“Every need isn’t a personal call.” I learned the truth of this some years ago—the hard way. I often took on added responsibilities simply because someone I respected asked, especially if that person was a pastor. I figured, “Pastor knows best.”
In the years since, God has given me a corollary—“While every need isn’t a personal call, some needs are.” How to know the difference? God’s Word, much prayer, a sense of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, what God is saying to my wife, Kim, also the counsel of respected others.
I bring this up because recently I went through this process once again—seeing a need, hearing a call, discerning whether it’s a personal call, and responding. It all had to do with Pastor Mark Bofill’s invitation to lead the Radical Men’s Ministry at my home church, Calvary Worship Center, in Colorado Springs.
After much consideration, I did sense the Lord’s direction: “Yes, it’s a personal call.” (Click here to see a video the church put together as part of its Information Packet.) I stepped into this role in February when a leadership team of a dozen men verified the call, gathered around and laid hands on me, and prayed for God's anointing. What an affirming, powerful time!
I share this for a few reasons. First, I want to encourage you to consider adopting this principle in your life and ministry: “While every need isn’t a personal call, some needs are.” May God give you a discerning spirit when it comes to saying “yes” or “no” to a personal call.
Second, since I view this as a direct extension of our ministry with The Navigators through Navigator Church Ministries, this illustrates unique ways we can carry out disciplemaking ministry in the church context—through whatever doors God opens, however God leads! Let me explain.
While I've been on the Radical Men’s Ministry leadership team for several years now, about mid last year Pastor Mark asked me to lead the team through NCM's Growing intentional Disciplemaking Cultures process. In the three-circle illustration you’ll see here, these men comprised the “Leadership Core.”
What an exciting journey to go through the steps of “Prayer & Scripture, Team, Assess, and Equip” with the men—encouraging them to ask three questions every time we met:
What is God saying to me in light of my own spiritual journey?
What is God saying to me in light of my own personal ministry?
What is God saying to me in light of our desire to grow an intentional disciplemaking culture in and through the Radical Men’s Ministry?
What inspiring responses we heard week after week. One of our team members started a prayer meeting before work and was surprised that more than a dozen of his co-workers joined him; today it’s a group of 40! Another team member began a Bible study in a military context, which was approved by his superior and recently sanctioned by the base chaplain! Again, many inspiring stories surfaced concerning putting feet to our faith where we live, work, and play.
Now, in this new role, I look forward to working even more closely with these men to fulfill our vision of equipping and empowering the men of Calvary Worship Center to “be disciples who make disciples.”
Meanwhile, as you and I seek to hear and respond to God's call for us, here’s a word of encouragement that's fresh from this morning’s Bible study: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Indeed, may we seek spiritual discernment—because every need isn’t a personal call, but some are. Led and empowered by the Holy Spirit, may we do all we can to stand firm in the faith and abound in the work of the Lord—the advance of the Gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom into the nations . . . making disciples who make disciples!
Dean Ridings is a Representative of Navigator Church Ministries. To contact Dean or to learn more about the Ridings’ Navigator ministry in the Rocky Mountain Region, please click here.