Can I Know if I Am Called to Ministry? With Dr. Scott Pace and Shane Pruitt [Episode 244]

Know Called Ministry Dr. Scott Pace Shane Pruitt

How do you know if you’re being called into ministry? And isn’t every Christian called to some extent? So how do you recognize your calling, and then what do you do about it?

My friend, if you’ve asked any of these questions about God’s calling on your life, you’re not alone! And here’s the good news … today, we have lots of answers!

Dr. Scott Pace and Shane Pruitt join us on the podcast to unpack the different kinds of callings there are as well as give you four ways to recognize if you’re being called. Plus, they’ll show you a clear path to move forward in your calling with confidence that it’s from the Lord.

Because, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s hard to discern whether what we think is a calling is actually from the Lord or from our own misleading motives.

So, as we talk about their book, Calling Out the Called: Discipling Those Called to Ministry Leadership, Scott and Shane will clear up the confusion on how to recognize a calling from the Lord on your life. Then they’ll give you some daily practical habits to help you walk worthy of your call according to Ephesians 4:1.

Meet Scott

Dr. Scott Pace is the Vice President of Undergraduate Studies, Dean of The College at Southeastern, and Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Before all that, he was an accountant and a business manager. He and his wife, Dana, have been married since 1999 and have four children – Gracelyn, Tyler, Tessa, and Cassie.

Meet Shane

Shane Pruitt is a traveling communicator, evangelist, and Bible teacher, and he also serves as the National Next Gen Director for the North American Mission Board. He and his wife, Kasi, live in Rockwall, Texas with their six children – Raygen, Harper, Titus, Morris, Elliot, and Glory. His writing has been featured in RELEVANT, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, and The Gospel Coalition, and he’s written several books including the one he co-wrote with Scott Pace, Calling out the Called.

[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below. Then check out the links below for more helpful resources.]

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Episode Transcript

4:13 Podcast: Can I Know if I Am Called to Ministry? With Dr. Scott Pace and Shane Pruitt [Episode 244]

Shane Pruitt: We want God-called leaders, not grandma-called leaders.

Jennifer Rothschild: Not grandma-called.

Shane Pruitt: Yeah, yeah, yeah. We want God-called leaders, not grandma-called leaders. Because we were, you know, all told by our grandmothers, hey, you're going to be the next Billy Graham, or you're going to be the next so and so, you know, and then people start believing that. So, no, no, no, we don't want Grandma telling us we're called to ministry; we want God calling us to ministry.

Jennifer Rothschild: Are you called to ministry? Is every Christian called? And how do you really know if you are? And if you are, what do you do about it? Lots of questions when it comes to being called. And the good news is, today we have lots of answers. Scott Pace and Shane Pruitt will unpack the kinds of callings that there are, and they're going to give you four ways to recognize if you're called, and then they'll give you a clear path to move forward. So let the confusion be gone and the clarity begin.

K.C., we got lots of brothers on the podcast today, so let's do it.

K.C. Wright: Oh, it's going to be so good. Let's go.

Welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you up to live the "I Can" life, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

Now, welcome your host, my soul sister, Jennifer Rothschild.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, hey there. Just here to help you be and do all and even more than you feel capable of as you live this "I Can" life of Philippians 4:13. It is Christ's power in us that equips us, enables us, and empowers us to be and do all the things.

All right, my people. I love what we're talking about today because it's a thing with all of us. In fact, anytime we do something on feeling called or knowing if you're called or knowing your purpose, that kind of thing, those podcasts always have the highest downloads. In fact, we'll have a link to Paula Faris, because that was the topic she talked about and it was such a popular podcast. But I got to say, it's good we talk about this because there is some confusion. And people have asked me many times, K.C., "When did you know you were called?"

K.C. Wright: Yeah. When did you know?

Jennifer Rothschild: When did you know? And I'm not sure that everybody has that moment. And I think it's important to -- well, to acknowledge that. I mean, I've got a couple of thoughts about calling. Like, I just knew -- from the moment that I received Christ, like, I fell in love, I loved His Word, and I had just this sense of whatever. All the days of my life, whatever, I'm with --

K.C. Wright: Wow.

