As much as I believe that God has a call on every person who follows Jesus, it’s not nearly as specific as we might like or as some of us claim to know. His call is to a general type of ministry which lasts our entire lifetime. Instead of having us leap over tall buildings in a single bound, he generally starts in the small and ordinary places where we humbly serve others.
In the parable of the talents the master rewards the first two servants: “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much,” (Matt. 25:14-30).
God’s expectation is faithfulness to what we have been given. Some of us are given more and others less. A few stand in front while others serve in the shadows. Whatever we do, we answer for our faithfulness to use our gifts wherever God puts us. Focusing on what we haven’t been given diverts us from the task at hand.
What we have been given is specific spiritual gifting of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12). We discern that gifting through prayer, by volunteering in many roles, and with a teachable heart as we listen to wise believers who can confirm or deny what we sense. Once we identify our gifts and how they pair with our longings and burdens, we have a direction, not a specific place or picture of how we serve.
So how do we move from discovering our calling to actual ministry?
We simply follow where Jesus leads.
It may be small. It may be out of the spotlight. It may involve more lessons of what not to do than successes. Our job is to follow step by step.
I never expected to be a Christian leader of any kind and didn’t seek it out. I simply followed Jesus step by step and this is where he took me—not because I deserve it or am so great at it—but simply because he called and I followed. It began very small as I led a Bible study of less than 10 women. And God opened door after door after door.
Let’s not let discontent immobilize us. Let’s embrace the small places where we influence, encourage, and serve, leaving the results and the future to God.