Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ryan Graham is Called

Last night I went to see my dear friend, Ryan Graham, play a show with his band, Good Luck Varsity, after being on tour for about two months.  In fact, they were able to bring the entire tour with them back home, which was fun to see them interact with the brothers they had made during these last two months (to certainly include my opportunity to enjoy a really good metal-core band!).

Now, I’m getting old.  I don’t particularly enjoy going to shows very often (perhaps it’s too “scene” for me now), and if I do make it out to a show, I generally try to stay as far away from the “mosh pit” (or whatever it’s called these days) as possible.  However, it’s not only my age that keeps me out of the “mosh pit”, but, rather, I enjoy watching the bands play and express their passion through music by the various antics performed while on stage (metal-core bands certainly have some of the most entertaining antics!).

I’ll come back to this in a minute…

I’ve heard before that a “calling”, in regards to ministry, can be broken down into three parts:

  1. You have a passion to do something;
  2. You have an opportunity to do that something; and
  3. You have been affirmed in your doing of that something.

This breakdown of what it means to be “called” has been personally helpful, as I’ve considered my future and what it means to be “called” to teach, write, and disciple.

Now, back to last night…

As I stood near the back corner of the room watching Ryan play, I suddenly felt deep gladness in my heart, because he is following his “calling”.  Now, most people will grumble and complain that those who play in bands need to “grow up, get a job, and become a man”, and although I believe that might be an eventual necessity (it’s what I had to do), it is, nonetheless, encouraging for me to see Ryan presently pursuing what he feels “called” to do (for he certainly has the passion, opportunity, and affirmation of what he is doing).

Please hear what I’m not saying: Not everyone who simply has a passion for music should immediately quit his or her job and start touring.  Instead let this be an opportunity for pause, wherein we might contemplate what it means to be “called” in our own lives.  May we consider the above three requirements and see where we are in relation to living out our “calling” in relation to the ministry of Jesus.

I’m happy for Ryan; I’m happy for his ministry; and, I’m happy that he is honoring God in his ministry.

1 comment:

  1. Dan, thanks for this. I've been revisiting the idea of "calling" lately. When I first began to sense God wanted me in ministry and it was confirmed by my college pastor, he gave me a book by Os Guinness on the topic of calling. I can't really remember what it was about. I do remember a book titled: "Called and Committed" and i think it must still be in my bookcase. Somewhere along the way i got the idea that the terms "call" - "called" - "calling" don't really ever mean in Scriptures what we tend to mean when we say "I'm called to do..." Other than Paul's "Macedonian call" the term "call" has mostly to do with being called unto Christ for salvation - or at least invited in that direction, as in: "many are called few are chosen". Can you think of a place where "calling" in the Bible means what we mean by "following a calling"? Lately, I've been using the (not so biblical)term, "wired", as in: "God has given us a certain set of wiring," and we can't help but to be bent toward serving him in the way we are hard-wired to do so. The modern Puritan types like to say we've been endowed with certain "gifts and graces" (which sounds much more biblical than being "wired"). Acknowledging those gifts and graces and using them for the edification of the church and the spread of the gospel turns them into "ministry". However, I must say, i do like your three requirements and i think they're helpful and still fit with being wired or speaking in terms of gifts and graces. My Greek professor, Scott Hafemann, a man utterly convinced of the Sovereignty of God made manifest in every particle of the universe, used to say, "Truly draw near to God, then do what you want". Sounds good, but my problem is that "what I want to do" always seems to be changing! -jonathan