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Go Where You’re Invited By Faith
Insights from the “Lead2Serve” Podcast
Season 5. Episode 9

 

Embracing Divine Appointments: A Conversation with Pastors Ed Taylor and Bob Claycamp

As the host of the Lead2Serve podcast, I had the privilege of sitting down with Pastor Bob Claycamp. Our conversation surrounded the critical concept of “going where you’re invited” as a leader and servant of God. It was a discussion rich with wisdom, personal anecdotes, and spiritual guidance that I am blessed to share with you.

The Call to Serve Beyond Comfort Zones

Pastor Ed and Bob opened up about the challenges and rewards of stepping out of their comfort zones. They shared how accepting divine appointments—those unexpected God-given opportunities to serve—often requires us to face potential drama and challenges head-on. Yet, in these moments, we can truly minister to others and make a significant impact.

Availability and Willingness: The Heart of Ministry

A recurring theme in our discussion was the importance of being available and willing to serve, no matter the circumstances. We both emphasized that our readiness to help others should not be conditional. Instead, we should seek guidance from the Holy Spirit and make decisions that honor God, even if it means venturing into the unknown.

Balancing Faith and Common Sense

A vital truth raised during our discussion was the balance between following divine leadings and not abandoning common sense. Accepting invitations to serve doesn’t mean we disregard practical wisdom. We highlighted the need to approach each opportunity with honor and respect, recognizing the responsibility that comes with our roles as spiritual leaders.

The Impact of Saying “Yes”

The conversation ultimately circled back to the positive outcomes of being open to invitations. Both of us agreed that saying “yes” to God’s call had led to personal growth and development and the chance to serve others in meaningful ways. It was a powerful reminder that our willingness to go where we are invited can open doors to bless and be blessed.

I hope this blog post captures the essence of our conversation and inspires you to consider how you can be more open to divine appointments in your own life. Remember, each invitation to serve is an opportunity to witness God’s grace in action.

FULL TRANSCRIPT UNEDITED

Host (00:00:06) – This is Lee to serve with Ed Taylor—a leadership podcast.

Ed (00:00:11) – Welcome to another edition of the Lead to Serve podcast. I’m grateful you’ve been with us for all of these weeks now. My name is Ed Taylor. I’m the pastor here at Calvary Church in Studio, as you well know for this season, pastor Bob Clay camp. Welcome, Bob. Great. Good to be here. Glad you’re here. Glad you’re making the time. I know it’s not easy with everything that’s going on. And we get to serve together here, as we have for the last four and a half years here at Calvary Church in Aurora, Colorado, where in season number five, as you well know of the Lead to Serve podcast, I really appreciate all your feedback, your texts, your emails, your phone calls. thank you for forwarding it and getting the word out. Even the reviews. We are so grateful. We could use a lot more reviews, by the way. So I know you keep hearing it and hearing it.

Ed (00:01:02) – And you intend sometimes Marie and I do that. Marie’s my wife. sometimes we do that with Yelp or something, and we just forget to do it. We need to do it. Do it when you’re thinking about it. put a good review. If it’s a bad review, just email. Bob and Bob will take care of it, and he will make any improvements he needs to make so that we don’t have bad reviews. But if they’re good, put them up on the podcast. If they’re bad, really, let us know. We’d like to hear what your feedback is so we could grow in the grace of God too. We want this to be a meaningful and quite frankly, we haven’t really had bad, bad reviews or bad input. There’s been some input on improvement and we appreciate that or something we could do better. That’s great. and because we want we want it to be effective. but at the same time, we’re just in a studio together, across from a desk with two microphones in front of us talking about ministry, talking about life.

Ed (00:01:57) – It’s not scripted, although we do have a few notes written down and some topics to cover. It’s not scripted. So what you’re listening to is what it would be like if we were at a pastors meeting or a staff meeting, or if we were back in my office talking about, hey, Bob, come in and let’s talk about this, or what do you think about that? That’s what the podcast is. And, you know, our goal is to help you grow in your servant leadership so that you might glorify God in everything that you do. And you know the tag, right? The better servant you are, the better leader you’ll become, and the better leader leader you’ll become. We’ll give you a broader depth of servanthood. So these these times we have on podcast, are short, but they’re designed to discuss important topics that will help you serve the Lord better. No matter where you are. You could be at home, single, married, single parent kiddos. You’re a CEO, or you just started a ministry.

