I’m still best friends with the first woman I made friends with in the first church I began attending. Now twenty years later–with our babies all grown up–we still text and call and support each other. We have known each other for so long that we are quite aware of each other’s calling and spiritual gifts. We’ve shared our passions and our heartbreaks with each other. We’ve been in prayer groups together where we have prayed for the impossible and have seen the impossible happen. We have watched as the Holy Spirit called us into ministry.
Very few people may fully understand the calling you have on your life. And at some point you have to step out and fulfill that passion. Which is scary. For myself, this meant coming to terms with the fact that volunteering in my local church was eating away at my energies and had little to do with my own calling. As I made crafts for our outreach program I remember feeling as though I was “playing” at ministry. I certainly don’t regret the hours I spent volunteering. I now consider that time to be good practice steps. But I’m also very glad those days came to an end.
I had spent so many hours volunteering and following my pastor’s vision that I had begun to lose focus of my vision–the vision the Spirit had given me. Slowly I began to realize that I was doing ministry wrong. I was working to fulfill someone else’s vision and passion.
That was a difficult time for me.
I had thought that if I volunteered in my church then God would be free to use my gifts and my passions within that environment–that eventually my calling would be fulfilled inside the church that I loved. And I think that does work for some people. However, for many, our gifts and passions don’t always fit within somebody else’s vision. Sometimes you have to leave behind the comfort of a group to forge new paths.
In order to fulfill the vision that lies inside us sometimes we have to distance ourselves from church activities, even if only for a short period of time. Do you have a vision for ministry? I hope you remember to take time to fulfill your passion even if it means forging new paths into unknown territory.