Pastor Robert delivered a word to the ministry staff at Gateway Church that has revolutionized the way I think about ministry and my purposes.
Many people speak in terms of their calling. “I’ve been called to teach, I’ve been called to preach;” maybe “I’ve been called to pastor, or be an evangelist.” The issue is not what you are called to do. You very likely are called to do the thing which stirs within your soul. The question is, “To what have have you been sent?” And the difference between the two is staggering.
Jesus was called to be the savior of mankind, yet he studied as a carpenter for 17 years of his manhood (from the age of 13). He wasn’t “sent” until he turned 30. His full ministry didn’t begin until he was sent.
Paul had his Damscus Road incident and experienced a call to preach and teach from Jesus himself. He wasn’t “sent” to the gentiles, however, for another 13 years. In Acts 9:15, Paul is called to preach and minister, but he hasn’t yet been sent. It isn’t until Acts 13:2 (four chapters, but 13 years later) that he and Barnabas are sent into ministry.
“Sending” is the authority to function within the “call.” There are many things to which each individual has been called to do–and every person is experiencing the “sending” in some of those areas. But there are likely many things in a person’s life to which they feel a call but the Lord has not released the “sending.” Pastor Robert said that “A need does not produce a call, and a call does not produce the sending.”
Is it possible you are trying to function in an area in which you have been called but not sent? Is it possible you have been called and sent, but you are refusing to be obedient? May God grant me wisdom in knowing the difference.