Epilogue to More
I wrote the book Finishing Well to tell the stories of leaders compelled by their faith to accomplish great things. Even as I’ve traveled through this stage in my own life, I am working to follow the unique “good work” created for me to walk in, with a burden to be the best possible steward of what God has uniquely given me.
In researching Finishing Well, I found that the sweet spot of calling is a powerful mechanism for impact. Most importantly, an impact that contributes to an eternal versus worldly scorecard that is measured in units of transformed lives. For the leaders I wrote about, personal calling is a beacon and road map for action. It cries out daily as a reminder that the One who made us in our mother’s wombs has divine plans for our lives.
One of the greatest ways for us to honor our Creator is by discovering and engaging the unique gifts and purposes He has given each us. Everyone has an Ephesians 2:10 calling that is meant to be lived out.
As I look out on the foreseeable future, my work swirls around, helping people activate their latent capacity into active energy via the powerful mechanism of personal calling. Take a minute to imagine what our world might look like if the Body of Christ was truly activated and engaged in joining God’s work, in the way He designed.
Within each person is the seed of a movement. This seed is activated by faithfully surrendering our will to the One who made us and wholeheartedly seeking to discover and engage the unique calling God places inside each of us. Personal calling is a profoundly significant gift of grace extended to us that tragically goes untapped by most people.
For centuries our forefathers sat on the sidelines and allowed trained clergy to read Scripture in a language the common man couldn’t understand. Martin Luther sparked a movement by putting God’s Word into the hands of the laity. We are now in the midst of another great movement where the lines between trained clergy and laity are becoming blurred, and the object of this transformation is each one of us acting as ministers of the gospel—24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We are blurring the lines by living lives of active engagement in our calling rather that passively watching others join in God’s work.
I’ve never been more encouraged that the Body of Christ is up for the challenge placed before us. We are poised for a “release movement” where the Body of Christ is mobilized on their Ephesians 2:10 callings to do good works in the world. There are plenty of movement makers among us that have the ability to make significant impact in our communities and around the world. You are one of those if you are reading this book.
Several years ago I committed time to studying the stories that Jesus taught. I was amazed to find that of his thirty parables, fifteen focused on grace and forgiveness via a relationship with the One who made us (we don’t earn our salvation), and fifteen focused on the idea of expectations for results and performance as an overflow of that relationship (salvation results in amazing action).
We are called first to a restored relationship of being with our Creator as we receive His gift of grace. The result and overflow of that restored relationship produces good works and deeds as we put our unique gifts and talents to work. God calls us to himself for an eternal relationship and sends us to others that they might receive His grace.
When this life passes and we stand before God to give an account of our lives, I’m convinced only two questions will matter. First, what did you do about who Jesus said He is? Did you surrender to His Lordship and direction? Second, what did you do with what He gave you to work with? He equipped you with a unique calling, so what did you do with it? These two questions form the core of loving God and loving people. To leave these gifts inactivated as latent energy is to miss the life Jesus intends for us.
Look at the disciples that walked with Jesus – they were men who were driven by mission and faith as they literally gave away their lives to the spread of the gospel. And look to Jesus Himself – while He had His alone time with His Father, He was pretty active. There was not a hint of latency in His life. Thank you, God, for the models you’ve given us, most of all through Your Son.
My challenge to you is to take the principles and framework articulated in More and get off the sidelines. Get in the game that God designed for you before the beginning of the world. In many respects, what Todd Wilson has done in this book is very similar to what Peter Drucker did for me. Todd is asking the right questions and providing the right feedback that plays out as encouragement, permission, clarity, and accountability.
Start by putting one foot in front of the other and don’t be surprised if God places you in the middle of a movement. I can promise you this – you will not take part in a movement, or anything significant, until you take that first step.
Get in the game! Be the difference maker God designed you to be.