On Sunday, Oct. 1, the voters of Trinity Lutheran Church in Memphis Tennessee voted to issue a Divine Call to Rev. Chad Kendall of Lowell Indiana to serve as their pastor. Rev. Kendall is currently serving as pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lowell.
Rev. Kendall and his wife Stacie visited with Trinity Memphis the prior weekend so that they and Trinity Memphis could get to know one another better.
One of the primary tenets of the Lutheran Church has always been the difference between the call to serve in the public ministry of the Word (Eph. 4:11, Titus 1:5, Rom. 10:14-17) and the calling which all Christians have to do the work of the universal priesthood of all believers(I Pet. 2.9, I Cor. 7.17). Without a doubt, it is God himself who is doing the “calling” in both of these instances. After all, it is God alone who brings people to faith in Christ and who equips them with his grace and necessary gifts to carry out the specific calling which He has given them. However, when speaking of the call to do the work of preaching and teaching of the Word in a public setting, the Bible sets this apart as something that requires great respect and careful adherence to certain qualifications (I Tim. 3:1-7).
Whenever someone receives a call into the office of the pastoral ministry, he views this call as Divine, knowing that God himself has invited him to take on the work of being a pastor for a congregation. It is the power and authority of the Congregation that bestows the right of a pastor to serve.
Whereas the prophets and apostles mentioned in scriptures received their calling to publicly preach the Word directly from God, pastors today are called through the method of the church issuing a Call in the name of the Lord. The person who accepts such a call is to view it as being no less divine than the calls received by the prophets and apostles.
We must understand, however, that sometimes God, through His Holy Spirit, uses the call process for means other than for a congregation to receive a pastor. Sometimes God is using the Call process to test a current congregation, to see if it’s commitment to His ministry is strong. Sometimes He uses the Call process to bring about inward self examination of the person being called or the congregation doing the calling. Sometimes there are other processes going on which neither the congregation, or the man being called understands. In any event. A Divine Call is a time for close examination by the one being called to ask himself, is this truly what the Lord is asking me to do, or does He have another purpose in mine.
Pray for Rev. Kendall as he mediates and undertakes to discern the true will of God. Pray that it is indeed God’s will that Rev. Kendall come to Trinity Memphis to be our shepherd and that he have a long and prosperous ministry here in Memphis.