I know we Christians are sometimes seen as sullen, serious, and stoic. The truth is far different.
In my day job I have the privilege of communicating with Christians from every walk of life, albeit within my own denomination. I have conversed with pastors in California and counselors in Georgia. I have sent and received emails from church leaders in Africa and Europe. I have spoken with members of churches in Texas and Pennsylvania.
What I have found is not droning lectures about the burden of their ministries, this thing they must do for God. Instead, I have heard… PASSION. People are excited to talk to a complete stranger about the work to which God has called them.
A youth leader in New England excitedly told me about a party she was preparing to throw for recent graduates. A church member exuded joy as she told me about her prayer group that is changing lives. Another gave me example after example of her powerful experiences on her many mission trips, periodically asking if I had time for “one more story.”
When I asked if she had an “official” role in her church, she said, “I do now!” Her congregation had recently created a team to help her share her passion!
If you are trying to figure out that to which God has called you, maybe you should stop waiting to find a burning bush out in the wilderness, and recognize the passion already burning inside of you.
The call of God upon our lives is not a burden. Jesus said his yoke — a tool for the work of farming — was easy and his burden light (Matthew 11:30). He filled the first disciples/apostles with passion to change the world. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit turned a group of disparate people into a body with zeal for the mission and ministry of the church.
I don’t think things have changed all that much. God still fills us with his Holy Spirit and sends us out to change the world, or at least our small part it. It is not guilt with which the Spirit fill us to get the job done. It is passion!
Several of these passionate people with whom I have spoken though, told me how they “stumbled” upon their call. One nervously attended her first mission trip, taking a step into the unknown. Now she goes several times a year, bringing others with her because she loves seeing lives changed.
Another told me about her reluctance when asked to volunteer with the youth in her congregation, but there was no one else to do it. Now, a decade later, she wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Another felt a tug at her heart for those in her community who were suffering, but had no idea what one person could do about it. She now leads a ministry at her church that is changing the lives of dozens in her community.
Not one person said they do what they do because they have to. Rather, they all give their time, their energy, and their very selves to these tasks because they want to. They love it. It is their passion. Their ministry brings them joy.
Sullen? Serious? Stoic? Hardly. Passion! Zeal! Energy! That’s what the Spirit has filled them with to fulfill God’s call upon their lives.