As a youngster growing up in a Pastor’s home and being in church all my life, I’ve heard people talk about what they call “their life verse.” What they mean is they have claimed a particularly meaningful verse that expresses how they want to live their life. I’m not sure when I exactly adopted my life verse but it has been encouraging me for at least 35 years. Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” What a blessing to see the truth of that verse bear fruit in my life. Putting God first and loving Him with everything I have and the desires He has implanted in me, from a career in law enforcement, to a career in business and now the passionate desire to serve Him as a pastor of a local church. Desire is a synonym for passion, a craving, an appetite, what you love to do. There is great joy in doing what you were created by God to do.
A few weeks ago in a message I preached called “A Pastor’s Prayer” from 2nd Thessalonians 3:5, I asked the audience gathered to close their eyes for a minute and I said: “Imagine quickly, if time and money was not an object, out of your pure love for God, if you could do anything for God’s Kingdom, what would it be?” Maybe you had a little glimmer of that vision, desire, or passion in answer to that question but in the hustle and bustle of life after church from that day you’ve not thought much about it further. So let me ask you to prayerfully revisit the answer to that question for your life. I also said that day I wanted you to be free to pursue your passion and that one thing you’d love to do even if at the moment you find yourself serving in a way that is not exactly your passion. The reality is as long as you are serving in a place you aren’t passionate about; someone else isn’t pursuing their passion because you have that spot.
Obviously, there needs to be an orderly transition for you especially if you’re in a leadership role but let us know you’re not passionate about that ministry so we can let people know of the opportunity. Last week at our monthly Church Council meeting, we discussed this very concept asking the question “What is My Passion?” We identified 5 Biblical Functions of the Church as being:
1. Outreach (Evangelism)
2. Discipleship (Edification)
3. Service/Ministry (Equipping)
4. Fellowship (Encouragement)
5. Worship (Exaltation)
Each of these 5 functions can be used to advance our church’s purposes. So the question then is “Where do I fit in”? To help you determine the answer for how God has wired you to serve Him out of your love relationship together; ask yourself these kinds of questions: 1) Which area of church life am I most passionate about? 2) How am I currently pursuing those passions? 3) If I could serve one way at Calvary that I knew would not fail, what it be?
I want to encourage you to think, meditate and pray on these areas of function for the church and ask the Holy Spirit to show you where your passions lie. In many cases the Lord has already equipped and gifted you in a way that you are already passionate about; but that’s not always the case or you may not know He’s gifted you that way. When you sense you’ve identified your passion, let me, Pastor Mike or Pastor Ken know about that so we can help you get connected to serving in an ministry area you are passionate about. Then what I’d say to you is what Paul wrote to the Colossian believers in 3:23 “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,”
Can you imagine what would take place if every believer connected to Calvary Baptist Church was able to pursue their God-given passions to further God’s Kingdom? Picture the tremendous impact on a church, a community, a state, a nation and a world when God’s people pursued the desires of their heart out of their love for Christ! One word: AWESOME!
Okay, at this point you might be waiting for me to give you list of possible passions in church – but I’m not going to! Why? Because I’m not the Holy Spirit and I don’t know what the Holy Spirit is prompting you to pursue out of your passion for Jesus. What I do know is that it will be exactly what this body of believers needs and we’re going to love the result. I also want you to be able to “think outside the box” on this so this doesn’t have to be some pursuit you currently see or have seen in church life. However, I will tell you that our Church Council and staff are working on a document that will list the many ways currently available for you to serve in and through Calvary. Obviously for us to help you pursue your passion as a church, it needs to align with one of those Biblical functions for the church listed above but that is the only limit. If you’re not sure how your passion fits, that is where Pastor Mike, Pastor Ken or I can help guide you; so talk to us about “the desires of your heart.”
Looking forward to seeing the “desires of your heart” in action, from my little corner of the world to yours…