Jennifer Rothschild: You know? And it was not, oh, I feel called; it was just, I love Jesus and I want to follow.

K.C. Wright: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: Which I look back and I'm like, well, that is our ultimate calling, of course. And, of course, it for me has translated into what some might call, quote/unquote, a vocational calling. But here's the thing. I really believe that ministry, like what I do, it is not something I chose and I achieved. It is something that God chose for me and I received. And every time I walked through an opportunity that he gave me and I said yes to it, and just kept stepping down that path of a long obedience in the same direction, you know, I realize, yes, I am called. He gifted me toward certain things that prepared me and equipped me to live out this calling of public ministry. But my ultimate calling is to love Jesus and love people in the private moments of my life, you know?

K.C. Wright: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: And so, K.C., you're a pastor of a church. Did you have that moment, that aha moment, when you knew you were called?

K.C. Wright: Well, I remember, you know, being young and asking my pastor's wife -- I remember growing up in this little country church and I would watch Brother Stanley receive communion. And I remember as a little boy sitting next to him on that pew going, wow, Brother Stanley cries when he receives communion. I want to cry when I receive communion. Because it meant something, right?

Jennifer Rothschild: You could tell. Right.

K.C. Wright: And they built a little step stool thing for me to get up behind the pulpit to read a Scripture on Sundays. I still remember that little stool they made for me. But I've always sensed God's hand on me. There have been times -- I remember even one time riding my big green bike down by Grandma Wright's house, down her little gravel road to her house, and I just knew God was with me.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. Yes.

K.C. Wright: But I remember asking Brother Stanley's wife once, "How do you know you're called?" when I was a kid working at a grocery store, and she kind of gave me this weird round-about answer. But I'm serious, I was like, do you get a call? No.

Jennifer Rothschild: Does God call you? I know. I'm so glad you said that, K.C., and I'm glad we're having this conversation, because it is. There's a lot of confusion. And here's the thing also, our people. There is not a formula.

K.C. Wright: No.

Jennifer Rothschild: We do not need -- it doesn't look the same for everybody, but it is always, I believe, affirmed. It is affirmed through others through our giftings and through our opportunities.

And you heard at the beginning of this podcast Shane saying we don't want to be Grandma-called, we want to be God-called. Because Grandma thinks you can do anything. But we want to know what God is calling us to do. So I love it. I got to talk to these two guys.

K.C. Wright: Wow.

Jennifer Rothschild: So Jennifer's here with K.C., Shane, and Scott today. So let's introduce our two brothers.

K.C. Wright: Yes. Dr. Scott Pace is the Vice President of Undergraduate Studies, Dean of the College of Southeastern, and Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Preaching at Southeastern Baptist's Theological Seminary. Before all that, he was an accountant and a business manager. He and his wife, Dana, have been married since 1999 and have four children: Gracelyn, Tyler, Tessa, and Cassie.

Now, Shane Pruitt is a traveling communicator, evangelist, and Bible teacher and also serves as the National Next Generation Director for the North American Mission Board. He and his wife, Kasi, live in Rockwall, Texas, and their six -- yes, six --

Jennifer Rothschild: Six.

K.C. Wright: -- children, Raygen, Harper, Titus, Morris, Elliot, and -- love this -- Glory.

Jennifer Rothschild: I know. Isn't that a fun name?

K.C. Wright: And I love Titus. I love all the names.

Jennifer Rothschild: Listen, the names of all these guys' kids, they're just adorable. But they've got the 12 Tribes of Judah between them, it seems like. Anyway, go ahead.

K.C. Wright: Well, Shane's writing has been featured on RELEVANT, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, and The Gospel Coalition. He's written several books, including this one he co-wrote with Scott Pace. It's the book Jennifer is talking about with them today, "Calling Out the Called." Now, let's listen in.

Jennifer Rothschild: All right, I'm really happy I've got Shane and Scott on today. I love this. And I'm going to start with just the main thing here. Because whenever, my brothers, we do a podcast about knowing your calling or knowing your purpose, that kind of stuff, we always get so many downloads. So I know this is a real thing with people. So let's start with that. What is a calling and how do we know that it actually exists?

