‘Many are called, but few are chosen’

Many scriptures in the Bible invites each of us to repent and come to Christ in faith so that we may live for Christ and have eternal life. Matthew 22:14 (KJV) says: “Many are called, but few are chosen.” So, you may be called, but you may not be chosen.

The Bible teaches us in Jeremiah that before we are formed in our mother’s womb, God has a plan for our life. Everything we do in life, from birth to death, prepares us for God’s call according to His purpose.

I made a decision as a child to join the church, to follow Christ and to live according to his Word. As an adult, those reasons did not change. What changed is my ongoing need to understand how I live out my faith as one who was not only called, but one who was chosen.

I still struggle with how much control I have over my daily decisions, especially when I make those that are not pleasing to me and do not honor God. The good news is, the Holy Spirit is always working on the inside to help guide me in my decision-making.

My belief that I am among the chosen is the foundation for my decision to be a religious leader. How that decision came about encompasses many encounters with God.

 — Alberta McCrory, Gaines Chapel AME Church, Anniston

God called me — literally

I didn’t so much DECIDE to become a minister as I was called, pushed and cajoled by God into becoming one.

It started in church camp. I was a shy girl with very little understanding of where I fit in the world, and my counselors saw something that I couldn’t. For two years, counselors named me “most likely to become a minister,” which was shocking. At the time, I thought it was flattering, but not necessarily prophetic.

The summer before college, I was lying awake one night, contemplating what my major should be. Should I major in nursing or education? Suddenly, out of the dark, I heard a voice (I know, it sounds nuts!). It said, “You’ll major in Religion, and you’ll be a minister.” It was such an overwhelming moment, and I knew without a doubt it was God. God CALLED me into ministry.

So, I majored in religion and got A’s for the first time. My first ministry position was pretty awful, though, and I left it swearing I would NEVER work in a church again! Then my old youth minister called asking if I’d work under her as the Youth Director. Since I had no other prospects following graduation, I said yes, though I knew it would  only be temporary.

It was in that position, working with those youth, that I finally accepted my Call. I fell in love with the kids, with the mission of the job and with God. It was then that I decided to apply to seminary. I’ve never truly felt qualified to do this work (I’ve often felt like a fraud, waiting to be figured out), and I often wonder how in the world I ended up with such responsibility! I mean, how in the world am I qualified to lead people to Christ?

Well, I’m not. But God uses me anyway, and I keep saying, “OK.” That’s the thing about ministry – God can use the most unlikely people to do His work. We just have to be willing to do it! 

— Rev. Laura Hutchinson, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)