Bible Study: What’s Your Calling?

Have you ever considered the fact that, as a person of faith, you have a calling?

Usually, when I approach others about their calling – their “vocation” – to use a nice religious sounding term – I get the same response: “Me? A calling?”

We tend to think in terms of only full-time employed , or even bi-vocational “clergy” as being those who are “called.” But I beg to differ.

My unique calling – as an ordained minister and a certified pastoral counselor – is certainly different than yours. But it is no more, and no less, important. God calls ALL persons of faith to answer their unique “call to duty.” And where do we most effectively answer that call: the Church.

Of course, I am not talking about just the individual congregation I serve as pastor. I am talking about the body of Christ, wherever it is found, in all it’s mysterious and powerful presence.

Here’s what “THE OPEN BIBLE” has to say about this body at work:

“Observation alone cannot reveal the awesome nature of the church, the body of Jesus Christ. It appears to be a human institution that serves religious purposes, but the Bible tells quite a different story. First, the church is the congregation of all believers in Jesus Christ from all places and times….Second, the church is the bride of Christ, which will live and reign with Him throughout all eternity….Third, the church is entrusted with the mission of world evangelization during this age….Fourth, the church exists in local congregations, which gather regularly for worship, instruction, fellowship, and outreach….Fifth, the Holy Spirit gives the church leadership and spiritual abilities to bring its members to maturity in life and ministry. (See: Ephesians 2:19-20, Hebrews 12:23; Ephesians 5:31. 32, Revelation 19:7; Matthew 28: 19-20, Acts 1:8; Acts 2:42, 14:23, Revelation 1:4; I Corinthians 12:4-11, Ephesians 4:11-16; Matthew 25:31-32.)”

Given that ministry that begins here on earth and spans literally into eternity – again, I ask: “What’s your calling?” How, given your unique God-given personality and gifts – can you be a part of all the Church is – and will be – into eternity?

It’s worth pondering. More than that, these scriptures represent our “marching orders.” The only question is: will we answer?

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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