Scott Pace: Yeah, it's a -- you know, it's one of those things that we see in Scripture where God specifically saves individuals with an intentional purpose in mind. He wants to use all of us, so he has a plan for us. So what Shane and I often discuss and talk about is there's a universal calling for all believers that we're called to leverage our life for the cause of Christ, to serve him, to follow him, and to help fulfill the Great Commission in whatever context or vocational capacity that may include. And at the same time, there's a unique calling that we speak about as it relates to a call to vocational ministry, where God sets apart some for those who are to give their life for the vocational service of the church in a local church setting on a broader church scale.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. So what I just heard you say is there's a universal calling upon every believer.

Scott Pace: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. Why don't you give us -- just in case somebody's just now trying to assimilate all that into their gray matter, what are the notable aspects of a universal calling? Like, when we receive Christ and we are walking with him, how does that universal calling show up?

Scott Pace: I would just put it in two words: to serve and surrender. So to serve others, to serve the local church, and to surrender your life to the mission, the greater cause that God has for us to leverage our lives to be a part of. So they're called to serve the Body of Christ and to serve others and to surrender their life to what God's plan is for them, whatever that may include.

Jennifer Rothschild: So that means if I'm a mail carrier or if I work at Walmart, I am living out my universal calling?

Scott Pace: That's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: All right. So then you mentioned a vocational calling. What does that look like, a unique calling?

Shane Pruitt: Yeah, absolutely, Jennifer. I love these questions, because this is probably the number one question we get the most when talking about a calling to ministry leadership and what's that look like.

What Scott said, there's a universal calling on every believer to know Jesus and to make Jesus known. I think sometimes in the local church we think it's only the professional Christians who do that, which is usually right, the pastor or the church staff or the leaders. But we're all called to that.

But in Scripture, you see a unique calling on some towards ministry leadership or to give their life away to the mission field. And so you'll see -- you know, like in Scripture you see a specific unique calling on Jeremiah or Deborah or Phoebe or Timothy, and their job is to do Ephesians 4:12, to equip the saints for the work of ministry. That's why I love Ephesians 4:11-12. You see Ephesians 4:11, which -- and God gave some to be pastors and leaders and evangelists and prophets and so forth to do Ephesians 4:12, to equip the saints for the work of ministry. And so you really see both of those types of calling there -- right? -- to equip the saints for the work of ministry.

The saints aren't just a football team in New Orleans or people in old paintings with halos around their head. Right? If you've been bought by the blood of Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit of God, you are a saint of God according to the New Testament. Now, sometimes I feel more like an ain't than a saint, but according to the New Testament, I am a saint of God. But thankfully the Lord has blessed the local church with leaders who have been uniquely called by him to equip us for the work of ministry, and so we also got to get back to that in the church. I think we've done better in the church in recent years of a universal calling on all believers to serve. You know, we'll say things, you know, like every member a missionary, every member a minister. All of those things are true. But we also got to get back to a unique calling on some towards ministry leadership. I think the ministry leadership pipeline is where we've seen a lack. Or even Barna tells us less than 15% of all protestant ministry leaders are under the age of 40 now. Less than 15%. Yeah. So if we were like a baseball team or a softball team, it's like we don't have a farm system coming up, you know. So we got to get back to that calling to know that God's called some to a unique calling in ministry leadership, to give their life away to equipping the saints for the work of ministry.

And Scott and I always want to make it clear, we're not saying there's a varsity team and a JV team.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, good.

Shane Pruitt: We're saying it's all equally important, just differing roles.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. That's a good distinction.

And you mentioned some of Barna's stats, so let's stop there for a second. Because I read that the number of people interested in pastoral ministry is dropping significantly. Like, from 1992 to 2017, the percentage of pastors under the age of 55 dropped from 75% to 50%. And it doesn't show signs of stopping either. So let's kind of unpack that, what you think the deal is. Are fewer people actually being called, or are Christians less interested? Could it be the public perception of ministry? What do you think it is?

Scott Pace: Yeah, there's a combination of those factors in some of those statistics you mentioned. It balances out to even what Shane was describing. There's more protestant pastors over the age of 65 than there are under the age of 40, which is really a daunting thing in terms of, man, there's a ministry leadership famine that we're kind of entering into and find ourselves in.

