In his opening talk, Jeff Iorg discusses the topic, what is a calling?
What does it mean to be called?
A calling is a profound impression from god which establishes parameters for your life and can only be altered by a subsequent, superceding impression from God. A calling is inherently internal. It’s an inner conviction of the heart.
A calling gives direction to life. So then, that which is not fitting with the call is not to be done. Parameters can include anything from relationships to economics. We are free to do anything within those parameters.
A calling is permanent. Therefore, you don’t change until God calls you to something else. A calling is something so profound and permanent that it requires a new call to replace it.
There are three layers of calling.
A universal calling – every believer is called to christian service. A
general calling- some called to a life of vocational service.
A specific calling – then some are called to a particular service assignment.
How is someone called? There are three biblical ways to be called. None is superior to others.
First, there is the sudden calling. For instance, Paul’s call or Moses and the burning bush. Does god still call people this way today? Yes. This type of calling is often elevated above others.
Second, there is the process calling. This includes a reasoned decision. In Acts 16:6, Paul was trying to figure out where to go until God revealed it to him. This should bring comfort to know that even the best christians sometimes figure things out through experimentation. In a process calling, you weigh options and then make a decision.
Third, there is the community call. It is based on the prompting of others. We see this in Acts 13. In this chapter, God told the church to send out the first missionaries. Sometimes, God speaks through others to tell us what to do. The same happened with David and his call to be king. It often includes repeat confirmation. God can speak through anyone in his church.
How do you know that you are called? There will usually be several indicators:
Confirmation by others – often by church and family;
Confirmation of spouse;
Joy in the ministry;
Realistic expectations and reasons for ministry.
Why is it important to understand this info? It gives confidence – that you are God’s person for the assignment
It promotes perseverance – that you can make it through the assignment
It provides appropriate authority – that you have a special authority from God for the assignment
It instills humility/accountability to god – that you are His vessel for the assignment.