I believe that everybody has that one thing that they know, or eventually figure out that motivates them, inspires them and pushes them through tough times. Everybody has at least ONE THING that the Divine has called and equipped them to do.
I remember it like it was last night. I was at Youth Camp in the summer of 1975. Somewhere between Lubbock and Amarillo, Texas I was neck deep in puppy love with DeAnna Johnson and knowing deep in my soul that the Divine was prompting me to respond to His nudging to surrender my life to the ministry of the Gospel. I didn’t yet know that pastoring a local church was what the Divine was preparing me for, but I did know that He was done prompting, and was now shoving me toward a decision that would rock my world, and the lives of the family I couldn’t yet imagine.
I responded to a call for any young men or women that felt God calling them to vocational ministry. Before I knew it, I was praying with my youth pastor and promising the Lord that I would give my life to preparing for the work of ministry. WOW! It seemed like such a passionate respond to the Divine and truly it was. But I didn’t act on it. I ran from it.
After years of watching my Dad surrender everything he had to serve the local church, including being my dad, I determined, NO THANKS to that life. I had seen my Dad give and serve and sacrifice his all, only to watch the same men and women he was serving, backstab, gossip and berate him. That’s why I put my ministry calling on the shelf until 1988, twelve years later.
My early days in ministry were some of my best. I discovered that I enjoyed building programs, facilities, and followers. I loved serving children and their families. I was then “promoted” to the Family Pastor over all the discipleship ministries of a large and rapidly growing mega-church. And then a few months later to the role of Executive Pastor. That’s when things started going awry. I stepped into a role that was way out of my league and capacity. I allowed pride and power to rule my thinking and I lost sight of the ONE THING that I was confident in – I was called to serve and shepherd folks, not administrate them.
But having come out of a business background, it seemed natural that I would be comfortable in that role. And I was, so much so that I left that church to join one of the world’s largest mission organizations, only to become their Chief Operating Officer. I was now, deeper into administration and more frustrated as I was getting further and further away from the one thing that I knew the Divine was lassoing me for – shepherding and serving people. The money and perks were great, but I never, not one single day, in that role felt a sense of peace or contentment. I was an ugly, angry bull in a dainty little china shop. MY BAD!!
I knew what my ONE THING was, but I was convinced that I could just simply be around what I was called to. I somehow believed that I could give in to 50% of the call to my ONE THING and God would say atta boy! But I was miserable and growing further and further from my ONE THING.
In 2011, Sugar Hill Church took a chance on a then 50-year-old pastor that had yet to serve anyone, anywhere as a lead shepherd. I’ll never forget the joy I sensed in stepping into my ONE THING. It’s been a fast-paced, bumpy ride over the past six years. I’ve had some awesome seasons and a few terrible seasons, but I’ve never lacked the knowledge that I was living out my ONE THING. As a result, I’ve never been more grateful, more fulfilled, or more contented than I am today. This is what it feels like to live, breathe, and serve in the ONE THING the Divine calls us to.
- So, what is your ONE THING?
- Are you serving and leading in your ONE THING?
- Is there a sense of wonder in you as you see God work in and through your daily life?
- Can you name and claim your ONE THING?
If not, I want to encourage you to do three things.
- Simply ask the Divine to make it clear to you what His ONE THING is for your life.
- Start writing down the things you know that you are blessed and gifted with, including the joy you sense when functioning within them.
- Let friends and family pray for and with you as you search for your ONE THING.
I’ll promise you that God is not playing games with you. He promised that he has plans for you to prosper, so why wouldn’t you want to know your ONE THING. He wants you to surrender to serve in the ONE WAY, for your ONE GOD, in your ONE THING! Don’t throw away all the years that I did before you act on your ONE THING! Don’t look back and have to state the saddest words that any Christ-follower could ever utter; I wish I would have. Allow the Divine to show you your ONE THING and then act on it. You can take it to the bank – You’ll be blessed and grateful you did, I promise!
Find Peace in Your ONE THING,