Have We Lost A Generation To The Office Of Ministry?

hey everyone.

a few years ago, i began discussions about the loss of a generation of teens at the turn of the century  who were told that the calling to 'marketplace' was the same as the calling to 'ministry'. understand that they are not the same. one is not more valuable than the other. there simply is a difference in responsibility for each of these.

i completely believe that there are two callings. first, the specific calling for some christians (ephesians 4.11) to be in service and office of the profession (either full-time or part-time) of minister. and second, the general calling for all christians (ephesians 4.12) to be taught by those in the specific calling to be salt and light everywhere.

please give me your thoughts on this blog issue. these are my thoughts over the past year about the decreasing call to ministry that many young people are evading thinking that they can trade the specific calling  for a general one. the reason for my blog?

increasingly, almost every week, i have conversations with students who are coming back to the specific call because they were almost talked out of it by well-meaning youth leaders. one thing i have seen for decades in ministry is that you cannot evade the specific call to ministry. it does not go away even under the darkest of times.

messages to our young people over the past few years have been increasing the importance of the general call of all believers to ministry in the marketplace. of that i have no problem. that is truly christian. what worries me is that some can get caught in this and not consider the specific call to ministry. I am not looking for the pendulum to swing from one end of this discussion to the other. simply for ephesians 4.11-12 to be taught in balance.

a quick look at camp history or sunday night services would reflect this. a week didn't go by in a summer camp that the speaker didn't preach on the call to specific ministry. now, it is foreign. maybe mentioned, but, certainly very few complete messages on the subject. the message calling our generation to accept the call to specific ministry may have been the impetus that was keeping our movement younger. if we continue to have a loss of preaching and teaching on the specific call of god upon someone's life for the office of ministry, we will continue to see this loss.

i think there are two things we must overcome in this next 'teen decade' of 2013-2019:

first, that we must balance the specific call and the general call to marketplace ministry and not simply swing the pendulum back the other way so that we lose the market-place in another decade.

second, please challenge this generation to ministry. i believe the church has under-challenged this generation in that regard. look to bring the significance of the call to the youth of the church that are called. it is still an honorable calling.