“I have to be a pastor” (wrong)

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 NIV

For most of my twenties, I was convinced I had to be a full-time pastor to fulfill my calling. And, unless I walked in that calling, I couldn’t be fulfilled!

So, everything between vocational ministry and me was an obstacle.

Here was my mindset:

  • My day job keeps me from pastoring, so I hate it.
  • I keep getting passed over for opportunities, so I’m a victim.
  • God created me to be a pastor, but won’t give me the opportunity, so I’m stuck.
  • My wife doesn’t support me enough, so I’m resentful.
  • I’m not a pastor, which is the only way I’ll have value, so I feel unworthy.

This was dead wrong.

In today’s verses, Paul lists many of the “roles” God calls disciples to fill.

My burning desire for this title of pastor was misplaced hope.

I thought if I became a pastor:

  • everything would fall into place,
  • my heart’s desires would be filled,
  • I would be living my purpose,
  • my marriage would instantly be fixed,
  • and my struggles would evaporate.

How? Because I could finally become who I was meant to be… but only if I stepped into my coveted gig.

Today, my understanding of God’s purpose for our lives has changed significantly.

I used to focus on the list. The title. The full-time job.

However, if we read Paul’s words carefully, there are two words I missed for almost a decade: “so that.”

Every single role in the Church has the SAME UNIFIED PURPOSE. Click To Tweet
  1. To build up the body of Christ.
  2. To encourage unity through faith in Jesus.
  3. To become mature.
  4. To attain the “whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

This is true for all of us. Because God’s purpose for us will always go beyond ourselves. Our purpose is about expanding God’s kingdom, not our own.

From Sunday school teachers to executive pastors, from greeters to evangelists, we ALL have the same purpose: to build up the body of Christ. Click To Tweet

God’s purpose for each of us starts by serving others, regardless of our job titles. How does this truth set you free?

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