The Difference Between Could and Called

Ever since our family moved from Wichita to Fort Worth, I’ve been praying for God to open the door for me to pastor a church here while attending seminary at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I’ve posted my resume where I can, kept an eye on the job boards, and prayerfully submitted my resume to several churches.

Obviously this season has tested our family, and forced us to a deeper reliance on Christ. We’ve learned (and are continually learning) to pray for our daily bread and to trust that He will provide it.

One of the most important lessons that I’m learning in this time is the difference between could and called.

Some positions could be a fit. My particular experiences could serve the congregation well, and my family could fit and love the people. Ultimately, it could work out long-term, but not if something more important is missing.

If I’m not called to that church, it won’t be a fit. If my family isn’t called to minister to the congregation, we may love them and treasure their friendship, but it just won’t work. Regardless of what could be, without being called, it won’t.

My prayer is that every church would discover the man that God has called to lead them, not just the man who could.


  1. This declaration of “could” versus “called” works in established ministry positions also. If you’re in ministry, you could likely conquer many of the tasks that comes your way in any given week. But if you try to juggle them all simply because you can, you’ll likely soon experience the not-so-pleasant pinch of burnout. Focus on that which you are called to do; leave the other stuff outside of your calling to the team you should be developing under you.

    My $0.02.

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