Lord, Why Not Call Bill Instead of Me? (Part 3)

Click on following for earlier articles: Part 1 and Part 2.

For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his generation, fell asleep…(Acts 13:36)

Not too long ago, a young girl was suffering through her first night working at the pizza delivery store where I work. She was nervous and self-conscious. And worst of all, it was Friday night. We were busy!

My manager brought her to me. “Just listen to Larry on the phone and do it the same way,” said the manager to the girl. Then, the manager left.

The phone rang; I picked it up. I greeted the customer,  introduced myself and entered the name on a computer. Then I added, “So, where have you been, we’ve been waiting all evening for your phone call? What’s your excuse?”

I continued throughout the whole phone order in this light-hearted banter. When I finished, I looked at the young girl. She broke down crying. “I can’t be like you. That’s not me.”

And of course, she was right. She needed to be herself.

This experience illustrates a major problem with us American believers, and probably most western ones.  Christianity desires standardization. We want cookie-cutter callings, stamped and approved by some well-respected college, Bible school or mentor.

Wait a second! I’m not against all Bible schools or mentors, okay? Just maybe 90% of them; but at least, this allows some leeway in my thinking.

“Why?” you shout.

“Good question,” I reply.

Who mentored Charles Finney, William Booth, Maria Woodworth-Etter, Evan Roberts, Billy Sunday, William Seymour, John Lake, Aimee Semple McPherson, Smith Wigglesworth, Jack Coe, Kathryn Kuhlman and hundreds of other pioneers? No one! Each sought the Lord and brought forth a special uniqueness, unlike any other,  for his or her generation.

To be honest, our generation does not need another Finney, Booth, Etter, Roberts, Sunday and so forth.  Not at all. We need callings of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher who are totally new and will reflect what Jesus wants done in our age.

And this can not be carried out by standardized, cookie-cutter methods where one size fits all. It must be unique for each person, guided by the Lord and suited to the uniqueness of the individual.

My personal beliefs on training people for their callings is much like General William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army:

Here’s a Bible. There’s a place on the floor over there where you can pray. Tomorrow morning, you will be out on the streets ministering and preaching to people.

Would people make mistakes under my system? Yes; maybe lots of them. But all the problems can be talked out over supper at the end of the day.

Oh! And by the way, this is the way the early Christians did it. They called it church.

(Continued in Part 4.)


Filed under Christianity, Christians, Church, church planting, Emergent Church, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, Red Letter Christians, reformation, Religion, spiritual warfare

11 responses to “Lord, Why Not Call Bill Instead of Me? (Part 3)

  1. You’re so right, Larry. No one can be me, but me, and if I’m not me, it won’t get done. Still…Jesus told us to make disciples.

  2. seriouswhimsey,

    I’m big on people learning how to walk in their callings according to the way Jesus has in mind for them, not out of some textbook.

  3. “I’m big on people learning how to walk in their callings according to the way Jesus has in mind for them, not out of some textbook”

    Hi Larry
    One of the great blessings of this sort of theology is that it liberates ME from a burden that God didn’t intend me to carry.
    ie. It just isn’t my responsibility what another person does for God.
    I spend most of the time when I am encouraging others, just pointing them back to Jesus.
    “Just start walking out your faith”. Don’t go to college to get all studied up about God, just walk out with Him, live IN Him, breathe Him, and it’ll all fall into place.

    GOD is the best DAD in the whole universe. He just wants his OWN children to grow up in all their OWN gifts and attributes not someone else’s.

    God never created clones, nor should we.

  4. Frank,

    As usual, your comments are invaluable to everyone who takes the time to read this post. There is such a depth in what you wrote. Thanks.

  5. Also, my thinking on how callings should be trained did not happen overnight in the form of a deep revelation. My views came over a period of time, in what I would call a steady erosion of my personal legalistic views by the grinding power of the Holy Spirit.

  6. “Who mentored Charles Finney, William Booth . . .”


    I hate that I can’t read all the posts that show up from my blogroll. But occasionally I have a little extra time to do so. I always enjoy it when I do.

    Very glad my time fell on this one of yours. There is a compelling that lures me deeper and closer. I am very aware that He is my teacher. It is a preperation that only He can perform as only He knows what He is preparing me for.

    Good post.


  7. Mike,

    Thanks. I have the same problem.

  8. Pingback: Lord, Why Not Call Bill Instead of Me? (Part 7) « Larry Who

  9. Pingback: Lord, Why Not Call Bill Instead of Me? (Part 8) « Larry Who

  10. Pingback: Lord, Why Not Call Bill Instead of Me? (Part 9) « Larry Who

  11. Pingback: Lord, Why Not Call Bill Instead of Me? (Part 10) « Larry Who

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