Flirtering with Me, Myself, and I: Calling and Identity
Is it possible to be so caught up in our calling that we loose our identity in Christ?
I think calling and identity is intertwined but distinct as well… Here are my thoughts
- Calling represents what you “DO”. Identity is “WHO” or better said, “WHOSE” you are
- EVERYONE has a calling based on how God created them to be (personality, giftings, passions, etc.). Identity in Christ is universal and personal.
- Calling flows out of identity in Christ.
- In saying that, identity should not flow out of calling… If so, it is a dangerous place to be in. Neglecting self, family, and people occur. Burnout sets in. Trying to please others is the goal rather than pleasing Christ that is found in identity. Even more so, we can get so caught up in our roles that our roles become our identity… and if that occurs, we don’t know how to move forward in Christ. Our focus has shifted from identity to calling.
- If our identity is found in calling or our contextual roles, then we became dry, crusty, and cranky ministers; which does happen… lol
In saying that, I think it is really important to realize that identity IN Christ FLOWS calling… I need to understand and submit that I need to minister to myself, family, context, and community… in that order. Here are some questions that I ask myself on a reoccurring basis:
- How am I allowing Christ to minister to my heart this week? How am I GROWING as a Ministry Worker? Leader? Pastor? Lessons learnt?
- What has Christ put on my heart to minister to my spouse? Kids? Parents? How am I being obedient to Christ by ministering to my family? Do I protect them? Prioritize them with my time? Do you give them your my best?
- Is my passion for the church red hot? Or cold? Have people burnt me? Have I forgiven tham and show “agape”? What has Christ been revealing to me about my context of ministry? Am I being obedient to Christ with my church/role? How am I bringing out the best in my people?
- How am I involved in the community? Does the community know that we exist? Would they be missed without our context of ministry? What is the current needs/lack of my community? And how are we reaching/serving/addressing those needs (BTW, Don’t wait for the local government, schools, or key people to take care of those needs… partner, pray, and get involved)? Do we have favor in the community/schools/business?
I consider it an AWESOME privilege and honor to be called into full time ministry! I am blessed. In saying that, may you and I protect our identity in Christ. May we ask the tough questions to get the honest answers...
My prayer is that you won't get choked out wtih the burdens and demands of ministry. Be encouraged today with Jesus’ words: "For my yoke is asy and my burdern is light" Calling is truly easy and light when we minister out of our identity in Christ... in ANY context.