But I think the reasons why, some of it was the emphasis and has been the emphasis on trying to help everyone recognize their value in Christ and to the kingdom and their involvement in the church. But we've also seen -- whether it be moral failures, doctrinal compromise, we've seen a lot of struggles where people kind of don't look at those in ministry leadership with any kind of esteem or value. They don't kind of value that.

The other thing is, too, when you talk to ministry leaders -- this is an indictment on us -- we oftentimes find ourselves complaining so much about what the nature of our role and the responsibilities we have, how tired we are, how hard it is, and that doesn't endear people to consider, man, is God calling me to that? They almost eliminate that as an option. Well, man, I definitely don't want to do what you do. And then too, we haven't been intentional to specifically elevate the conversation to say, Would you consider this?

I was talking to a prominent pastor here in our area just a couple of weeks ago who was burdened by this lack of ministry leaders, and he kind of challenged his congregation the next Sunday in his invitation time to say, Some of you need to consider a career change. God has leveraged your life to this point for his purpose, but he may be leading some of you to consider vocational ministry. And four of his members that week emailed him independently to say, I need to be praying through this. I feel like God's leading me to consider this. And that's really, I think, the biggest thing, is we haven't been elevating the conversation or actually inviting people to consider and prayerfully evaluate whether God is calling them to that.

Jennifer Rothschild: So what's interesting about that is -- what I heard you say is basically the one who is in that role has an added honor or responsibility to elevate that and invite others to consider it. So what does that look like? I mean, you just mentioned a pastor actually mentioned it in an invitation. And for our listeners who may not be part of a Protestant denomination where that occurs, that's just where a pastor will literally invite if you want to come pray, if you want to learn more about Christ or receive Christ or join our church, et cetera, you come forward.

Scott Pace: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: So give us a picture of what that could potentially look like to help shift the percentages.

Shane Pruitt: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that's it. You know, I really think God has not stopped calling people; I think we've just stopped as current leaders asking people to consider if God's calling them. So I think that can look like many ways. One can be a public invitation.

Jennifer, I remember in the church I got saved in and called to ministry in, our pastor -- it was a part of his regular rhythm. It was our youth pastor, part of their regular rhythm, our small group leaders, to where they would constantly ask people, Hey, is God calling you to ministry leadership? Have you considered this? And so it'd be more of a general call. But also, it'd be a lot of conversations one on one, maybe over coffee, over breakfast or lunch, where a leader would go, Hey, I see this in you. Do you see this in yourself?

And I always encourage leaders to ask those questions, but always say -- be sure to ask questions and not tell. You know, I think sometimes if we go, "Hey, God's calling you to ministry leadership," that can really confuse somebody if they don't feel that same call, you know. So we always want to encourage people. We say we want grandma-called leaders -- I mean, we want God-called leaders, not grandma-called leaders.

Jennifer Rothschild: Not grandma-called.

Shane Pruitt: Yeah, yeah, yeah. We want God-called leaders, not grandma-called leaders. Because we were, you know, all told by our grandmothers, Hey, you're going to be the next Billy Graham, or you're going to be the next so and so, you know, and then people start believing that. So, no, no, no, we don't want Grandma telling us we're called to ministry, we want God calling us to ministry.

But I think often God will use trusted brothers and sisters in our life to reveal his calling by simply saying, Hey, I see this in you. Do you see this in yourself? You love the Lord, you love the church, you love discipling others, you love serving. Do you feel like God's calling you to ministry leadership or to the mission field? You know, some people go, Hey, every time we talk, you bring up Africa. Maybe God's calling you to be a missionary. And you need to surrender to that call. Because at the end of the day, I think ultimately calling is just saying yes to Jesus. Which aren't we all supposed to do that? The moment we get saved, we say yes to Jesus, and it's the only answer we can ever give him again. Yes, Lord. Whatever you called me to, the answer is yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Every morning it's new.

Shane Pruitt: Every morning.

Jennifer Rothschild: We say yes every morning.

You know what I liked, too, about that answer is it goes both ways. The call, the invitation to consider a vocational or a unique calling isn't just coming from ministry leaders, it's coming from each other. The Holy Spirit empowers each of us to ask good questions and to observe things. But I know that there are some people, me included, who often are kind of confused. What's just my good intentions, what's really a calling? So in your book, you give us four ways to recognize if we are called. So can you go through those four ways to recognize a calling.

