There is a common saying among evangelicals that goes, “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called”. If you are not familiar with that saying, it essentially means that you do not have be skilled, or meet your preconceived prerequisites, for the task that God is calling you to. The idea is that if God is calling you to something He will equip you to complete it. It is a saying that carries forward the sentiment of Hebrews 13:21 which says, “Now may the God of peace… equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ…” It also harkens back to the biblical heroes who were called, by God, to complete a seemingly impossible task.

In every situation it was clear that the Saint was not qualified to complete the task, but in every circumstance God’s will was seen complete through them because God equipped them. It is a solid idea and a completely biblical concept. In fact, it is such a solid biblical concept that I have even heard pastors say it during sermons. By and large I do not have an issue with it being included in sermons; it is important for congregants to hear and understand that there are not specific “qualifications” to answer God’s call. Unfortunately there are those that will preach this idea and then tell people that they are not “qualified” to do what they feel God calling them to do.

Our Cautionary Tales

As we look through the bible we see this same issue throughout, where God calls a person and those close to him or her doubt their qualifications. People told Noah he was crazy for building an ark, something he was presumably unqualified to do. The Israelites continually doubted Moses leadership. David’s brothers doubted his anointing as king. Not only did others doubt their qualifications, the called person often argued how un-qualified they were.

In every circumstance, God still called them and still saw His will completed through them. And still, with all those examples at our fingertips, we choose the same path of telling others that they do not possess the skill-set to accomplish what they “think” they are being called to. We look through at a situation with our fallible human eyes and intuition and presume to know what God is doing and how He plans to do it. And I am not dismissing the gift of discernment that Holy Spirit gives. What I am talking about is our human nature to assume that we know even though the Lord declares, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.”

Our Example to Follow

We have plenty of examples about how not to handle someone communicating feeling called by God, and then there is Jesus. Jesus unquestionably calls the least qualified people to follow Him and deliver the Gospel. During that time a Rabi would have only allowed the brightest and most knowledgeable student to follow him. In fact, a Rabi would not be caught dead allowing a fisherman to follow after him, let alone twelve. Among those unqualified persons who Jesus selected were four fishermen, a tax collector, a revolutionary, a cynic, and a betrayer. Yet, Jesus still called them. Then Jesus did something unprecedented; He spent three years equipping them for the work of building His Kingdom. And that is what Jesus calls us to, helping to prepare others to fulfill the call God has given them. This is especially true if you call yourself a leader, or even a mature Christian.

Call it What You Want, Just Commit

You can call it whatever you want: coaching, mentoring, leadership development, it really doesn’t matter. I prefer to call it discipleship. There are people that God will give you who require you to invest time into them. If you are maturing in Christ and desire to see God’s Kingdom here on earth, you are obligated to invest that time. Discipleship is not a short-term endeavor. It took Jesus three years to prepare his disciples. During that time there was plenty of opportunity to toss them aside because “they just weren’t cut out for it”. But because they, and He, had a deep desire to seeing God’s “kingdom come and will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-13) they stay committed to the process. In the end, God qualified the called.