Qualified or Called, Part 1 ~ Learning to Serve

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NIV)

This verse first caught my attention early on in my recovery journey. It was the catalyst that I embraced when I started leading women’s support groups. God revealed to me in the short time that I was in recovery that he wanted to use my pain and my healing to come alongside others to encourage and support them on their journeys to wholeness.

Unqualified to qualifiedStepping up to Serve

The first group I facilitated was a Boundaries group. (It wasn’t the popular book by Drs. Cloud and Townsend. That came later in my teaching ministry.) My church was starting a recovery program with multiple groups being led with different curriculum. I was hungry for recovery and eager to share how God had redeemed my pain. However, I felt sorely unqualified to lead in this kind of setting. The ministry leader shared something with the leaders that has stuck with me ever since. He said, “You just have to be well enough.”

That was a relief to me. I didn’t have to have it all figured out. I didn’t need to perform. I needed to lead from my brokenness and my vulnerability.* That didn’t make it easy, but it helped me to let go of my pride and let God work in me in this new role with my church. You see I was, and am, a fairly capable person when it comes to project management, running large meetings, and such in the business world. However, putting myself on the front line of emotional and spiritual endeavors was totally foreign to me. And that was what God wanted. 

2 Cor. 12:9Believing you are Well Enough

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV) That is not what Satan wants—for you to serve in ministry. He is an expert at trying to get us to believe we are not good enough, smart enough, or worthy enough to serve the Lord. Don’t believe him! God wants to use you!

In time I stepped into bigger ministry roles at my church, not because I felt qualified, but because I felt called by God, or in some cases was asked. I often jumped in quickly, not realizing what I was getting myself into. Each time God was stretching me outside of my comfort zone—to coordinate a women’s retreat, speak at a women’s event, and to train the leaders that launched my church’s Celebrate Recovery ministry. Through it all, I was often reminded of a phrase I’d heard in ministry circles: “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”

Answering my Next Call

Over the last few months, I’ve been preparing for God’s next call on my life. In preparation for that, I worked on a re-write of my recovery testimony. If you don’t know what that is, check out this post, What is a CR Testimony?, on the Celebrate Recovery website where I serve. Suffice it to say, it is not a small matter; and it is not a salvation testimony.

Answering the call

As I wrote it, God revealed to me the weavings and points of intersection where He was putting the people, circumstances and events in place to lead to this very time in my life. It’s been pretty profound, and has grown my faith in even bigger ways. There is so much I could write about this, but one chain of events stands out with such clarity to illustrate the way God works, and how perfect His timing is. I’ll save that for Part 2 of this series.

I’d love to hear from others who have stepped up into ministry leadership. Did you feel called? Do you presently feel qualified? How was God preparing you to serve Him?

*A great book I recommend about this leadership posture is Leading with a Limp, by Dan Allender.

This post is listed on Christian Mommy Blogger/Fellowship Fridays and Missional Women/Faith Filled Friday.

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4 Comments

  1. Ardis, Reading your post puts me right smack in the middle of the place I stand with knowing whether I am being called or what this desire or discontent is. I did have a nagging feeling at one point in my life to start a women’s group. I wrestled with that for a few years! Through many days of prayer and meditation as well as using a “life makeover” workbook, the moms group came to be known today. As the group now exists, I feel that it is just as important to stay focused on the vision and simply provide the meeting that we set out to create. Did I feel qualified? “No!” Did I feel called? “Yes!” Moving forward on something that doesn’t leave you alone is hard. Knowing what you are doing is right I believe comes from the aha moments when connections are made and things miraculously fall into place. I marvel at how this group came together and more importantly, I marvel at how I was lead every step of the way. Even the picture of me below is a piece of me practicing/proving that I CAN stand up in front of a group and speak! Marveling…..

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    • Susan, I so agree with all that you said. I watched you from afar–your struggle and waiting for the Lord’s timing–and even our connections being part of that path. The fruit of that women’s group is so wonderful. Just think… what if we don’t follow that nudge? Somebody has too! Why not us? He has equipped us, and is equipping us to do what He lays on our hearts–even when we don’t think so. Our challenge is to not let our earthly circumstances define us or limit what God says we can do for Him. It is not easy!!!

      Regarding your profile photo, it does bring back pleasant memories for me. You were articulate and poised. I have the video to prove it. Thank you friend for being a part of that milestone day for me–and others as well.

      Blessings, Ardis

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  1. Featured Post & #FellowshipFridays 16 - Christian Mommy Blogger
  2. Qualified or Called, Part 2 ~ Learning to Lead | Making Me Bold

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    I'm an author, writer, speaker, mentor & mom. I've struggled to find my voice all my life as I lived in the shadows of a mother with mental illness. Thankfully that was not the legacy that she handed down to me. It took a lot of recovery and deep healing work to rise above it.

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