like you!
Do All Things with Excellence
So what’s my point with today’s post? I think more than figuring out what you want to do or what you think you should be doing, the most important question to ask is, where is God calling you at this moment?
Some of you who want to be in full-time ministry may be called to work a regular job first and vice versa. Some of you who want to be on stage with the band or speaking might be relegated to more behind the scenes work at the moment.
I’m not saying that God doesn’t know the desires of your heart or that He doesn’t want to give them to you. Quite the contrary actually. But more than what we want, we really have to look at the big picture and see what God’s master plan is, and how we fit into it.
God’s plan is always perfect, and He knows exactly what He’s doing. Our job then, is simply to trust Him, obey what He’s calling us to do, and then do it to the best of our ability. It is in our obedience that we not only get to see the amazing things He’s planning, but also bring Him honor and glory.
So today, ask yourself this: Where am I called and how can I do it with excellence? And for you leaders out there, how can you encourage and thank your behind the scenes people?
Kimberly Chung is the National Media Director for Campus Renewal Ministries, a ministry focused on forging partnerships in prayer to build missional communities that transform college campuses with the gospel of Jesus. She is a campus minister to The University of Texas at Austin and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org