Ed (00:02:59) – wherever you are, God is ready to be with you. And we are on week number nine. I think nine. And here’s the topic. I like this one. This is an interesting topic. Kind of changes, kind of changes a little bit from where we were, but also hits it pretty well because if we’re talking about finishing our race and running our weight race, this one kind of hits row and that is this number eight. Go where you’re invited. Go where you’re invited. many, many times, we see Jesus being invited to various places, and he goes, as a representative of God the Father is God in human flesh. He goes like like, for example, he was at the wedding in Cana. why was he at the wedding in Cana? Because he was invited, that’s why. And he went. And it was a dynamic, wonderful time. and so, in a general sense, if you want to be more effective, which is the theme of this season, and really, quite frankly, it’s the theme of the entire podcast, we want to be more usable.

Ed (00:04:06) – We want to be more effective, and we want to talk very practically of how to do ministry better. If you want to be more effective, you want to learn how to go where you’re invited. What are your thoughts?

Bob (00:04:20) – Well, there there are so many opportunities that we can have, but God has given us the Holy Spirit to give us a sense of rightness. Whether we should step into the opportunity or, pass on the opportunity. and it’s not based upon how you feel about it. It’s based upon what is the right thing to do in this situation. And God, give me, give me the leading, because some things are awkward. Some things, you know that if you do it, you’re going to end up getting pushed back. And I don’t want push back. I don’t need push back in my life. But what is the father impacting you to do in this situation? Do it. And the you know, sometimes the invitation like like when I finished up ministering in Windsor the very next day, I got a phone call from the UK saying, can you come over and help us? And I never say yes.

Bob (00:05:18) – Usually right away I said, you know, get, you know, we’ll get back with you. So my wife and I prayed about it, and we really had a sense from the Lord that, yes, we are to step somehow step into the opportunity. We didn’t have the resources, but we were to do it. And those opportunities that come to you aren’t just what it looks like on the surface. It’s it’s the tip of the iceberg. And so but you’ll never find out the whole iceberg until you take that initial step and just commit to go. And then God will be with you. And in the like. Jesus, did. And so many occasions when he even took the dinner that Matthew offered with all the publicans and sinners that were there, it was a joy to him. But he knew they were going to be pushed back again.

Ed (00:06:09) – As we’re talking about these things or talking about anything, we’re not suspending common sense. So don’t suspend common sense. Hear for when you hear the phrase because it’s a phrase.

Ed (00:06:19) – It’s just a catchy phrase to help you remember that these divine appointments from the Lord. You should go where you’re invited, like you should step into them. But let’s not suspend common sense to this, to the plate. Like you can’t do everything, so you can’t accept every invitation. You can’t go to every invitation. I think of an invitation to a ceremony that’s, between a man and a man saying there, get married. That’s not a wedding. and if you’re invited to that, especially as a pastor, you can’t go like, that’s that’s that’s dishonoring God, like it’s blasphemous. So don’t don’t suspend common sense. Hear where you are in a place where. Well, you know, they invited me to this satanic ritual. No, no, no, don’t go where you’re invited. it’s probably a good chance that you’re not going to go there. you know, you’re going to be led by the Holy Spirit. You’re going to use common sense. You’re going to make your decision as unto the Lord.

Ed (00:07:14) – So setting that aside, though, what I’m thinking when I’m thinking about when I hear this, that men and women need to hear, need to understand, pastors, leaders, whatever is. Many times we don’t go where we’re invited because we don’t want to deal with the drama of that invitation. For example, if I go there, those people left our church a long time ago. They’re very mad at me. So if I go to that party, they’re going to be there. And, you know, I just don’t want to deal with it. Well, there’s a lot of other people at that party. And you should make your decision based on what the Lord wants you to do. Not avoiding something. Avoiding drama. I’ll give you an example of how this was developed in my life when I moved here. When I moved to Colorado to plant the church, I was green as green could be. I didn’t know anything about anything. And in regards of overseeing a church or leading a church in that respect, I had served at my sending church as a as a singles pastor for almost three years, but I wasn’t on staff.

