A few months ago my pastor asked me to consider being a part of my church’s leadership team. I was hesitant; for many reasons, but perhaps the main one being I felt like I wasn’t capable of it. My pastor told me I would be the youngest person on the team, which didn’t come as much of a surprise–most people in similar positions in the church I grew up in were in their thirties or older. As a fairly recent church plant, we do things a bit differently, but still…I felt much too young, far too inexperienced, and woefully inadequate for such a task.
Last spring, I was offered a position as a teaching assistant at my alma mater Kuyper College. Throughout the summer I had a few conversations about it, and now Thursdays (and some Tuesdays) find me in the classroom. Other days I grade papers and assist students outside of the classroom. And through it all, I often feel as though I don’t know what I’m doing.
The quote “God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called” comes to mind (though I couldn’t track down a source for it). It’s a little cliche, trite, or maybe even cheesy, but feels to fit both of these situations. It’s part of the reason I ended up saying yes to both of these positions, and resounds in my head as I sit at the conference room table or in a classroom full of students.
I think one of the biggest things that appeals to me about Christianity is God’s use of underdogs to do great things.
Look at Moses.
God told him, “Go talk to Pharaoh; tell him to let my people go.”
Moses balked. “I can’t talk good!” he told God.
But God didn’t let him off the hook, saying, “Oh, right, you’re not good enough for this job, I’ll just find somebody else.”
Nope. (Because if God said, “You’re not good enough for this job,” nothing in ministry would ever get done. We all fall short.)
So God found Moses’ brother Aaron and had him do the talking for Moses.
Moses wasn’t equipped; God equipped him.
Maybe that’s the way all our stories go. “I wasn’t equipped; God equipped me.” Even though it may not feel that way at the time we begin, or in the middle, or maybe even at the end.
But if I have learned anything from Bible stories, my own story, and the stories of those around me, it is that God uses broken people. People who feel inadequate, overwhelmed, and like there is no possible way they could ever do what God has asked them to.
I’m not saying I feel like I’m going to be a class-A member of the leadership team, or that I’ll be the most rockin’ TA ever and all the students in my classes will write me letters of appreciation for all I did for them. Far from it. I still feel like I might throw up as we discuss and make decisions that are important to the life of our church, and like the comments I write on students’ papers might be completely unhelpful.
But I think God can use it anyway.
Til next time…