Called and Sent

by Jonathan Whitaker

Have you ever noticed that we seem to refer to the noblest professions in society as a calling?  Nurses, teachers, the military (that one was self-serving), mothers, and preachers for example are all callings in the context of 21st century America.  Based on context clues alone you could infer that calling means “does not pay well.”  And it’s largely true, with the exception of nursing recently. Thanks, Obama.  Joking aside, we label jobs as callings when they require sacrifice and the service of others.  No one ever called being a professional video game player a calling.  Yes, that is a real job; no, it is not a calling, and see kids, you really can be anything you want.

If you are a Christ follower, read the first line of 1 Peter.  Notice what Peter calls you?  He calls you elect.  The term elect means that you were chosen.  Who chose you?  God chose you.  His choice also implies something else about you -- that you were called.  You may not be a nurse, a mom, or a preacher, but you, too, have a calling in life.  Let me suggest something to you.  Calling is something someone else does to you, not what you do.  You are a Christ follower; you were called to salvation. (Matt 11:28, Eph. 2:8).  In truth, your calling in life is both motivated and fulfilled by the work of Jesus Christ. 

So now what?  Jesus called you to Himself.  Why did he do that?  So that He can send you out.  If Jesus calls you, then Jesus sends you.  In Matthew 10:5, Jesus sends out His 12 Apostles among the towns of the Jews.  Not only does He do that, He gives them the authority and power to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons.  Think about that for a second. A few chapters earlier He called these bumpkins from their fishing boats and tax booths, and now He is sending them out with the power to raise the dead.  Praise Jesus for the calling, but get me some of that sending!

If that weren’t enough, a little later Jesus did the exact same thing to 72 more disciples.  But, He didn’t stop there.  Skip to the last paragraph of Matthew (Matt 28: 16-20).  There you find the Great Commission.  Read it.  Right about now, you are realizing that Jesus sent more than 84 guys out into the world 2,000 years ago.  Today, He sends you.  Not only that, but he sends you with more power than even the original 84, because He sends you with the Holy Spirit and the power to save men’s souls with the completed work of Jesus on the cross. 

You know what your calling is -- salvation.  Where have you been sent?  I have been pondering this question personally for years.  Through my nomadic profession, the answer has been very easy to this point.  Wherever the Air Force sends me is where I am sent and where I will serve.  In my most recent sending-out that includes a new church plant called Element Christian Church - Colorado Springs.

Element CS is church of Gospel Communities that disciples lay-pastors to take up the calling of planting home-churches and associated GCs wherever Christ sends them.  I am blessed to be in a community where there are already men and women who have served in the GCs of Santa Maria, California.  It is amazing to see the many ways Jesus orchestrated a gathering of former Element members in Colorado for the purpose of planting churches. 

We look forward meeting with you and sharing our lives with you on this new mission.  We have been called, therefore we are also sent.  Our mission, as Paul said in Romans 15:20-21, “…thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written, ‘Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.’”  Where have you been sent?