Scott Pace: Yeah. It includes part of that internal desire that you'll begin to sense that God is kind of compelling you. That's somewhat of a subjective discernment, and yet it's always discerned according to the objective truth of Scripture. So there's some personal kind of discernment, so there's the inward. Then there's the outward, which is going to include your gifts, your skills, your abilities, those types of things.

Then you have what Shane was just describing, brothers and sisters in Christ, that your calling should be discerned within the context of the local body. That's why God gives us one another, to help us foster that understanding and deepen not just our walk with Christ, but our faithfulness in that way. And so when you look at the internal, the external in terms of the gifts, the desires and the passions, and then combine that with the brothers and sisters in Christ in there.

And then opportunities. God begins to put in your way open doors for you to serve and you begin to see fruit from your ministry. And that's really kind of that last capstone piece that you begin to see. Sometimes with our own insecurities or inadequacies, we don't see God using us or able to use us in a certain way, so fears and kind of those types of things kind of get in the way. But when we see God doing beyond what we would otherwise do in our own strength or ability, that's kind of fruitfulness that affirms God is calling me and he's using me and he's working not just in me, but through me. And so that outward fruit is another tangible evidence of maybe our calling to a particular vocational capacity.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's good. That's good, the fruit.

Scott Pace: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: And I love that you distinguish the fruit from the feelings. Because sometimes you might have all the insecurity, but if there's fruit there, you can trust what God is doing through you.

Scott Pace: Absolutely.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. You also talk about, in your book, counting the cost. Okay? So when it comes to those difficult moments. So we need to understand what it means to count the cost before stepping into ministry. So what do you mean by that?

Shane Pruitt: Yeah. And that's why I think calling is so important. Because ministry leadership, going to the mission field, it is a spiritual warfare. It's not a game; it's war. And so if you're not called, in a sense you will get your face kicked in. You know what I mean? Like, it is war. And so that's why I think there's going to be certain seasons where your calling is going to be the only thing to get you through it, so that's why I think it's so important to have that call from the Lord. But it's a great reminder to go count the cost, and in that to go, hey, it's not easy.

In fact, I coach a lot of ministry leaders and always tell them if ministry is easy to you, it's probably because you're taking it easy. You know what I mean?

Jennifer Rothschild: Ooh, yeah.

Shane Pruitt: But ministry is not easy, but it should be joyful. If you're miserable in your calling, then I think you really need to seek the Lord on that. Because there should be joy there, there should be peace. Even if the situation around you is dangerous, you should still have peace and joy in the midst of the calm knowing that the Lord is with you, he is for you. And what I mean dangerous, maybe the Lord has called you to a difficult mission field or to a difficult ministry. And so in the world's eyes, that seems like a crazy calling; but in the Lord's eyes, it's definitely what he's called you to.

And the only way you're going to know that is to have that Holy Spirit, depend on him, and know that, hey, he's your companion. So you're not doing it alone; he's with you. He's your comforter. There's going to be a lot of times where you're going to need counseling, maybe from other people, but the ultimate counselor, the Spirit himself. And then to know he's the one that's empowering you. That even when what God's called you to may be difficult, he that is in us is greater than he that is in the world.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Shane Pruitt: But I think it's knowing that upfront and having that understanding upfront and not just going in blindly.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Because you got to manage the expectations. Sometimes we think if something is not easy, it must not be right. And that's not always correct.

Shane Pruitt: Yeah, mm-hmm.

Scott Pace: Right.

Shane Pruitt: Yeah. So many times -- and I think sometimes that can be our mindset, especially in the Western hemisphere or in the American church, to go, oh, if it's difficult, it must not be God's will.

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Scott Pace: Correct.

Shane Pruitt: Sometimes in the Bible that's how God does show his will.

Scott Pace: Right.

Shane Pruitt: You know, if it's always comfortable, convenient, or mainly about you, the Lord is probably not in it. You know what I mean?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Yeah.

Shane Pruitt: But if it's something that God goes -- there's no way I could do this or survive this without the power of the Holy Spirit, it seems like those are often the moments that God's definitely into.

