Texas Baptist Voices

Remember your calling

I’m writing this article as I prepare to take part in a funeral service of a dear lady who went on to be with the Lord. She was fiery, loved the Lord and loved the music of Elvis Presley.

Now, when I say she loved the music of Elvis, I’m not exaggerating. She dedicated a room in her house to his music and his likeness. I once sang a song in her presence titled “Bethlehem,” written and sung by the Christian artist Carman.


This song was set in the style of the 1950s, and when I performed this song, I wore a leather jacket. richard ray130Richard RayWell, she just loved the song, because it reminded her of Elvis. This lady was made up of passion, whether it was for her family, her Lord or, yes, even Elvis.

I share that with you because we all know someone who has this type of passion, and it’s not just an everyday passion, but a passion for life. When I think of people with this type of passion, I often think of people who serve in the small-church ministry. To serve the small church and to serve it well, it takes a tremendous about of passion, because it takes a tremendous amount of dedication. You don’t serve the Lord for recognition or for prosperity, but rather, you serve the Lord because it’s your calling and you have a passion for it.

I know a pastor who works two jobs, serves on the school board, serves his association and his church, coaches little dribblers and takes care of his family. His energy level always is high because he loves what God has called him to do.


This person may be you. You may have to work two or three jobs, and you are involved in your community, your school, along with taking care of your family, all the while serving your church as God has called you to serve. You may feel overwhelmed at times because there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day, but somehow you manage it all, and you manage it well.

texas baptist voices right120Read More ‘Voices’ HereWhen we ministers become stressed or feel overburdened, it often is caused by the fact we have forgotten what our lives are about. We get out of focus on what our mission is and what God has called us to be. During these times, I am reminded of Romans 1:1: “I Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God.” This verse reminds me who I am and what God has called me to be.

A servant of Christ Jesus

If you are feeling overburdened, if you feel you have lost some of your passion to serve, I pray you will remember you are a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God. You are vital. You are important. But more importantly, you have been equipped to live out this calling in your life.

When I am reminded of my calling and Who I serve, this is when I can put on a leather jacket and sing a 1950s-style Christian song to bring joy to a wonderful lady who now is rejoicing on the streets of gold in heaven. So, stay passionate by remembering you have been set apart and called by God to serve him.

Until next time, please visit our website,

Richard Ray is president of the Bivocational/Small Church Association, pastor of First Baptist Church in Wink and director of missions for Pecos Valley Baptist Association. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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