Over the years, I have found Acts 1:8 to be useful in periodically reviewing my calling. Last week, we shared the three levels of calling, but those levels must be lived in various “locations”—Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth.
I have taken these historic locations and applied them to dimensions of my call; others have spoken and written similarly…
Jerusalem—this is the actual ministry setting we find ourselves in; the congregation, parachurch organization, etc. It is the day-to-day “place” of our ministry.
Judea—this is the place where my specific location intersects with the larger church and civic communities. For example, it might mean serving on a District or Conference committee, or coaching a local Little League team. It is where ministry connects with servanthood outside my immediate responsibilities.
Samaria—this is ministry in places where there are challenges, obstacles, and resistances. It may be an actual neighborhood—a place where the church has not been present or welcomed. It may be an ideological place, where the conflict of ideas and beliefs has to be addressed. The point is, nearly all callings have to deal with “push back” sooner or later.
Ends of the Earth—this is what we usually think of as the “global” dimensions. It doesn’t always have to be in a foreign country, for there is plenty to be done in our own nation. But it the dimension of our calling which takes us outside our accustomed territories and engages us for the good of those we may not live with on a daily basis. It is the aspect of our calling that creates partnerships with Christians around the world.
I believe God will call us to have these symbolic “locations” in our ministry. It is a useful way of stepping back to ask ourselves where these dimensions are in our ministry.