Jennifer Rothschild: Amen.

Scott Pace: Yeah. I would challenge people, you know, to consider if -- if you can do something in your own ability or strength, then you're shortchanging what God's will is for your life, because it will require more than what you can have to give in your own abilities or strength. It's going to require faith and dependence on him. And so if you feel like you're in that place where you've got this and you can do it in your own ability or strength, then you may be shortchanging God's will. Or if you don't count the cost and things get difficult, like Shane was just describing, you end up jumping ship and you short-circuit God's will on what he's trying to accomplish in your life by not walking through that season and allowing him to form you and shape you through all those experiences.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, word. All right. So now -- I love this because you just really gave that side of a person's calling -- okay? -- where they're in it, they're in the trenches, they're counting the cost. But then sometimes I think we can get confused about entering into a unique sense of calling with our motives. Okay? Like, we can get confused about our motives when it comes to ministry. So clue us in to what are some of the misleading motives for stepping into ministry.

Scott Pace: Yeah, one of the things we talk about in the book is oftentimes people feel like it's a way to say thank you for what God has done in their lives and saving them through Christ, and so they see this as the biggest form of gratitude. And that's not really a reason to go into ministry. You want to say thank you in terms of surrendering your life and living out of gratitude, but ministry, vocational ministry, isn't paying God back. We should never abuse God of his grace by thinking we have to do something to pay him back for what he's done for us. And so I think if people do it with that mindset, it can mislead them into a call to ministry.

I think the other thing, too, is we look at the people we respect the most, and sometimes we want to emulate them and we admire them. And while wanting to admire them, we can suddenly fall into a trap of wanting other people to feel that same way about us. And so either out of a genuine, sincere admiration of I want to do what you've done for me, I want to do that for other people, we can then transition or shift in a way our thinking, and so we actually are seeking the admiration of others, not just making a difference in life. So whether it's appreciation and trying to pay God back, or admiration and trying to admire those who have invested in us and maybe seek the admiration.

And then quite honestly, we have to be honest, because a lot of times in Scripture the people who were abusing their calling and misusing their calling for personal gain, those types of things, are there, there are motives that are there, and we have to check those as well at the door and see that it's not really about us.

I oftentimes challenge people -- ask, Why do you want to know what God's will is for your life? Do you want to know what God's will is for your life for your sake or do you want to know what God's will is for your life for his sake? You shouldn't pursue your calling and your will to satisfy you or to fulfill you; you should pursue that ultimately to bring glory and honor to God. And if you'll keep that in balance, it kind of changes the trajectory of why you're pursuing what you're pursuing and can kind of keep us on the right path.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's a question we don't ask one and done; it's a question we can ask every day to keep our motives pure. Because here's the thing. Y'all know this better than most. You can get into that position with the purest heart ever and then there can be a slippery slope because you do receive admiration.

Scott Pace: Sure.

Jennifer Rothschild: And so we can get totally upside down in this. But to ask that question every day, Why am I walking in my calling? Is it for my will, my sake, or is it for Christ?

Scott Pace: Yeah.

Shane Pruitt: So good.

Jennifer Rothschild: It's really good, y'all. Really good. I'm so recommending this book.

And I know that our listeners are in many different places in their walk and in their calling. And so I can just sense from our conversation that this book is not exclusive to those who feel a unique call to vocational ministry. There is something in this book for all of us, because we are all called.

Shane Pruitt: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. But, my brothers, I'm going to have to get to the last question, unfortunately. So I'm glad you've written this book so we can dive deeper.

You've already talked about this universal call that we all have. And there are some listening who have a very unique call to ministry. So let's say somebody is either prepping for their vocational unique call, they know they're called, they're trying to figure out what it looks like and how to do it, they're prepping, or they might even be right in the middle of living it. But we're all right in the middle of living our universal call to serve God and to surrender. What do our lives look like? Like, how should we be living? What are some very daily practical habits that help us to walk worthy of our calls?

Shane Pruitt: Yeah. Jennifer, I love this. And I love that we're landing the plane in this way. Really all calling, a calling unto salvation, a calling on our life to know Jesus and make Jesus known, a calling on our life to ministry leadership, whatever it is, it's really a calling to walk deeply with Jesus.

