When your calling is quiet: Serving others no matter your season of life

Written by Somer Colbert
Published on March 30, 2021

My husband and I settled in for the night and decided we wanted to watch a little something before bed. It had been a long day of work, errands, basketball games, and concession stand duty. A quick look at the schedules for our usual shows revealed we were all caught up. 

Just then, I remembered an email promotion I had received that morning from RightNow Media. A new documentary from Francis Chan had just been released, and, being an avid reader of his, I quickly opened the app, not knowing what we were in for. 

Forty-five minutes later, the documentary was over, and my husband and I were silent. Knowing the man beside me for twenty years, I knew every thought going through his mind. 

You see, the documentary was the story of how Francis and his wife, Lisa, had spent their twentieth wedding anniversary in East Africa. Throughout the course of their trip, the Chans worked alongside a team to feed children on the brink of starvation. They toured a ministry that rescues women out of the red-light district, providing them with recovery, counseling, and training in new life skills to support themselves and their children, and, of course, sharing the gospel. 

A variety of giftings for all people 

My husband and I love missions. He especially traveled extensively around the world during his college years. Serving others fuels him. Give him a plane ticket and he will be packed before you even tell him where he’s going. 

That night I didn’t have to ask my husband what he was thinking. I saw the longing in his face to go and take part in the type of mission projects we had just witnessed. 

But for this season of life, our calling has been different. Though I believe God places those longings in our hearts for a reason, we understand that our calling for this season is a quieter one. 

God makes it clear in Scripture that he gifts his people with a wide variety of talents and passions for the sake of sharing his gospel in ways that can reach all people: 

Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God works all of them in each person. A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good: to one is given a message of wisdom through the Spirit, to another, a message of the knowledge by the same Spirit, to another, faith by the same Spirit, to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another, the performing of miracles, to another, prophecy, to another, distinguishing between spirits, to another, different kinds of tongues, to another, interpretation of the tongues. One and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as he wills. (1 Corinthians 12:4–11 CSB)

Don’t resign your effectiveness 

Through each of these giftings come unique and ordained opportunities for believers to further the kingdom. It is so easy to look at the examples like the Chans and think, “I wish I could do that, but I am just a—fill in the blank.” 

Be cautious with that line of thinking. We face a great danger of resigning our effectiveness for the kingdom when we belittle the assignments and seasons God gives us. 

As parents, we have been given a tremendous calling: to guide the next generation toward God’s salvation and teach them to share his love with a dying world.

Now, in 2021, it is so important to recognize that raising the next generation to love God and show his love to others is as important a calling as any. 

To love is to give

While listening to a podcast a few years back, the Lord brought a word to my husband. The word is ahavah (a-ha-vah), the Hebrew word for love. 

God’s original language tells us that the root word of ahavah is ahav, which means “to give.” I love how God illuminates his heart to us if we take the time to look closer. 

God’s definition of love is about action and service. It’s not just warm, fuzzy emotions that fade with our moods and circumstances. Ahavah means showing love with intentionality and a heart to serve rather than to be served. And this can be done from anywhere in the world, even your own backyard. 

We all have the potential to impact people all around us by simply being aware of needs and taking action. You don’t have to be a missionary in a foreign country or an evangelist speaking to thousands from a platform.

Little acts of service can show God’s love in a big way! 

Let your lifestyle be the teacher as you bring your children along in living out this kind of love each and every day. Let them see you buy coffee for the person in line behind you. Let them see you pray for your server at a restaurant. Empower them to reach out to a friend who looks sad and lonely in the lunchroom at school. 

If they express interest in a certain charity or ministry, go and serve together. Teach them to notice people and pray for God to begin to open the eyes of the hearts of your family to do what you can, where you can. 

Stepping into a season of action

Quiet callings are still God’s callings. A life reached for the gospel, no matter the location, is a victory to be celebrated. You may not be rescuing women in Africa, but you are showing up for your family and providing a stable and loving home filled with the sharing of God’s Word each day. 

You may not be feeding starving children in a third-world country, but you are cuddling babies in the church nursery so their parents can grow in their faith in order that the gospel will be passed on to their little one. 

And you may not be running a nonprofit that provides food for the hungry, but you are openly sharing the gospel with your coworkers every chance you get. Most importantly, you are teaching your children what it looks like to mimic the love and service that Jesus modeled during his time on earth. “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).

Everywhere you look, people are hurting. They are looking for healing, peace, and restoration that can only be found in Jesus. 

You don’t have to wait to go overseas. You don’t have to wait for your children to grow up and leave home. You can lead your family today as you step into a season of action by saying, “Yes, Lord!” to whatever prompting he gives you to share his love with others. 

The time is now! 

This year, 2021, God is calling your family to step up in the littlest of ways to show his love in a big way!

Looking for other resources on serving as a parent? Check out the articles below:

  1. Everyday rhythms that reflect the goodness of God: Breakfast and beauty at our tables
  2. Hockey, Slurpees, and Jesus: Everyday faith adventures with our kids
  3. The hands of Jesus
  4. Is the Goal to be Right or Righteous?


Watch this video from Bob Goff and Rachel and Craig Denison as they discuss how to parent with love and set an example for your children by living out Philippians 4:8

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Somer Colbert

Somer Colbert is a writer, speaker and host of the Love Where You Are podcast. She is the Director of Adoption and Foster Care Ministry at Crosschurch and Connected Champion with the Arkansas Baptist Children and Family Ministries where she creates support, awareness and advocacy for families seeking to serve in the areas of adoption and foster care. She creates weekly podcast episodes and resources to equip and empower Christian families to identify their influence for the gospel in every season, live life on mission and share Jesus right where they are.  Somer is passionate about equipping spiritually healthy families and seeing a movement of God’s people step into confidence in their ability to change the world around them through the way they love! 

She resides in Arkansas with her husband, three kids and three dogs. She’s obsessed with British docudramas and cooking shows and can always be found with a cup of hot tea in hand. Her life has been forever changed by the love of Jesus, marriage to her favorite person, parenting her crazy crew and walking multiple adoption journeys. 

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