How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?
This has been an important verse for my ministry since it began. There are a lot of things you can do for God besides being a pastor. As a good student, I wondered if teaching or engineering might be God’s path for me. But once I received God’s call to professional ministry, other career options were taken off the table for me. But within professional ministry (my, how I dislike that phrase), there are a number of different career paths, job opportunities, and areas where one might serve. And that’s where this verse came to be quite helpful in my discernment.
How might one make the largest impact on the world for God? I could individually serve people in an underfinanced setting. I could run a homeless shelter. I could run mission trips or teach theology. But how might I make the largest impact? Why, by not making a large impact at all, but instead by developing others to do that impacting. If I could teach 100 people in my career to make a significant impact, that would be 100x as huge as me making an individual impact myself. And so, the pastorate became my residence, my ministry, and my calling.
So, each week through sermons, each day through interaction and daily blog posts I try hard to teach and inspire others to impact this world for God. I was sent to preach so others might hear and call on God (see the reverse order of the verse above?) This is my ministry, my calling, and my passion.
May God send you in His perfect timing according to His perfect will to accomplish all He has in store for you.