Houston First United Presbyterian Church Mission Study
Week 4—What is Our Call?
Read Jeremiah 1:4-10 aloud, then read it again slowly and prayerfully.
4 The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
6 “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
9 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
This is what God said:
5 “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.
Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you:
A prophet to the nations—that’s what I had in mind for you.”
6 But I said, “Hold it, Master God! Look at me. I don’t know anything. I’m only a boy!”
7-8 God told me, “Don’t say, ‘I’m only a boy.’ I’ll tell you where to go and you’ll go there.
I’ll tell you what to say and you’ll say it. Don’t be afraid of a soul.
I’ll be right there, looking after you.”
9-10 God reached out, touched my mouth, and said,
“Look! I’ve just put my words in your mouth—hand-delivered!
See what I’ve done? I’ve given you a job to do among nations and governments—a red-letter day!
Your job is to pull up and tear down, take apart and demolish,
And then start over, building and planting.”
Spend a few minutes looking at your own picture/name, while contemplating the words: “Behold, I have formed you in the womb and I have put my words in your mouth.”
Read Jeremiah 1:4-10 again, then answer the following questions. After doing so, consider meeting up with someone else in the congregation to share your answers with one another, so as to get to know one another better and to discern our gifts and areas of ministry..
What does this passage mean to your call?
Participant answers: God sees what we need; Be open, listen to God; Reassurance that God has a plan for me;
What does this mean to you for the interim period?
Participant answers: Go out and tell others; Find a purpose; We need leadership and new ideas; we need to find a pastor; Support those who are leaders in any area; Depend on God to get us through; Listen; be patient; move forward; Grow, yet stay together
What personal gifts and strengths do you contribute to the church and this interim period?
Participant answers: Leadership and new ideas; supporting the plan; Youthful perspective/devotion; experience serving on previous PNC; Whatever is needed, I will be there; long-term membership and regular attendance; decorating, teaching, research, cooking, cleaning; Personnel experience
What areas of weakness might you name, and do they give you pause?
Participant answers: lack of contribution/participation; my attendance; lack of patience; selfishness and failure to listen to God;
How do you respond to the content of the prophet’s word to God’s people?
Participant answers: I am in strong agreement; God has a purpose for all of us; we must listen for guidance; Take comfort; Encourage one another; Try to be helpful and communicate, get people together; “Get busy”; God knows the outcome. Don’t be fearful.
Discussion and Feedback: Participants shared their answers with one another then we grouped them together on the board.
Group discussion :
The patterns on the board where we believed participants were called included Leadership, Service, Christian Education, Family/Fellowship. We have a wide range of gifts in the church
What areas of call do you sense you are called to in the congregation?
What is it that we could be doing during this interim to become more attuned to God’s call?
Be patient, be involved. Trust God and one another, Pray.
What is it that you can do to become more attuned to God’s call?
In what ways do we want to keep the status quo? In what ways do we need to change?
We should keep the good things; participate in conversations and we need to respect decisions that are made, communicate with one another, improve outreach to those who are inactive and to those outside our congregation
In what areas do you wish to keep the status quo? In what ways do we need to change?