Call to missions
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Call to Missions. There is a lot of confusion about this subject, causing poor decision-making, wrong choice of personnel, apathy in some and misguided motivation in others. What is the right way to be thinking?. Key Questions Need Answers. Where to go to school, major, seminary?

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Call to missions

Call to Missions

There is a lot of confusion about this subject, causing poor decision-making, wrong choice of personnel, apathy in some and misguided motivation in others. What is the right way to be thinking?


Key questions need answers

Key Questions Need Answers

  • Where to go to school, major, seminary?

  • Who should I marry, and when?

  • Is God calling me to full-time service?

  • Is God calling me to the pastorate, teaching, mission-field and which mission board?


Call is it audible or subjective

Call – Is it Audible or Subjective?

  • If Audible

    • There has been no confirmation of such in 2000 years!

    • Paul’s companions heard a noise and saw a bright light around them at noon

  • If Subjective – individualistic – personal – internal (mental) then it can be either…

    • Genuine

    • Imaginary

    • False from a seducing or false spirit


Seducing spirit

Seducing Spirit

  • Motivated through pride, lust for power, control, or fame

  • Objective is to destroy others through false teachings, immorality, legalism and divisiveness.

  • Evident when challenged, responds in anger, lashing out, critical, vengeance seeking with end result of destroying people


Imagination wanting it to be

Imagination – wanting it to be

  • Motivated through sincere desire for impact in the kingdom, significance or allusion of personal capabilities

  • Objective range from sincere desire to serve and help in greatness to personal importance or aggrandizement

  • Response when challenged of hurt, bitterness, self-rejection of others and God


Genuine call

Genuine “call”

“I cannot not do it, if I cannot stop thinking about it” Jan Fanning

  • Motivated to serve and benefit others without concern for personal benefit (Phil 2:3-4), consumed with showing gratitude to the Savior and passionate about pleasing Christ by finishing what He started.

  • Objective is to build up others, extend the knowledge of His Word and see groups of believers bonding in local bodies of churches everywhere

  • When challenged or corrected he response is to learn to be wiser, thankful for the rebuke, patient, trusting other leaders and non-defensive


Evidence to be examined

Evidence to be examined

  • Biblical Evidence

  • Workmanship Evidence

  • Spiritual Maturity Evidence

  • Experience and Training Evidence

  • Acceptance by Churches Evidence


Biblical evidence of the call

Biblical Evidence of the “call”

  • “Call” (kaleo) used 148x in NT (additional 70 related terms from the same root)

  • Called to eternal life:

    • 1 Tim 6:12, “Take hold of the eternal life to which you were calledwhen you made your good profession in the presence of many witnesses”

    • 2 Thess 2:14, “He called you to this through our gospelthat you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    • 2 Pet 1:3, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”

    • Rom 8:29, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son…and those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified…”

  • The term is used in 3 different manners in the NT:


1 used by jesus as summon or invitation

1) Used by Jesus as summon or Invitation

  • Parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14:16-25) occurs 9x.

  • He gave an Invitation to come to repentance, faith, salvation and service

    • He came to call sinners, not the righteous! (Mat 9:13)

    • He gave an invitation to enter the kingdom of God (Matt 22:2-14)

  • He summoned his disciples to follow Him then told them to later do likewise with their disciples


2 call is used as a restrictive doctrinal concept

2) Call is used as a restrictive doctrinal concept

  • God’s gracious work to bring a person to faith and salvation

    • Sometimes rejected: Isa 66:12, “…for I called but you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen…”

  • Christians are called the “called” (Rom 1:6-7; 8:28; 1 Pet 1:15; Jude 1)

  • Not only have heard God’s summons in the Gospel, but have responded in faith


3 call to a specific function or office three uses in the nt

3) Call to a specific function or office – Three uses in the NT:

  • God’s call of Paul to be an apostle (Rom 1:1; 1 Cor 1:1) = Special Revelation

  • God’s call of Barnabas and Saul to their first evangelistic tour to Gentiles (Acts 13:2) = Special Revelation of leading

  • God’s call to Paul and team to take the Gospel to the Macedonians (Acts 16:9-10) = Deduction from a dream as a leading

  • Are these normative or the exception?


