The Hireling and The Called

The Shepherd by Julien Dupre (1851-1910)
The Shepherd by Julien Dupre (1851-1910)

Sitting in the hot tub after a long day of ministry my husband and I were laughing and talking about a 4 year-old who was discussing the state of the world with me. Then it got quiet.

My husband quietly said, “You really shocked me a few days ago.”

Not knowing at all what he was referring to my mind began to think of what could be so shocking? I couldn’t put my finger on a single thing and yet I knew this statement was important as he’d been mulling it over, so I said, “What did I say that shocked you?”

“Well, when we began to budget for Project X you said we could take your salary and put it towards it and you didn’t hesitate.”

Trying to make this moment lighter, and being sarcastic by nature I replied, “Hey, there was a time when I had to pay to be in ministry, giving up a salary is a new level.”

We laughed and then it got quiet again and I felt I had to explain myself.

“Look, it’s not as self-sacrificing as you’re making it seem. I walk in the realm of big faith. I believe that God will take care of my needs and provide for them. I don’t doubt that for a minute. He has never let me down.”

My husband just smiled at me and said, “That’s why we’re here. We’re called. It’s not about what we can get, it’s about what we can give. Others might have given up if it was about a paycheck but because it’s a mission it becomes a lifestyle.”

John 10:12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. ESV

I thought on this conversation over the last couple of days. What makes one shift from the money aspect, which let’s face it, is a real issue and one that needs to be discussed, to the aspect of the calling? The calling is a place where you could take your education and experience and turn it into a money making proposition and sell it to the highest bidder only you wouldn’t be comfortable with yourself. It wouldn’t sit right. You’d feel a missed opportunity, you’d long for the day when you’d be called back to the ministry. Honestly, there is that space between God and reality where the bills come in and the hesitation starts. Only for me, and I don’t profess to know what it is for others, the faith that while I may not have it all, I have all I need, is the sustaining force that keeps me steady when the waves of doubt come crashing in. When the promise of being all in when the stress of ministry and the expectations of what we are called to do are overwhelming, I stop and tell myself that I promised, and more importantly, I trust my Lord.

I pray that wherever you are sitting and reading this post right now, that you are sitting under a pastor who is called and not a hireling. You will know the difference when life hits. I pray that pastors who are truly called never give up.

 

One thought on “The Hireling and The Called

  1. Dear beloved brethren,

    Much greetings through the exalted name of our Loving savior Jesus Christ from
    Kenya.
    I am very much pleased to tell you that your teachings on your website are a
    great blessing to me, my family and the young independent christian fellowship
    that I founded when I got the call of the Lord to do so.
    So, I, my wife , children and some few brethren from the community we are
    serving the Lord under this christian fellowship.

    The fellowship is of 42 members.
    I also take care of 13 orphans whose parents died.
    In this I am requesting you to send us more teachings that will enable us, as a
    small church to grow spiritually.

    As well it is my kind request that you also remember these needy
    orphans under my care in your daily prayers that God can open them
    ways for their needs both in physical and spiritual growth.As well I
    kindly invite you to come here in Kenya and bless our people with the
    gospel of our Lord Jesus.Kenya needs mighty people of God to lead her
    into salvation and know the Living God. Please have a kind
    consideration to extend your kind cooperation for the extension of the
    Kingdom of God.
    Also I would be happy if you will accept us to be part of your fellowship.
    Pass our sincere regards and greetings to all Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
    yours pastor Francis Mokua

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