Back in March I posted a brief introduction to the idea of “calling” as it relates to missions. I asked whether our current understanding of calling is biblical. I still have a lot of thoughts I need to articulate on our conception of calling, but until that day comes, please allow me to share what I came across today.
NationsBeGlad posted this tweet linking to an article on the “desiringGod” blog.
In this article, David Sitton challenges his readers, saying Don’t Complicate the ‘Missionary Call’. Sitton argues the Macedonian call experiences are for missionaries already on the go. A believer can’t get ahead of God as it relates to missions.
Here is a salient quote from the blog post:
I chuckle when I hear missionaries and pastors talk about “surrendering to the call” of ministry. I always want to ask, “After you surrendered, were you water-boarded, or just hauled off in handcuffs and leg irons.” Was it really necessary for you to be abducted by a heavenly vision before you would go into the work of the gospel?
The missionary call is not like a prison dog that tracks us down, sniffs us out, and hog-ties us for the nations. That is silly-talk and really bad theology. Nowhere in Scripture is a mysterious (supernatural) call a prerequisite before we can respond to the Great Commission. The opposite is actually true.
Personally, I appreciate his sentiments. We don’t need to have extra revelation, in the form of calling, to be obedient to special revelation we already have.
The only thing that I want to add to the whole discussion on missionary calling is that I think we need to move beyond the sole focus on individuals, qua individuals, as the primary agents of mission/s. I believe scripture gives us an ecclesial emphasis in mission. Jesus sends the church. As members of a unified and maturing body, individuals gifted and set apart for service are sent in plural teams, as agents of the church. You see this repeatedly throughout the NT.
What are your thoughts?
Are you guilty of allowing your view of calling keep you from obedience to the Great Commission?
Don’t just ask this question of yourself as an individual, has your church adopted a view of calling that inhibits gospel ministry at home and abroad?