I believe in “calling out the called.” To my knowledge this phrase originated with L.R. Scarborough, the second president of Southwestern Seminary. In 1914, Scarborough wrote a book called Recruits for World Conquests. In this book, one of the chapters was titled, “calling out the called.” In fact, one of the biographies of Scarborough chose this phrase for its title. Behind this phrase lies a concept that God has called men and women to serve in Christian ministry and that we must be busy calling out those whom God has called. Scarborough’s emphasis and book successfully resulted in over 6,000 people surrendering their lives to full-time Christian Ministry when the convention gave out 25,000 copies of his book.
I have heard it said that in the near future we will experience a shortage of pastors. While I do not wish to be alarmist nor claim that I can prove a shortage of ministers, I do believe we should refocus our efforts on calling out the called. The shortage has already been proven among Catholics. You can look at a graph demonstrating this decline here.
While Baptists have traditionally had pastors to serve our churches, there is additional biblical evidence for continuously calling out the called. Consider the following:
Matthew 9:37-38 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 “Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
In addition to praying for laborers, I too want to have a part in calling out the called. I have made it an intentional part of my efforts. When I speak at churches, I often challenge hearers to surrender their lives to Christ, and I have contributed to a little booklet to help those struggling with the call to ministry. The booklet is titled “Calling out the Called.” The first chapter discusses the call to ministry, the second chapter discusses the call to seminary, and the third chapter, written by Dr. Patterson, discusses the call to your first church. This easy to read booklet sponsored by Southwestern Seminary addresses the aspects one might struggle with during these decisions.
We believe in this concept so much that we are giving these booklets out free of charge. If you would like to have any of these booklets for yourself or for your church, all you need to do is email me your name, where to send the books, and how many you would like. I would encourage anyone interested to take one or two to put on the shelf so when someone comes to you with questions, you will have a resource ready. We usually ship them five at a time to interested churches.
I am also encouraging others to have services dedicated to the purpose of calling out the called. Please consider dedicating a sermon to this topic and challenging your congregation to surrender to full-time Christian ministry. If you would like to have someone come and speak to your congregation, I will gladly help arrange that too.
We must do everything we can to call out ministers for the Gospel of the Jesus Christ. The fields are white with harvest and the laborers are few. That is why I believe in “calling out the called.”