By Aaron Evans, Opinion Editor
“What is my calling?”
If you haven’t asked yourself this question at least three times in the past year, chances are you haven’t been in college long enough. Between chapel messages given by former students who have found success in ministry or listening to your friends talking about their call to [insert career here], we can’t escape the idea of finding our purpose in the kingdom of God. This is only a natural thing to do, and it’s better to worry about your calling now than ten years down the road when you’re still sleeping in your childhood bedroom.
However, we often get caught up in the excitement of being called out by God for a specific purpose. More specifically, we forget that we can advance the kingdom of God without being in ministry.
I spent almost my entire sophomore year tearing myself apart because I didn’t know my specific calling. I felt so out control and, to be really honest, purposeless because God wasn’t calling me to a third world country, to be a pastor and save thousands of people or become the next Chris Tomlin. I found myself growing jealous of my friends who were called to a specific a ministry and seemed like they had their whole life planned out. I longed for that security, and looking back on it, it wasn’t healthy.
We often make the mistake that in order to impact the kingdom, we have to be raising the dead in Uganda, being the coolest youth leader that all the high school students love or diving headfirst into the nearest ministry. And even outside of that, we hear from pastors and others involved in ministry that we just be doctors in Africa or be a teacher in the inner city.
The problem with this is that we are supposed to spread the love of Christ in all parts of society, including the seemingly average places.
Let me state that I’m not bashing those in ministry, but rather assuring those who don’t know God’s call for their life or aren’t called into ministry that it’s ok. We’re not expected to have everything figured out, regardless of God’s purpose for our life.
I’m so thankful for the ministers, missionaries, worship leaders and other people who head up different ministries to help guide the body of Christ. The world is always in need of people willing lay down their life in full service to ministry. But this is not the case for every Christian. A retail job or an office building can be just as much of a mission field as a third world country.
It’s so tempting to get caught up in the sweeping stories of people being called to drop everything and become a pastor or a missionary, however, we need not undermine our own callings that may not be in ministry. There’s nothing stopping us from talking about Jesus to our coworkers in whatever job we happen to land after graduation. And while these people may not have the same needs as those in a third world country, they need to hear about Jesus just as much as anyone else in the world. God promises to make our paths straight, and if we’re willing to follow the leading of his Holy Spirit, we will bring heaven to earth, regardless of our job titles.