Whenever I think about the process of call, I think about Ellis. While Ellis could be charming and friendly, many saw him as grumpy.
We used the process of call just the way we had learned at LOGOS training. Everything came together just as we'd been told it would, except for our 5th grade Bible study teacher. A week before the first Wednesday of LOGOS, we still didn't know whom God was calling to teach that class.
We'd learned this might happen with the call process. So I shared a response from training with the congregation, "We don't yet know whom God has called to teach the 5th grade class. If you think God has been asking you to do this, and we just haven't figured it out yet, I would like very much to talk with you today."
After everyone had left worship that day, Ellis said to me, "You know what you said about the 5th grade Bible class?"
I was dismayed. This was not the solution I had been praying for. The thought of presenting to the call team the name of this grumpy retired executive as a 5th grade teacher made me shudder. But there was nothing else to be done, so the team prayed about it, and then offered the call to him.
God was more faithful than we were.
Ellis became a brilliant teacher of children. He became "Herman Ootix," the lead character in Course 5 of the Faith for Life curriculum.
God made Ellis a teacher of children, and nobody had ever known it. His hard edges softened. His support for nearly everything in the church grew. The fact that he (and all of us) finally did the hard work of hearing God's call to him not only led us to a great teacher, but also changed his life and the lives of so many children.
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