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A Leader’s Calling

Updated: Jun 26

Leaders can’t do everything, but everyone can do something.

How Would You Explain A “Calling” From God?

Answers may include experiences, desires, abilities, opportunities, responsibilities, etc.




The word “calling” has a mysterious and super-spiritual sound to it. Some people certainly have dramatic and even miraculous encounters with God to which anyone can trace a clear change in direction and purpose. Martin Luther, figurehead of the Protestant Reformation, first vowed to become a monk after lightning nearly struck him as a university student. Paul was literally stopped in his tracks, blinded, and told by Jesus that he would become a leader for the church as an apostle rather than against it as a persecutor.

Most of us would not consider our stories of conversion or calling to be as significant or dramatic as Martin Luther or the Apostle Paul, but any conversion is miraculous. You have been brought from death to life. You were a sinner saved by God’s amazing grace. To personalise the great hymn, Amazing Grace:

you once were lost but now you’re found, you were blind but now you see.

So while each of our conversions may truly be miraculous, our callings may not be as clear. Let’s see what Paul had to say about calling and ministry.

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

This sentence is a game-changer when it comes to leadership and ministry, especially in understanding your calling.

Who Does “The Work Of Ministry”?


Draw attention back to the phrase ”the body of Christ”. Now think about these 4 implications:

1. All are called to ministry

All Christians are called to ministry. Most often, people use the term “calling” in relation to ministry, especially in the sense of a job or position of leadership. Paul says that God expects every Christian to do the work of ministry. In that sense, we are all called to ministry.

2. To equip

Leaders are called to equip church members for growth. The unique calling of a leader is found in the word “equip.” Each of us has a specific part to play within the body of Christ. Paul says that God “gave” leaders to the church so that every person would be equipped, built up, and fully mature. In the book Leveling the Church: Multiplying Your Ministry by Giving It Away (Moody, 2020), the authors put it this way:

“Ministry is our familial responsibility as church members. Multiplication is our vocational responsibility as church leaders.”

3. God doesn’t expect you to do everything

You can’t and shouldn’t do all the work. God doesn’t expect you to do everything. As leaders, it’s not possible for us to do everything that needs to be done for everyone’s spiritual health. But we sometimes believe that it’s our job as leaders to do whatever needs to be done. Honestly, some church members believe that it’s your job to do the work of ministry for them. But your job is to help them get involved.

Not only will you burn yourself out and eventually fail to do everything, you are cheating others out of the experience of joining the work—doing what God has for them to do too.

Everyone grows through participation and practice. To stick with Paul’s body imagery, we don’t want to be a local church that neglects certain muscles.

4. Called to help others grow

The goal is everyone’s spiritual health and maturity. Your calling isn’t “to be the leader.” Your calling is to help people grow. God put you in this church family for that reason— helping us all become healthy and mature. Look at how Paul concludes this section of teaching on the expectations and purpose of leaders in the church.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:14-16)

Please now reflect on what growth might we experience if we embrace the call of leadership as equipping everyone to join in ministry.

Prayer Prompts

Focus your heart on God’s goodness in saving you and using you to lead his church.

  • Confess areas of self-reliance, pride, or neglect.

  • Thank him for surrounding you with a team and a church family to help you grow in maturity.

  • Ask for wisdom in equipping others to join the work of ministry, exercising their own unique gifts.

This article was taken from ‘12 Devotions for Every Leader’ by Church Fuel (2020)

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