A few days ago, I was going back through my email inbox, and I came across an email dated August 13th, 2013, from Bill Rose-Heim, area minister for the Northwest Area of the Christian Church in Mid-America. “Dear James,” it began, “I pray that this finds you well as you continue to discern where God is calling you to serve the Church. Gower Christian Church, located in a small town 30 minutes north of Kansas City, is seeking a full-time pastor.”
It’s funny to think about where I was in life when I received that email, just over a year ago. I was unhappy and discouraged, working a dead-end job at a hotel, mired in a Search and Call process that felt like it would never go anywhere. I felt listless and restless, watching as my friends either began ministry or returned to the School of Divinity at Wake Forest University for another year of education for the service of God’s people, while feeling like my own course of ministry was grinding to a halt.
When I opened that email, however, I felt a spark of hope. I don’t know why, but something about the profile that was attached to that email drew me in. I knew nothing about Gower, or really Missouri, for that matter, but I felt as though this could be a good place for me to do ministry. So it was that when I got an email from Kristin Meyer not long after that inquiring as to whether I was still in the Search and Call process, I eagerly responded, “Yes I am.”
I know that I’m not the only person – minister or otherwise – who has ever gone through a long and frustrating process of seeking employment. Truly, I feel as though there are lessons that I learned from that process – namely that in ministry, you go when and where God calls you, and when God does ask, “Are you ready?”, you should be ready to respond, “Yes I am.”
Where has God called you to serve in life? And when you feel that call, are you ready to say, “Here I am, Lord, send me”? It is my prayer for each of us that we will always be prepared to answer the Lord’s call.