I recently had occasion to remember a discussion I heard years ago between two friends. We were all in the same ministry and one told the other, in reference to that ministry, something along the lines of, “But we’re different. We have a call on our lives and this is just a stepping stone to something bigger.” I was appalled. I didn’t respond, because I was so much in shock at her audacity, but even though I was fairly young at the time I knew enough about God to know He doesn’t work that way. He doesn’t deal in stepping stones.
I’m still stymied when I consider that any Christian would think that way. I mean… When using a stepping stone, what is your mindset? It’s to get OFF. If you think of any ministry as being nothing more than a stepping stone, you’re going in at least somewhat with the attitude that the ministry itself doesn’t matter other than in its service to you, and you don’t plan to be there long. That attitude is so completely unscriptural that I can’t even fathom a Christian having it. I know many do; it’s just beyond me.
I don’t choose the ministries in which I serve; I let God choose for me. He knows exactly what I am now and what He wants me to become. He plants me where I need to be to grow into that person, and He plants me where I can prove most effective for His Kingdom – all of which may or may not have anything to do with what I want to do. Someone once expressed to me the idea that he had a specific call on his life and it didn’t make sense to serve in any area that wouldn’t further that call – yes, I did speak up that time, because I’ve learned through experience just how erroneous that thinking is…and how dangerous.
The person who made the original “stepping stone” reference? If she ever did move on to the bigger and better things she was anticipating, I don’t know about it. I can’t help but wonder if her attitude was part of the reason why.