Uniquely Made: A Reminder

“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.'”

-Genesis 1:27-28

For those of you who do not know: I’m pregnant. In fact, I’m currently in my final trimester. As the due date of my baby nears every day, I have been constantly wondering what she will be like, what traits she will have, and what goals she will set for herself. This in itself has reminded me about how uniquely made each of us are; and looking back on my last couple posts (which can be read here and here), I have been thinking more about leadership in the Christian society as a whole – specifically, what traits make up a leader.

Growing up, I always had the belief that everyone was created differently, and that regardless of one’s personality, they were still made in God’s image. I can’t recall if this was ever taught to me, but it was my general thought process for quite some time. Somewhere along the line, it appears that I either forgot this thought or completely disregarded it. I think this was due to my growing desire to be a leader in the church because I had noticed that there had been an increased idea of what traits make the best leaders.

It made sense at the time, as any group that continues to grow eventually moves towards a different model of efficiency. As Christians, we desire to be equipped with the best tools in order to grow spiritually, and how can we ensure that we were equipped with those tools? With the best leaders, of course. This, however, has lead to a lack of variety in our leaders. It has also, unfortunately, lead to the forgotten word that shows how God called the “unqualified,” for he in fact made them qualified – just maybe not in how we believe people should be qualified.

Take a look at Moses for example. While speaking with the Lord at the burning bush, Moses was unsure of himself. Specifically, in Exodus 4, Moses begs for God to send someone else to help the Israelites as he is not an eloquent speaker. While God did provide Aaron as a helper, He still managed to work through Moses through the course of getting the Israelites out of Egypt, and throughout their time in the desert.

Let us also look at Jeremiah. In the first chapter of this book, God speaks with Jeremiah and appoints him to be a prophet. Jeremiah, however, does not believe he is qualified due to his young age. Yet the Lord encouraged him and told him not to worry, as He provided the words and visions that Jeremiah was to prophesize.

These are just two examples of God qualifying the “unqualified.” We may think we know what is best for us as Christians, but the reality is that we don’t. Only God knows that. Some of you may argue that God only uses people like Moses or Jeremiah to throw things for a loop, to show that He can use anyone for what He needs but doesn’t do it often. I just don’t think that is the case. In fact, I feel as though God does this more often than we tend to believe.

I leave you with this verse today:

“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

-1 Peter 4:10-11

While it may be more efficient to have specific traits or personalities in leadership, we have to remember that God has an infinite amount of traits, gifts, and personalities to give and is more than able to use those to shape a capable leader. In fact there are likely trait and gift combinations, personalities we have yet to even see or fathom in this lifetime because He is likely waiting for the right time to use them. We are made to be in his image, and I think that requires a need for humans and leaders to be different.

For those of you who are current church leaders: Please remember that while you may think you know what is best for a church, God may bring something else entirely different that is necessary for change. Do not allow yourselves to be stubborn.

For those of you who feel called to leadership, but have yet to secure a position: Don’t give up. If this is God’s calling for you, He will get you there. Do not forget that there will be trials and continual growth. You may be like me, and don’t match what most churches want, but God will use you in the way that He sees best.

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Hearing the Call…And Then Not

“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”

-Lamentations 3:25 (ESV)

In my last post, I spoke briefly on the need for young leaders in the church, and more importantly for there to be more mentorship for these young leaders. However, if I am being honest, there is some personal bias in my thought for that need as I had felt cheated out of plenty of church leadership opportunities for quite some time…and now it appears that I’m in a conflicted position – I am no longer hearing a call towards anything in the church.

At one point in my life, I felt that God was leading me towards worship ministry. I found out in high school that I had a decent singing ability, and began participating in my church’s worship team soon after. The reason I felt the calling to this ministry specifically was due to how incredibly connected I felt to Him as I worshiped, whether I was singing with the team or not. As I continued to work with the worship team, I decided to make my desire to become a worship leader known and ask if I could lead one Sunday in the future. That was when the excuses began.

“You’re not quite ready yet…”

“You need to read your Bible more first”

I get it. I was young and still needed to grow more, and yet I felt stuck. I think the worship leaders saw this, and they eventually began a worship leader training program. It was wonderful and it did allow me the opportunity to try leading a few times. Unfortunately, it did not last due to some changes my home church decided to make. It seemed to be poor timing.

I went on to study music in college at a Christian university, and eventually switched to a different major as I felt like I was not getting the right kind of training I really needed. However, I managed to get involved with a campus group that sent out teams of worship bands to churches who needed them, and that was a wonderful experience. My desire was continually renewed with each church I went to, and yet it appeared my desire was only allowed so far.

When going to college, there is a good opportunity to visit other churches in general. I visited a few but nothing truly stuck. My heart felt like it belonged back at my home church and yet every time I went back, I was told to try more churches by many members of the congregation. I felt like I was being shut out. On top of this, my college had a chapel service that would allow those interested to help lead these chapel services. I was only invited once, and with each passing year, the chapel service became more performance-like; a worship setting that I did not have a desire to be a part of.

After college, I attempted to work with the new worship leader at my home church so that I could have some mentorship and maybe learn a few things, and it yet it did not feel right; it felt as though it was an obligation to him. I do not think that was his intent and I do not blame him for it. I did attempt to apply for a few worship leader positions in other churches, and of the ones that got back with me, I was turned down.

So here I am. Defeated. In fact, I feel no call to anything.

I have no clue what God wants of me. I keep trying and trying, only to get pushed back down. I had no solid mentor. I had to push on my own and yet it feels like I’m right back at the beginning. I’m at a point where I don’t feel much connection now, and I’m constantly asking myself:

Am I meant for something else?

Why am I not feeling this calling anymore?

Am I losing my faith?

Some would say that it sounds like I’m losing my faith. Some would say that it’s God preparing me for something greater. However, I would argue that I am in a place of waiting. Despite the fact that I no longer hear the call to lead worship, I don’t hear a call elsewhere at this time either. In fact, I believe I was put in this predicament because God is telling me to wait. I don’t know what for, but I have chosen to accept it. It wouldn’t be the first time God has made people wait.

Noah and his family were on a boat for 40 days and nights. Moses and the Israelites walked in the desert for 40 years. Jacob had to work for 14 years to be with Rachel. I could go on. Until I hear something, I will simply continue to work on my faith.

“But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.”

-Micah 7:7 (NIV)