By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
PINEVILLE, La. (LBM) – Whether as a pastor or a lay leader, all Christ followers are called to embrace God’s calling on their lives, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary President Jamie Dew and his wife, Tara, told Louisiana Christian University students, Oct. 31.
“If you are a Christian, you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, then you have been called out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light, which means you are an ambassador, you are part of the royal priesthood, to love God, and to make Him known,” Tara Dew said. “The Great Commission is not just for the pastors and the missionaries, and the student pastors, it is for every believer, and so as you are going about you are to teach what God has commanded and you are to make disciples.”
The Dews shared with students in the chapel service that as they pursue God’s calling, they can use five ways to discern it: Scripture, sustained seasons of submission, active service now, cultivated burdens of passions and confirmation from the body of believers.
Jamie Dew stated finding God’s calling is not a quick process but rather one that can take many years to come to fruition. Dew referenced his own calling to be president, which did not come to fruition until he was 42 years old (he is now 46).
“It’s a long process,” he said. “You cannot rush it.
“As He cultivates you, He will clarify for you,” he continued. “That means you commit yourself to the cultivation.”
The Dews shared the path each of them took to discern their calling.
Jamie Dew said he grew up in a broken home and struggled in school, eventually succumbing to drugs and drinking alcohol. During his junior year in high school, Dew was arrested for smoking marijuana, an incident that he said God used to break him and call him into a relationship with Jesus and to serve Him in vocational ministry while at youth camp.
Meanwhile, Tara Dew said she was 6 years old when she turned to Christ at a Billy Graham evangelistic crusade. During a youth camp, she felt the call to serve Jesus but like Dew was unsure in what capacity. Later in life, she discovered her primary calling is to disciple others in the classroom.
Referencing Deuteronomy 6, Tara Dew encouraged the students to love God with all their heart, soul and mind and He will begin to reveal His calling.
“And if you begin today, loving God, loving His word with all your heart, and your soul, with all your mind with all your strength, and if you pray, God help me to love you more tomorrow than I do today, He will begin to cultivate these burdens and these passions in you to serve Him,” she said. “And it is a prayer He will answer.”