Section 5 - The Calling and You

Two Kinds of Calling

From my personal perspective there are two types of a calling.  The first and most important is a direct calling from God, like YHWH speaking to Moses at the burning bush.  This is when God speaks directly to you and His command is undeniable.  This doesn’t necessarily mean you will hear His thunderous voice in your ears, but His message will be clear – The Great I AM requires something of you.

The other form of calling is when someone from the church asks you to become their new pastor, music director, become a deacon, join the choir, etc.  This type of calling seems more like a job offer, but nonetheless it is a calling, and you need to pray about it to discern if this is truly a calling from God, and whether or not you should accept.  It’s ok to decline if The Spirit leads you so.  Think about how much time will be required of you, and if you can meet this demand.  Your schedule might not allow for it, so don’t make a commitment you cannot keep.  Making a commitment is easy.  Keeping a commitment is another story altogether.  Either type of calling is a genuine calling as long as the latter is bathed in prayer.

Calling Examples in my Experience

I had three music director callings to share as examples.  The first was when our pastor wanted to start Wednesday services and asked if I could provide music, just me and my guitar.  I agreed.  It was that simple.

The second began as a direct calling from God to go to my buddy’s church and ask what I am supposed to do there.  There was a strong feeling in my heart for about a week or so, and one day without thinking about it I just rode my motorcycle there and said to the pastor, “God told me to ask you what am I supposed to be doing here?”  I wound up serving in a semi-pastoral capacity and played in the band for a couple of months.  After taking a spiritual gifts test, and lots of prayer, we concluded that I should serve as the new praise band leader.

The third was a calling as Director of Contemporary Music at my former church in the job offer style.  Our pastor suggested we create a position, with me in mind, to introduce contemporary praise music to our worship services that, after praying about it, I accepted.  I put a band together that played once or twice a month, and I often played guitar and sang solo.  When COVID hit and our worship services were online only we used music I recorded at home by myself, and with the band.  It was a wonderful experience.  Getting paid was really cool, but I kept my heart focused on serving God and the church, and this alone was fulfilling.

It’s ok if your calling is a paid position for Jesus said, “A worker deserves their wages,” and musicians are workers.  The issue is about where your heart is.  If you are providing praise music the first and foremost concern should be worshiping God and bringing congregations closer to Him with song.  Consider the paycheck to be a blessing on top of a blessing.  It is certainly no sin to seek an income with your talents so long as you are not prostituting the church for a source of income.  Then again, if the position is not for money, know that the benefits are out of this world.

So a calling can come two ways.  One is directly the voice of the Almighty, usually to your heart.  The other calling is when someone asks you to do something for the church.  Both types of calling must include deep prayer, especially the latter.

Band Leaders - The Band is Your Mini Congregation

Unless you have earned the right to be called a pastor because you have the proper education and vetting via a credible affiliation you are NOT a pastor.  Do NOT call yourself one!  Those who are not trained and ordained have no idea the legal ramifications of calling yourself a pastor, and the potential consequences.  People have general expectations of someone who uses the title of pastor, and if you cannot meet them you could do more damage than good.  Do you really have pastoral training so you can help this person?  There are enough problems with untrained pastors in the world, and scripture warns us of them.

However, if you are leading a group of musicians you are, in a way, the pastor of a mini congregation.  You are a leader and your group will look up to you.  In fact, in a way we are all pastors to our families, friends, and communities.  As the music leader it is your responsibility to ensure the proper spiritual direction of your group and the music you provide, and this is vital.  Consider that the word pastor means Sheppard.  Even if you are not an ordained minister you are still the leader of your group and you need to set a good example for them.  Lead by example and be the good Sheppard you are called to be.

Pray and stay in His Word!  Prayer and regular Bible study helps guide you as a Godly leader and keeps you in line.  And yes, you can expect problems in your group, even to the point of having to dismiss a member or your own resignation.  Proverbs is an excellent guide offering excellent insight for recognizing righteousness and problem areas.  You may recognize many verses are in songs you play, or they might inspire you to write a song.  Scripture is inspiring and is the oil in the lamp of your life – give me oil in my lamp keep me burning.  Keep the loving light in your eyes, smile, and conversations burning brightly with the oil of God’s Holy Word.

So even if you are not already a trained and ordained official pastor embrace the responsibility to which you are called.  Have genuine care and concern for those in your group, listening to them, praying for them, and directing them to qualified help if they need it.  Don’t call yourself a pastor if you are not ordained, but be one.

Last modified: Tuesday, December 6, 2022, 1:19 PM