Watching the Prisoners production last night in its polished form with a capacity crowd, the Holy Spirit gave me a deeper understanding of family calling.
We have been in the Harvester family since February of 1996, it is the very longest I have ever been part of anything in my life. I have friendships that were formed in that year which still remain. We have seen each other fall in love, get married, have children, we experienced loss together as friends fell away from the faith, as family members were called home to be with the Lord, and the excitement of those for whom God opened doors to go to other nations.
In all of these we have always been encouraged that God calls families into various areas of life. He calls families to be full time ministers of His Word and Grace, those whom He sets apart to train all of us in the ways of the Lord. There are family callings in the areas of worship, music, performing arts, medicine, and business world, those who create wealth for the work of the Kingdom to continue going forth so that the unreached can be reached and the saved can be continually strengthened and so we can continue a long list of family callings. But last night something new opened up to me;
All my children were functioning, as they always do, but something was distinctively different this time round, they were working in their line or field of interest, they were a team working on different aspects but for the same goal. They were taking the lead and my husband and I were receiving instructions. One was performing on stage, one was directing the filming as well as filming, one was doing the lighting, one was helping with ushering and my husband and I were filling in the gaps by obeying what was asked, like “Please bring that cable here”; or “Please block this section off with tape for me”. During technical meeting they each had a voice to trouble shoot and find solutions with the leaders and other workers and performers in the cast and crew. Their questions were cheered, their suggestions applauded, their efforts appreciated.
I looked at the ushers and caterers arriving and doing their share during the course of the day and how the little children would politely inform their parents of what they would like to contribute, like; “Mommy where can I get a cloth so I can please wash the chairs?” They were handing out flyers, mopping floors, checking bathrooms, greeting people and doing it all singing and smiling along so happy.
I became so very aware of families in the church, families working together in the church, and then the penny dropped… Family calling isn’t just missionaries, or same field of work, no, family calling is first and foremost, the whole family serving God together, whole heartedly in church. It would obviously be a great bonus if they were all in the same city in the same church but that’s not always possible, but as long as they all serve God committedly and whole heartedly. Another side to family calling that opened up for me was that families were called to function together to make a whole, to serve the body of Christ and to serve through the body of Christ. So though they may not all be in the worship team, or all be at the sound desk, or all be preachers, but by their combined service to God to bless the saints in the church as well as helping to get the message of the Kingdome out to the rest of the world, they are fulfilling a family calling. One may be on stage, or leading the dance in worship, the other may be filming and editing for DVD distribution or live streaming on Sundays so others around the globe can receive the message, , or scribing the songs and testimonies and prophesies, one may do the lights and the physical labour of packing out equipment, organising things neatly, another may do the cleaning and handing out of tissues and comforting those who were touched by the Spirit of the Lord but because we work in mutual submission toward the same goal, we are fulfilling a family calling.
This means that instead of striving to find a line of interest or work or function and forcing our children to go in a specific direction so the family calling can go on. Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves because we aren’t missionaries, or musicians, or actors, or doctors, or teachers etcetera, and instead of running all over the show to find our purpose in life, we can fall back and rest knowing that to continually encourage our children to follow after Christ and as parents continue to set an example for them on how to do so with joy and peace, and teaching them how to hear Him speak to them, how to seek His face. As long as we bring them to church with us and allow them to function so they can also feel part of it all, so they can experience how valuable they are because we need their help no matter how small it may be, then we are fulfilling our family calling and our family’s purpose in life.
Our purpose is to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, to be conformed to the image of Christ. Our calling is to serve God and humanity together as a family in our various gifts, talents and abilities and to be patient with each other and to, as parents, know when to let go, to let them lead and to submit to their function and help them complete their task by obeying the instructions they give us so that ultimately the Lord can be blessed and glorified and people can be reached with the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Amen.(c) Celeste Glass
For a study on family callings read through Leviticus where God instructs Moses on the various fields of expertise and function both spiritual and work, also in the books of Chronicles. There were often mentioned the families of musicians and how they trained their children to do the same, also for making instruments, specific art, working with various metals, fabric and textile work, craftsmanship in jewellery, ornaments, furnishings, utensils, there were also those who were farmers and the different areas of farming, and then in the New Testament in the books of Acts, and the apostolic letters/epistles Paul often mentions a person by name and how the whole household served God together, he doesn’t always mention their line of work.