Myths We Believe (Part 5/5)
There is a lot of talk about “calling” these days, but my experiences have taught me that much of it is mythical. As I learned to follow the inkling I believe God gave me, I had to dispel five prevalent myths that threaten to keep us all from discovering our callings. Last post, I wrote about the myth “My Calling Means Doing One Thing for the Rest of My Life” and how we often become scared or hesitant to pursue a calling because the idea of forever has us frozen. Here is the fifth and final myth:
Myth #5: “Ministry Is A Higher Calling”
The idea that we have to enter into full-time ministry to serve God is a sham. (I don’t know a softer way to say this.) I’ve heard many pastors talk about Christ’s calling Peter to “Come, follow me” and center in on the fact that Peter “left his nets” to become Jesus’s desciple. Many of us have been taught that Peter left his work — that he used to be a fisherman, but when he became a Jesus follower, he became something else. The implicit message is that fishing (or any other venture) is okay, but full-time ministry is better.
If you keep reading the New Testament, you’ll find that after the crucifixion, Peter went back to fishing. He may have left his net for a time, but he never sold his boat. When Jesus was on the shore after the resurrection, the disciples were fishing again without much success. Peter’s call teaches us that we must love Christ more than our work, not that we must leave our work.
This myth almost kept me from founding a for-profit coffee business. I almost decided to do coffee as a ministry of the church, which probably would have stunted its growth. As a priest, I could have felt like I had already reached the pinnacle of calling. Surely, God didn’t have anything else for me in addition to pastoring. But God does not have to call you away from who you are and who you’ve been. As with Peter, who we are and what we do are woven together in the fabric of our callings. I was a creator and starter before pastoring and still am today.
Do you find yourself believing the myth that your calling is only great if it is ministry? That ministry will always be a better, higher calling than the one God gave you to begin with? God gave you your passions for a reason.
If you related to this article at all, I encourage you to check out my book, Be You. Do Good. of which this was an excerpt from.