Analysis of the biblical call

Analysis of the biblical “call”

  • Means of communication was divine revelation

    • Christ called Saul to be an apostle in audible voice (Acts 26:14-20)

    • Paul argues in 1 Cor 9:16-18 that he was not the NORM, but an exception

      • He was forced into the ministry (“under compulsion”“against my will”) while others were volunteers

      • Elders were “not under compulsion” but to serve “voluntarily” (1 Pet 5:2)

Note: None of these calls were communicated through INWARD IMPRESSIONS


Analysis of the biblical call1

Analysis of the biblical “call”

  • Command in Acts 13:2, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them,” is from the Holy Spirit to the church – not to Paul!

    • Either God spoke audible (Lk 9:35) or through prophets

  • Macedonian call (or “leading”) was communicated through a vision (Acts 16:9-10) to men already in an evangelistic ministry


Few are called

Few are Called

  • Each vocational call was given to certain few individual at specific times for unique tasks

  • Only at critical junctures in early stages of Church did God intervene supernaturally

    • To commission a worker

    • To point in a specific direction

    • To stop going in a specific direction – w/o giving a correct direction! (Acts 16)

  • Never is this promised or required to be the NORM for all believers who want to serve God


Call is unsought

Call is Unsought!

  • In every case the special call of God is unsought and unexpected

  • It is rare and involved special strategic circumstances


Call to ministry has a low emphasis in nt

Call to ministry has a low emphasis in NT

  • The vocational call is rare and never suggested or required of all believers

  • Outside of the 12 and Paul (perhaps Philip) there is no indication that a special call or divine intervention/revelation occurred!

  • Yet the notion persists that it is necessary for everyone!


Typical ordination or mission board examination

Typical Ordination or Mission board Examination:

  • Conversion experience

  • Call to the Ministry

  • Doctrinal positions


Yet no reference to call in ministry qualifications

Yet No Reference to Call in Ministry Qualifications!

  • Must be a believer, part of the “church of God” he is to shepherd (Acts 20:28)

  • Must be a Man (1 Tim 2:12-14)

    • Husband of one wife (1 Tim 3:2)

    • Manages his household (1 Tim 3:4)

  • Must have the ability to lead and teach

    • Leadership demonstrated in family with children (1 Tim 3:4; Tit 1:6)

    • Able to teach and exhort in sound doctrine positively

    • Able to refute negatively those who contradict (Tit 1:9; 1 Tim 3:2)


No reference to call in ministry qualifications

No Reference to Call in Ministry Qualifications!

  • Must have godly desires (3:1; 1 Pet 5:2)

    • Instead of waiting for an inner voice- man should cultivate an inward godly heart to serve God sincerely and willingly as a VOLUNTEER

    • The “desire” must come from man – not because he was told to do something!

  • Must manifest spiritual maturity

    • Negative requirements: not new convert, not given to wine, not pugnacious

    • Positive requirements: above reproach, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, gentle, peaceable, free from love of money (1 Tim 3:2-3) and godly reputation outside church


Persistent emphasis on call

Persistent emphasis on call

  • Most insist on a “call” experience to assure continuance in ministry when discouragement comes.

  • With dubious scriptural support and attempts to interpret highly subjective feelings there seems little foundation for a life of hardship and discouragement

  • How many never perceived such an experience, then gave up pursuing the ministry?

  • Warning to be certain of your “calling”before obeying the Great Commission!!!???

  • Better to look for a reason why one should not go or serve in the ministry than waiting on a feeling to do so


How did nt men normal get into the ministry

How did NT men normal get into the ministry?

  • Stephen – chosen by the church (Acts 6)

  • Philip – chosen and started evangelizing (Acts 8)

  • Barnabas sent by home church to help another church (Acts 12)

  • Barnabas sought out Saul (Acts 12)

  • Church sends Barnabas and Saul on an evangelistic journey (Acts 13)

  • Paul appoints elders in every church (Acts 14)

  • Paul thinks it a good idea, “Lets go back,” to return to visit the churches (Acts 15:36)


How did normal nt men get into the ministry

How did normal NT men get into the ministry?

  • Church chooses 2 men, Judas and Silas, to join Paul’s church planting team (Acts 15)

  • Paul refuses to take Mark because of immaturity, but chooses Silas (Acts 15)

  • Paul wants to take Timothy because he was “well spoken of” (Acts 16)

  • Luke joins Paul’s team in Troas (Acts 16)

  • Gaius and Aristarchus were Paul’s “traveling companions” (Acts 19)

  • Paul was accompanied by Sopater from Berea, Aristarchus and Segundus from Thessalonica, Gaius and Timothy from Derbe, Tychicus and Trophimus from Asia


The master s way

The Master’s Way

  • Men entered the ministry as disciples of a mentor – just as they did with Jesus!

