Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Dreaded Call

It happens to all of us, but especially pastors in college towns.

It was my day off when I got The Call, "Hey, Mark, this is ____. I was supposed to have a bunch of guys helping me move today, but they all bailed on me..."

I texted all my pastor friends who also had the day off just to make them join my dilemma. I was all set to play ball and get some much needed exercise when The Call came.

I knew what I had to do. After all, I'm supposed to be a professional servant. "Sure, I'll be there."

Why do I broadcast this story of my good deed? Self-righteous boasting?


But it got me thinking about a couple things.

First of all, I've had many conversations with people wondering, "How do I know I'm called to go to Iowa City?" When Christians think of The Call, they think of God calling them to some sort of occupation or location. Like the call to be a missionary, youth pastor, worship leader, lead pastor, engineer, or ____. Or the call to go to Africa, Asia, or Iowa City. But I've found that God's call is most often not to an occupation or location, but to love and serve people right now.

The Call is most often a literal call from someone saying, "Hey, I need some help."

It's not always someone who needs help moving. That's easy to help with. It may be someone who needs someone to walk with them through their loneliness, brokenness, bitterness, hatred, lust, anger, or greed.

Those that are going to Iowa City are receiving The Call. Not just the call to go. But the call to love and serve lost (and found...) people. As we live out the way of Jesus, it will be compelling. It's the Church, the hope of the world.

But the second- and primary- reason I tell this story is because you may be getting the same dreaded call from me sometime late May..."Hey this is Mark. Some of our friends bailed and we need your help moving..."

It will probably be on your day off. You probably won't want to help.

Please say "Yes."


Leah said...

Does the IA City mission team have a sound guy yet?

Shea said...

We'll help on the Iowa City end!!!!