By Jon Hansen, District Representative, Mountain Central
This is the first in a two-part series. Don’t forget to catch Part 2: An Effective Representation of Christ.
Considering the Calling to Ministry
I recently had cause to consider my calling to ministry. I spoke with a group of pastor friends that I meet with for coffee when I am off the road. On this particular day, I asked them to pray for our upcoming District Representative meetings. One of the men then asked me, “Why do you do what you do?” I started to share about my job description as a District Representative when he stopped me and said, “Jon, I didn’t ask what you do, but why you do it?”
This surprised me. I started to really look at my calling to ministry–why I do what I do as a District Representative.
Last fall I found myself somewhat discouraged and tired at the end of missionary visits. I had to ask myself, “Could it be that I have focused too much on the doing of the ministry and not the WHY?” Ultimately, my calling to ministry (WHY I do what I do) is because I am a believer. My answer to that question comes from the book of Hebrews. I believe it may give us a positive foundation as believers to keep sharing the gospel where God has placed each of us.
Hebrews 10 shows three pictures of the reality that give us the WHY component.
Heaven is so wonderful.
In Hebrews 10:1-18 (CSB), Jesus established our fellowship in heaven.
Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come, and not the reality itself of those things, it can never perfect the worshipers by the same sacrifices they continually offer year after year. Otherwise, wouldn’t they have stopped being offered, since the worshipers, purified once and for all, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in the sacrifices, there is a reminder of sins year after year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Therefore, as he was coming into the world, he said:
You did not desire sacrifice and offering,
but you prepared a body for me.
You did not delight
in whole burnt offerings and sin offerings.
Then I said, “See—
it is written about me
in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, O God.”
After he says above, You did not desire or delight in sacrifices and offerings, whole burnt offerings and sin offerings (which are offered according to the law), he then says, See, I have come to do your will. He takes away the first to establish the second. By this will, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all time.
Every priest stands day after day, ministering and offering the same sacrifices time after time, which can never take away sins. But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. He is now waiting until his enemies are made his footstool. For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. For after he says:
This is the covenant I will make with them after those days,
the Lord says, I will put my laws on their hearts
and write them on their minds,
and I will never again remember
their sins and their lawless acts.
Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
Then we read:
God is faithful; you were called by him into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:9 (CSB)
Jesus established our fellowship in Heaven by dying on the cross and rising again from the dead. He fulfilled the law. Believers are co-crucified, resurrected and seated with Christ in heaven. Not only do we have this fellowship with Christ, but we have this fellowship with each other. Christ’s position in Heaven is the foundation for our fellowship with one another on earth in the local church.
First of all, we should do what we do because of heaven. We have been given a heavenly position. A heavenly relationship. We have a heavenly calling to ministry.