Pursuing your calling within the church often comes in two forms.
You can pursue the calling that comes from others, the calling associated with the demands of ministry and the people of the church.
Or, you can pursue the calling that comes from God.
You can see this wrestling with the Apostles in Acts 6:1-7
Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.
And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
The apostles are wrestling with the call of others, the call of the church, and the call of God.
What the church has called you to do is not necessarily what God has called you to do.
Spend some time making a list of the current demands in your role that stem from the needs of ministry and then make a list of what God called you to do, then compare them.
You might, like the apostles, realize that the calling from the church is not the same as your calling from God.
The Apostles realized this.
Their failure at focusing on God’s calling lead to a failure of the church to meet the needs of the people.
This lead to raising up and affirmation of new leaders within the church.
The people of the church were pleased.
The new leaders were pleased.
The apostles were pleased.
The result was church growth and more leaders.
Poor leaders leave no legacy behind. Good leaders leave a legacy of things behind. In this case, the “thing” was a ministry system and new leaders to implement it.
But, Servant Leaders leave a legacy of people behind. It was the leaders who were raised that would be the apostles legacy…they were the church.
It is important to us not to let the demands of ministry, the calling of the church, overwhelm the call we have from God.
Leadership legacy is less in what you get done and more about who you become. In this case the apostles became more of whom God called them to be.
It is a challenge and takes courage to pursue God’s call over the call of those around in the church…but the you, the church, and the Kingdom will benefit.
Some will ask “What do they want me to do?”
A Servant Leader will ask “What have I been called and commissioned by God to do?”