Who’s More Important?

I decided I wanted to go into radio my senior year of high school, and I believed pretty strongly that it was an incredibly important job for about two months before I met a guy who put my calling to shame. We were chatting at youth group about what we wanted to do with our lives, and I proudly told him I was going to be a Christian rock DJ. Before the awesomeness of this vocation could fully wash over him, he told me that he wanted to be a medical missionary to some remote island where the United States wouldn’t send doctors because it was too dangerous to land planes  there. Or something like that. All I know is I heard medical missionary and instantly started to feel insignificant. I know that Christian radio touches a lot of hearts and lives, but this guy wanted to go mend broken bodies and save lost souls. All I wanted to do was listen to rock music and preach to the choir.

I’ve been reading through Ephesians recently, and I came across a verse the other day that reminded me both of this conversation and of the realization that showed me it was okay to stay in the states and talk on Christian radio while other people were out doing more important things:

The call to missions is no more important than any other calling.

First, I want to be clear that by no means am I trying to put missionaries down. I believe what they do is vital to the church, but I think sometimes people have a tendency to rank the various callings Christians have. It’s like what you do with your life is indicative of how good a Christian you are. If you’re a missionary, you’re at the top of the totem pole. Pastors are just a step down, and then teachers after that. Christian authors are also pretty close to the top. The totem pole continues down, and it gets to a point where those of us who aren’t medical missionaries or well-educated pastors start to feel a little insignificant.

That’s where this verse in Ephesians comes in:

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.

My favorite word in this verse is some. God doesn’t call everyone to do the exact same thing with his life. God’s plan for this world is too big to be accomplished by a million clones doing the exact same thing. Yes, we need missionaries, but we also need pastors, businessmen, entertainers, and janitors. We might even need rock and roll DJ’s.

Do you think there’s an unfair hierarchy of Christian callings? How do you think the ranking goes?

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3 thoughts on “Who’s More Important?

  1. There is definitely a perceived hierarchy of callings. I would even say there is an undue emphasis on missions in the church. We have missions weeks, and while it is very important work they’re doing, but where’s the week for my calling?

    If missionaries are the hands and feet of the church, I am made to feel very much like earwax: impeding others from hearing because of the presence of my calling.

  2. Rankings…to get right to it- there should not be any rankings.
    I dealt with many of the same feelings in college as well. It was probably more accentuated because I attended a Bible college that also had a communications department. It was not uncommon for communications majors to feel like the ‘secular’ major. Ultimately, I came to many of the same conclusions that you did. The ‘body of Christ’- the Church, needs everyone, people with different skill sets and passions and callings. No one is more important than the other. People should function where their giftedness, talents and abilities allow them to maximize their impact on the world for Christ. If that is as a radio DJ, then cool…if as a janitor, cool…a missionary or pastor…cool.
    The problem is often when ‘missions’ is viewed too narrowly, as in going to another country or people group. Jesus said we are to “go into all the world, and make disciples…” That means the person next to you in class or at the store AND the family living in a grass hut in Africa. Wherever you are at, you are called by God to make a difference and I personally think that is pretty stink’n cool and important. 🙂

    • Good point about missions being viewed too narrowly. I think we see that with a lot of things in the church, and it tends to lead to issues wherever that pops up.

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