I recently posted a thread here at the WC to get some feedback from those in worship ministries who have “gone before me.” I was blessed with the feedback. Many worship leaders and worship pastors confirmed the topics among this list, and encouraged me to continue in my calling. With that said, I thought I might share my list, and include more topics mentioned in the worship community thread. If you are struggling with the process of a calling, please let me know if this list helps. Blessings to you!!
• Pursue God with all you got! The #1 trait to have in any calling is the pursuit of God. Always make time to pursue the caller in all circumstances. There will be struggle in any ministry, and we all need to develop the habit of seeking God’s face. If we pursue the calling more than the caller, we will burn out fast. So, stay focused on Christ.
• Give the calling time to develop. Think of a mother’s womb. A child needs time in a safe and secure environment to develop. In any calling, there is no need to immediately make it known. Allowing time to develop the calling, a) protects it from naysayers; b) grows confidence in doing God’s will, and c) allows God to confirm what he is doing. When the calling is ready, God will publicly make it known. In other words, people will notice without saying a word.
• Allow God to position you. No leader should position him/herself in any calling. It makes no sense to “wiggle your way in.” The Lord may surprise you with the route he chooses. As you pursue God, seek the discernment to know when to move and when to sit still. So, let the Lord position you, and let him lead step-by-step.
• Bloom where you’re planted. If you are not serving in your calling area, do not get discouraged. Every ministry is connected. The Lord will use whatever means necessary to make you great wherever he leads. Allow God to teach you wherever you are.
• Encouragement may come from the most unlikely places. As we grow in our calling, we’ll find times when we want to give up on it and be done. Then all of a sudden, something will happen (most likely from unexpected sources), and we’re all charged up again! Let’s not take encouragement for granted. Big or small, God knows what we need to keep us going.
• We all need mentors. There are two facets to this; sometimes we need to actively seek out mentors, and sometimes God sends them to us. If you are actively seeking people to be your mentors, please know what you’re looking for. Do you need a mentor in the skill set you need to grow in? Do you need a mentor to serve as an accountability partner? It’s always wise to surround yourself with an abundance of godly counsel. So as you pursue God, He will provide the insight needed in knowing whom He chooses as your mentors. So watch and pray.
• Obedience is better than sacrifice. We can choose all day long to give up certain luxuries or pleasantries for the sake of God’s kingdom, but if we do not choose to obey, our sacrifices mean nothing. Always choose obedience over sacrifice.
• Check your faith condition. If God finally gives you what he promised, and then asked you to give it up, how would you respond? Remember Abraham. The Lord finally gave Abraham a son fulfilling a long awaited promise. Abraham worked hard as a dad to grow his son in the ways of the Lord. Then God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son. Abraham’s faith was that he knew God would provide another sacrifice even if it meant raising his son from the dead. How far are we willing to take God’s calling? Are we willing to kill the calling for he sake of obedience?
• Be flexible: Many times the Lord surprises us with where he takes us. If we are so hard focused on one aspect of our calling, we’ll miss what God is trying to teach us in another area. From what I’ve observed and learned from other leaders, God wants to make us well rounded for ministry. Yes, we may have a focus area, but the Lord still wants us to learn to care for his people, grow his church, and train others to do the same.
• Take cover! Your spouse has to be in full agreement and prayer support. Both spouses carry each other’s burdens in ministry so you must be in full agreement and in full prayer support. If you are single, you still need a spiritual cover. What spiritual authority is carrying the burden of your calling with you? If you do not have this, pray the Lord will send someone who will carry that burden with you.
• Always love! Paul said that we can have the faith that moves mountains, but we are nothing without love. Love the people that surround you. When all is said and done, love is the only thing that will remain forever. We can have hope the Lord will keep his promises for us, and we can have faith the calling will accomplish unimaginable things, but they will no longer be needed in heaven when the Lord takes us home. So, always love! Love is eternal.
Melanie Siewert is a Christ follower, wife to a wonderful man of God, and mother of two incredible boys. She has several years experience mentoring high school worship bands, and desires to continually write music for the Lord’s church. Her passion for music accompanies her passion for making Christ known.