Random Thoughts on Calling

Well, today was my first official weekday at home since I submitted my resignation as youth minister a few weeks ago. Being asked to resign shook me up pretty bad, and since that time, I’ve done a lot of thinking about calling. I’m not sure yet exactly what to think about it all right now but, here are some of the random thoughts I’ve been having. Feel free to add your thoughts to the mix.

When God calls you to something, does he necessarily call you forever? I feel very strongly that I was called to youth ministry almost a decade ago and I always assumed that was a lifelong call. However, I also feel like I was called to both of my last churches and those calls were only for a certain period of time. Could my call to youth ministry also be for a particular period of time after which I will be called to do something else?

Sometimes calling feels like a cage. Sometimes when somebody reminds me that I’ve been called to youth ministry, I hear, “You are stuck doing youth ministry until you drop over dead, whether you like it or not.”

There are times when I know that I was made to do what I’ve been doing. Yesterday night, my last youth service at FBC, was a really tense, emotional time for me until I stepped up on the stage to speak. When I preach, I’m in my zone. The tension vanished and I preached. I love preaching.

It’s easy to look at your future options when you feel like God is saying, “Do this.” It’s much more complicated when he says, “Look at the gifts and talents I gave you. Listen to the desires I placed within you. Now, what do you want to do with these things?” I’m not sure which method he uses more often. I definitely feel like I’ve had those “do this” moments, but I’m not sure that’s the way it always works.

I do believe that God has a plan for each of us, I’m just not as sure that he always lets us in on it. If God gives a direct “go” or “stop”, you should definitely listen, but I think sometimes, he’s a lot more subtle, drawing on your own talents and desires to show you his will.

Am I done with youth ministry? Probably not. I still feel called to reach out to young people, but I’m not sure exactly how that’s going to look.

6 thoughts on “Random Thoughts on Calling

  1. JohnBanks says:

    I can't seem to find "youth minister" in the bible, "minister" yes I find that. God calls each of us to minister and we quickly try to limit and define that ministry, just as we try to limit and define God Himself. Just relax and minister today to those God has coming in and out of your view. Whether they are young or old, it is the same God, the same Message and the same human need. Grace and Peace.

  2. Janice says:

    Jody, I am sorry this has happened to you and can only imagine how you impact the young lives you touch, as you have always been a lively energetic person with a big heart. You can be there in may ways – even if not within the church setting. Honestly, I can see you in the schools … working with kids. School counselor or, dare I say, teacher. But that it is in your blood. The people that impacted me most in my life, other than family, were my teachers and I have had some pretty awesome teachers. Whatever you choose to do or wherever God leads you, it will be for a purpose.

  3. Jessica says:

    Do I think a calling is permanent? In my opinion, I think a calling is a calling. You're either called to do it or your not. Some people are gifted with a natural talent for reaching others with His message. I think you've been that kind of person, and I hate to think you wouldn't do that in one form or another.

    Should it be a church setting? Well, I don't know. There are alot of people, weirdos and freaks of the world, that don't want to set foot in a church for the same fear of isolation that they get outside of their comfort zone. However, they do find people who are like them, that believe like them, who can deliver His message through different mediums – maybe that's your calling now. Only God can guide you to His path.

    As far as paying the bills is concerned, Brooke suggested YoungLife. I definitely could see you doing that. Maybe you could get in touch with Beth Ann Swallows, last time I heard, she was working for YoungLife in Cookeville. I could definitely see you growing up to be a Jerry Lowrey of the world. One of my favorite teachers growing up, and he definitely has a calling. Maybe ya'll could chat too! He may have some good advice.

  4. Mike D says:

    I mostly agree with John. I think, as Paul explains to Timothy, those who desire to be overseers desire a good thing, and when God brings you into that I believe it is a blessing and a lifelong call. But I don't think that's limited to "youth" or anything else. I mean we are ALL called to be witnesses for Christ, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. But there is a clear difference between that common calling and the specialized calling of a minister, that feels it should be their vocation to preach and minister the gospel. If you are called to that, I think it's lifelong, and I think it will always include teaching, but can be to different people, groups, and in different situations.

    I sort of have a different view than most on being "called to a church." I mean how do you "hear" that specific calling to go to "first baptist church, wherever USA"??? I don't see a clear indication in scripture where that takes is how it happens. I think it is more basic; I see a need somewhere, a church has a need somewhere, I know I am called to minister, so it works for all of us. I think God can open and close doors, but I'm not as mystical about it as some. God never "revealed to me" that I was to be at Calvary Baptist, where I am currently serving. But I think I am doing His work there, I know I'm called to minister the gospel, and they (so far) still like having me šŸ™‚

    Don't know if any of that helps or makes sense….Keep your head up brother!

  5. Anonymous says:

    "limiting" the calling…. from ministry… to youth ministry… i do not believe that is so, minister; that is what you were called too be….
    youth minister; that was the talent you were given…
    it takes great heart and alot of determination to work with youth. BUT YOU wereable to do that.
    you held your own.
    you made them not only your students, but your friends, your children.

    you have a gift.

  6. Ken Blake says:

    Jesus called his disciples with the words, “Follow me.” Not much clarity there. Following his call cost them everything, got them in serious trouble with their time’s religious leaders, and resulted in outcomes they never could have predicted. So far, you seem to be fitting the pattern perfectly.

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