  • Decisions made on the basis of how best to fulfill God’s revealed will in the most effective manner possible at that moment

  • When God wanted something else He could be trusted to intervene.


Ministry fit is more important

Ministry Fit is more important

  • Eph 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”

  • Salvation is the fusion of God’s Spirit within our being resulting in regeneration, spiritual gifts and His ability to communicate with our spirit especially through convictions (Jn 16:8)

  • Best to ask “Why shouldn’t I go?” (Isa 6:8, “Here am I, Lord. Send me!”

  • SHAPE


Shape of god s workmanship

SHAPE of God’s “workmanship”

  • S – Spiritual Gifts

  • H – Heart desire

  • A – Aptitude or Talents, skills

  • P – Personality

  • E - Experience


Is willingness enough

Is willingness enough?

  • Implies the need for a command to get started

  • Implies the Scriptural Mandate is insufficient to act upon

  • Implies that one can do whatever he wants until God intervenes with a significant voice

  • Implies that people going to hell is insufficient motive to act upon


Why not go

Why not go?

  • The revealed command: “Go and make disciples of all nations” [ethne](Matt 28:19-20)

    • We’ve all been commissioned

    • How can I best contribute to world evangelism?

  • The Evident Need: 7 billion with only 11% evangelical/protestant Christians

    • 24,000 people groups but 10,000 have no way of hearing or knowing the Gospel -- Some will soon become extinct

    • 4,000 are sizeable and 1,700 are being worked

    • 2,300 are strategic UPGs to reach to finish the commission

    • 2.2 billion UPG population

  • Provision: God has given His people the strength, resources, insight, technology, gifts to do the task: if you’ve got the ability, why not?


Call to missions1

Call to Missions

There is a lot of confusion about this subject, causing poor decision-making, wrong choice of personnel, apathy in some and misguided motivation in others. What is the right way to be thinking?


Analysis of the biblical call2

Analysis of the biblical “call”

  • Means of communication was divine revelation

    • Christ called Saul to be an apostle in audible voice (Acts 26:14-20)

    • Paul argues in 1 Cor 9:16-18 that he was not the NORM, but an exception

      • He was forced into the ministry (“under compulsion”“against my will”) while others were volunteers

      • Elders were “not under compulsion” but to serve “voluntarily” (1 Pet 5:2)

Note: None of these calls were communicated through INWARD IMPRESSIONS


Analysis of the biblical call3

Analysis of the biblical “call”

  • Command in Acts 13:2, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them,” is from the Holy Spirit to the church – not to Paul!

    • Either God spoke audible (Lk 9:35) or through prophets

  • Macedonian call (or “leading”) was communicated through a vision (Acts 16:9-10) to men already in an evangelistic ministry


Few are called1

Few are Called

  • Each vocational call was given to certain few individual at specific times for unique tasks

  • Only at critical junctures in early stages of Church did God intervene supernaturally

    • To commission a worker

    • To point in a specific direction

    • To stop going in a specific direction – w/o giving a correct direction! (Acts 16)

  • Never is this promised or required to be the NORM for all believers who want to serve God


Call is unsought1

Call is Unsought!

  • In every case the special call of God is unsought and unexpected

  • It is rare and involved special strategic circumstances


Call to ministry has a low emphasis in nt1

Call to ministry has a low emphasis in NT

  • The vocational call is rare and never suggested or required of all believers

  • Outside of the 12 and Paul (perhaps Philip) there is no indication that a special call or divine intervention/revelation occurred!

  • Yet the notion persists that it is necessary for everyone!


Typical ordination or mission board examination1

Typical Ordination or Mission board Examination:

  • Conversion experience

  • Call to the Ministry

  • Doctrinal positions


Yet no reference to call in ministry qualifications1

Yet No Reference to Call in Ministry Qualifications!

