A Rural Church is Calling – or is that you God?

“I don’t care what you call me as long as you don’t call me late for supper.” What a groaner!

I want to address the topic of calling, not someone calling your name but being called by God for His purposes. Often in religious circles we talk about someone being “called” to the ministry. We say they have received a special call to serve God as a pastor or missionary full time. But let’s leave that aspect for just a moment.

I believe we need to see that God calls each one of us. He calls us into a relationship with Him. He is the creator of the world, but He created it for the purpose of having a relationship with people. We read in Genesis chapter 3 that God came and walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. God is calling out to you to respond to His invitation to a relationship with Him. God is not an absentee Creator or a Judging grandfather. “God is love” we are told in 1 John 4:8. Love is about relationship and caring. God is calling you to that relationship. How have you responded?

God also calls people to service, to serve Him in some way in this world. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) Our whole life should be about serving and honoring God. If you are a welder, do it for the glory of God. If you are a nurse, do it for the glory of God. If you are a mother, do it for the glory of God. And realize that whatever you do, it finds value as we do it for God. Don’t ever think that only things done at church or under the mission of the church are God-honoring! You can honor God by doing your best.

And yes, there are some who feel the “special” call of becoming a minister or pastor serving God through their church work. That doesn’t mean they are more important or closer to God. It just means that God has entrusted that role to them in similar fashion as He has entrusted the role of lawyer or business woman or janitor to you.

Here’s a question: Could it be that God might be calling you to serve in a small rural church?

I believe that God has called me to serve in a rural church. I’m not saying that God won’t move me on to something else, but right now I can see myself serving in a small church for a long time. I believe God has not just called me to be a pastor, but specifically called me to be a pastor of a small rural church. The rural church deserves pastors who are not just putting in time till they get something better. The rural church needs pastors who are there because they want to be and who feel called there by the God who loves the people of the little places just as much as the people of the big cities.

Are you called to pastor a rural church? Just maybe that is God calling!



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