It's so funny, I've had so many people who've gotten the book to go, "Shane, you know what? More than anything, this is a spiritual disciplines book." And Scott and I intentionally wrote it that way. You know, to be men and women of prayer, to be men and women of The Word, to be men and women who serve, you know. It was really more of a spiritual disciplines book, because I think on some level that's even how we've gotten to some of the problems that Scott mentioned before, and, Jennifer, you mentioned, whether it was moral failures or people burning out or people just walking away from the faith. I think a lot of times, even when people were walking in their calling or trying to discover what their calling was, it was like, okay, hey, well, let's figure out what your gifts are. Let's do your spiritual aptitude test. Right? Let's see how to expand your ministry capability. And what we did, I think, is we became a bunch of gifted and talented people, but we didn't have a lot of character and integrity to sustain that. And then I think sometimes that can even put us on platforms that our character and integrity can't sustain. So really, the calling is to walk deeply with Jesus.

One of the greatest advices that I ever got -- I was 25, newly married, in ministry, and I saw a ministry hero of mine walk through a lobby in Jerusalem of all places. We were in Jerusalem and he walked through a lobby. And at that time -- you know, ministry leaders, especially when I was younger, were almost like athletes to me. You know, I was in awe of them.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, the rockstars.

Shane Pruitt: Yeah, exactly. So I ran up to him and introduced myself and said, "I'm 25, newly married, trying to walk in my calling. What advice would you give me?" And I'll never forget what he said. He said, "Hey, you focus on the depth of your ministry, you focus on the depth of your walk with God, and let him focus on the width and platform of it." I think daily almost we can get that backwards. We're trying to focus on the width or platform or the position. Instead, the calling is just to walk and focus on the depth and let everything else overflow from the depth of our walk with Jesus.

Somebody once said, "If the light on you outshines the light in you, eventually the light on you will burn you up." So may the light in us shine brightly than anything else that's shining on us.

Scott Pace: Yeah. I would echo that and just say it really does boil down to loving Jesus and living for Jesus. That's what we're all called to do. And so if we get beyond the loving Jesus, we've kind of misstepped or stepped out of what God's will is.

And, Jennifer, you quoted there Ephesians 4:1, that we are called to walk worthy of the calling with which he has called us, and that is to emulate him, to reflect him, to love him, and to live for him. And so that really is what it boils down to. Imagine that, it's that simple. Jesus did establish that as the greatest and the highest priority, to love him, to love others, and to let everything else flow from that to help fulfill his mission.

K.C. Wright: Man, I love these guys. And I really resonated with all they said. We are called to love Jesus and live for Jesus. So let's not complicate what God made simple. He makes it so simple.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, he does.

K.C. Wright: We make it so hard.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yep.

K.C. Wright: And let's not take this lightly, right? May we all walk worthy of his calling.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, may we.

You know, if you feel like you may be called into ministry, or maybe you know somebody, love somebody, and you think they're grappling with this "Am I Called?" question, you need this book. Well, but here's the deal. Like Shane said, we all need this book because it really helps us live out the depth that God is calling us to by unpacking and applying these spiritual disciplines.

K.C. Wright: I know you enjoyed this as much as we did. I mean, it was amazing.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Good stuff.

K.C. Wright: It was so rich, it was so timely. So go to the Show Notes now at to get a copy of their book and to read a transcript of this powerful conversation.

By the way, we are about to sign off, but I just need to say real quick, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Feel the podcast hug right now over the miles for your great reviews. You all are so generous with your encouragement and such kind words, and it means so much to me and Jennifer.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

K.C. Wright: So keep them coming, 4:13'ers. Your reviews really do make a huge difference.

So until next week, our people, love Jesus and live for Jesus. You can because you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. I can.

Jennifer Rothschild: I can.

K.C. Wright: And you can.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, you can.

K.C. Wright: Now, I do know this about calling. I just want to share this real quick.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, what?

K.C. Wright: I have seen those in my life that are called, but I never tell them that they're called. Because when the going gets rough and tough -- and it will, because ministry is spelled w-o-r-k --they have to go back to where God called them, and not man.


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