  • Must be a believer, part of the “church of God” he is to shepherd (Acts 20:28)

  • Must be a Man (1 Tim 2:12-14)

    • Husband of one wife (1 Tim 3:2)

    • Manages his household (1 Tim 3:4)

  • Must have the ability to lead and teach

    • Leadership demonstrated in family with children (1 Tim 3:4; Tit 1:6)

    • Able to teach and exhort in sound doctrine positively

    • Able to refute negatively those who contradict (Tit 1:9; 1 Tim 3:2)


No reference to call in ministry qualifications1

No Reference to Call in Ministry Qualifications!

  • Must have godly desires (3:1; 1 Pet 5:2)

    • Instead of waiting for an inner voice- man should cultivate an inward godly heart to serve God sincerely and willingly as a VOLUNTEER

    • The “desire” must come from man – not because he was told to do something!

  • Must manifest spiritual maturity

    • Negative requirements: not new convert, not given to wine, not pugnacious

    • Positive requirements: above reproach, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, gentle, peaceable, free from love of money (1 Tim 3:2-3) and godly reputation outside church


Persistent emphasis on call1

Persistent emphasis on call

  • Most insist on a “call” experience to assure continuance in ministry when discouragement comes.

  • With dubious scriptural support and attempts to interpret highly subjective feelings there seems little foundation for a life of hardship and discouragement

  • How many never perceived such an experience, then gave up pursuing the ministry?

  • Warning to be certain of your “calling”before obeying the Great Commission!!!???

  • Better to look for a reason why one should not go or serve in the ministry than waiting on a feeling to do so


How did nt men normal get into the ministry1

How did NT men normal get into the ministry?

  • Stephen – chosen by the church (Acts 6)

  • Philip – chosen and started evangelizing (Acts 8)

  • Barnabas sent by home church to help another church (Acts 12)

  • Barnabas sought out Saul (Acts 12)

  • Church sends Barnabas and Saul on an evangelistic journey (Acts 13)

  • Paul appoints elders in every church (Acts 14)

  • Paul thinks it a good idea, “Lets go back,” to return to visit the churches (Acts 15:36)


How did normal nt men get into the ministry1

How did normal NT men get into the ministry?

  • Church chooses 2 men, Judas and Silas, to join Paul’s church planting team (Acts 15)

  • Paul refuses to take Mark because of immaturity, but chooses Silas (Acts 15)

  • Paul wants to take Timothy because he was “well spoken of” (Acts 16)

  • Luke joins Paul’s team in Troas (Acts 16)

  • Gaius and Aristarchus were Paul’s “traveling companions” (Acts 19)

  • Paul was accompanied by Sopater from Berea, Aristarchus and Segundus from Thessalonica, Gaius and Timothy from Derbe, Tychicus and Trophimus from Asia


The master s way1

The Master’s Way

  • Men entered the ministry as disciples of a mentor – just as they did with Jesus!

  • Decisions made on the basis of how best to fulfill God’s revealed will in the most effective manner possible at that moment

  • When God wanted something else He could be trusted to intervene.


Ministry fit is more important1

Ministry Fit is more important

  • Eph 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”

  • Salvation is the fusion of God’s Spirit within our being resulting in regeneration, spiritual gifts and His ability to communicate with our spirit especially through convictions (Jn 16:8)

  • Best to ask “Why shouldn’t I go?” (Isa 6:8, “Here am I, Lord. Send me!”

  • SHAPE


Shape of god s workmanship1

SHAPE of God’s “workmanship”

  • S – Spiritual Gifts

  • H – Heart desire

  • A – Aptitude or Talents, skills

  • P – Personality

  • E - Experience


Is willingness enough1

Is willingness enough?

  • Implies the need for a command to get started

  • Implies the Scriptural Mandate is insufficient to act upon

  • Implies that one can do whatever he wants until God intervenes with a significant voice

  • Implies that people going to hell is insufficient motive to act upon


Why not go1

Why not go?

  • The revealed command: “Go and make disciples of all nations” [ethne](Matt 28:19-20)

    • We’ve all been commissioned

    • How can I best contribute to world evangelism?

  • The Evident Need: 6.5 billion with only 11% evangelical/protestant Christians

    • 24,000 people groups but 10,000 have no way of hearing or knowing the Gospel -- Some will become extinct

    • 4,000 are sizeable and 1,700 are being worked

    • 2,300 are strategic UPGs to reach to finish the commission

    • 2.2 billion UPG population

  • Provision: God has given His people the strength, resources, insight, technology, gifts to do the task: if you’ve got the ability, why not?


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