Dear St. Lukers,
Have you ever had someone in your life out of the blue, speak to you about the potential they see in you? Maybe it was someone who was listening to you talk about your holy discontent and they said, “you should do something about that.” Maybe it was when you were talking about a volunteer position you love and a spouse said, “maybe that’s what you should be spending your time doing.” Maybe it was someone you serve with who let you know how much YOUR work means in their life.
Callings are gifts from God. But God also uses other people to pick up the phone and call us. One of the responsibilities of a pastor is to help people in our congregation find their callings, answer the phone, and support them as they move forward in faith. My greatest joy as a pastor is to recognize something in someone, and finding the grace and space to speak to them about what I notice. A few years back I remember saying to someone in our Disciple 1 Bible study class how I saw the gift in them to teach and lead. They were shocked and had never considered it before. But that little nudge, along with the Director of Adult Ministries calling and inviting them, set them on a path they never expected. Looking back, I think everyone who has been touched by our Mom Connection Cluster Group has witnessed the fruits Jaylene Gareau has brought to this connected and committed group of women.
Reflecting on the group, Jaylene has this to say: “Facilitating the Mom Connection Bible Study group is one of the most fulfilling yet one of the most unexpected turns my life has taken. I never thought I had the gifts to lead a group at St. Luke’s. Thankfully, Pastor Jenn saw something in me that I had not seen in myself. A gift for teaching and leading. I was invited to facilitate one study a few years ago and I have continued with it. I’m grateful I answered the call! Living into this calling has brought me so much joy not only in the work I do but also in the wonderful friendships I’ve made.”
But it’s not just the work of the pastors to notice callings in other people’s lives; it’s the work of all of us, recognizing and speaking up to our friends, our mentors, even the young people among us, that we see a gift in them. Had it not been for a lay person in my life as a young person who believed in my heart and passion for young people, I would have never had the courage to become a youth leader at 18 years old. That person’s call in my life, on behalf of God, changed the trajectory of everything.
Join Pastor Jad and me this Sunday as we explore the call on Ananias to be used in the life of a young Jewish leader of the persecution, Saul. Last week, Pastor Corey and Pastor Melissa mentioned Saul in the Scripture about Stephen. Saul stood holding the cloaks of those who turned on Stephen and stoned him. Look ahead by reading Acts 9:10-19. Pray about the people in your life for whom God is calling you to pick up the phone and share what you see. Consider how others have called you up on behalf of God, because God calls us THROUGH EACH OTHER.
See you on Sunday,