Dan Phillips of Pyromaniacs fame has an interesting take on Francis Chan leaving his pastorate to do “something else”. I applaud Chan’s decision but I agree that the use of being “called” to describe it is potentially unsettling.
Is the language of “calling” not one of the most overused in the church? We hear it said all the time that so-and-so has been “called” as pastor of a particular church. What does that mean? Was there some sort of mystical call, as Dan describes it an Abram-esque calling to leave one place and go to another? If you made a decision to leave one church for another, whatever your reasons, that is fine. Does you making a prayerful decision that involves resumes and interviews amount to a calling? If I leave my current job for another, am I called to do so or did I choose to do so?
The lingo of “I was called” is shaky ground indeed. I am not saying that no one is every called to do something but I am saying that often times we cover up our own decisions by using that language.
What do you think? What is the difference (or is there any) between a "call" and a "decision"?