Last week I traveled across the Hoosier state, presenting workshops for ministry leaders interested in learning more about developing an equipping culture in their churches.* I was–and still am–profoundly moved by the hearts of the ministry leaders who attended. Their desire to lead their congregants into a life of fulfilling service to others simply takes my breath away. I wanted to hug each one, pat them on the back, tell them what an awesome job they are doing.
After spending weeks pondering the concept of vocation (read here, here and here), I actually lived it out last week. I can’t help but marvel at how God timed it. He taught me, then he showed me by allowing me to experience the incredible joy of ministry congruent with my calling. I wasn’t trying to step into someone else’s shoes or live up to someone else’s performance. I was simply sharing from my heart what the Lord has been teaching me for the past 15+ years, exercising my gifts of teaching, exhortation, prophecy, and faith.
While leading those workshops, I felt alive. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was made to do exactly what I was doing. It was exhilarating! Make no mistake, it was hard work. Weeks of studying and preparing the material to present, editing over and again to be sure I was bringing the best of my experience and knowledge to share, hours of driving (and getting lost!), trying to find the balance between keeping momentum and allowing time to process… I returned to the hotel each night exhausted but fulfilled.
I pray that those who attended the workshops left with tools for growth–both for themselves and for their congregations–as well as a sense of having been encouraged. I pray they went back energized to not only be true to their own vocation, but to help their folks discover how God has called them to a life of ministry. If they did, that means I did not labor in vain.
Moreover, I pray this because God knocked my socks off last week as I stepped out and lived vocationally! And because God did that for me, I know he is just waiting to knock the socks off of anyone and everyone who catches this wave of a life lived honoring vocation.