Ed (00:08:22) – So I go to work, work in the world, and then I’d come and teach on Thursday nights and do different things as a lay leader, a lay pastor, or I was a licensed pastor actually there, but I worked full time. So when I moved here, I didn’t understand the politics of ministry or the difficulties I didn’t know I got. I got a taste of it, but I wasn’t the responsible one, so I didn’t feel the full weight. So when I was here, first year or so, I am walking down the aisle of Costco, and back then the costcos were very empty because the population was much less than it is today. And there’s a brother there and I say, hey, brother so-and-so. He was an assistant pastor at another Calvary here in town. Hey brother so-and-so, how are you doing? And for the next ten minutes, he just ripped a Calvary Chapel. He ripped his pastor. He just because he had been let go for misappropriation or something, he got something happened.

Ed (00:09:18) – I don’t remember the details. And I must have just hit him the week and I don’t know anything about it like I didn’t. I’ve never been in a Costco where somebody had cost me and like, I didn’t like whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa. Where are the dean? and and what what what God was prepping me for because I called the pastor. I said, what’s going on? And he says, well, what happened? I can’t give you all the details, but he’s just really mad. Oh, yeah. Let me tell you how mad he is. I get it. He says, well, just pray for him. We prayed for him and we moved on and then over the years, as I’ve seen people leave here upset at me, we weren’t able to resolve it or they just ran away and, posted things about me, slander me, whatever. They never left the city. They just left the church. So I still see him at Costco. I still see him at Sam’s Club, Walmart, whatever.

Ed (00:10:09) – The Lord gave me this word because it was awkward and I would want to avoid it. And who wants to deal with that kind of drama? Like, I don’t want to argue, I don’t. And the Lord gave me this word. He I was it was just in daily devil’s. I was reading through the book of Joshua, and Joshua was told wherever the soles of your feet tread, I’ve given to you. And the Lord said, that’s you had I have given anywhere you are in the city, I’ve given it to you. So whoever you meet, whoever you come in contact with, whoever they used to be, what if there’s going to be any drama? It’s not going to be from you because I want you there. So if you meet him in Costco, I want you there. If they’re at the same birthday party you are at, I want you there. And I want you to step into that with a sense of honor and respect for the role that you’re in. I want you to serve them, love them, and don’t let it become.

Ed (00:10:59) – And it was a big it sounds pretty simple enough, but it was a big deal for me because I didn’t know how to handle those things. So I would just deny invitations because I didn’t want to deal with the drama.

Bob (00:11:08) – Yeah, comfort zones are what we enjoy, but we don’t realize that. They are, valleys. They are valleys with borders. And to step out of that into an opportunity that’s outside of your comfort zone is, threatening, it’s insecure, potential drama. How am I going to deal with it? I don’t need this in my life. I mean, we had of all kinds of reasons, but comfort zones end up being quicksand because they don’t elevate you to the next level. Comfort zones pull you down.

Ed (00:11:48) – Yeah, and they trap you. I like that illustration. Being in a valley or a rut with walls. They trap you there. You never really get out. You can’t climb out. and that this sense of this, the excitement of this too. So that’s on a that’s a difficult illustration of this.

Ed (00:12:03) – But again, if you’re a leader or a pastor, like I know there’s going, the longer you walk with the Lord, the longer you stay in a particular church, the longer you live in a community, you’re just going to have a messy relationships. It doesn’t have to be bad or even antagonistic. You’re just going to messy relationships. You’re going to have former neighbors that moved out, but they actually moved around the corner, or you’re going to have people that were in your church, or you’re going to have somebody that came to fix your heater and broke it, or like, it’s just messy because life is messy. But as a representative of the Lord, a spiritual leader, to serve better, we need to step in to a situation like that and be ready to serve. Be ready to check in on their family, be whether they have tension or not. They still are human. They still have issues. They still you’re still a pastor. You’re still a leader. You’re still an elder in your church.

Ed (00:12:58) – Why would why would you not want to go to little Johnny’s birthday party and see him blow out his candles? and then just minister to whoever’s in the room?

Bob (00:13:06) – I used to have a poster in my office. It was a sailboat. And the caption was calm seas never made great captains. And the Lord puts things in front of you to develop you. Yeah. And because he knows that that comfort zones. Are not healthy. Yeah. And so. It’s not that you look for drama, but it comes to you. I mean, life is that way. It’s going to be that way until your last breath. There’s going to be issues. The whole issue of retirement, you know, where you’re just going to. Oh, I’m just going to like, settle back and play golf the rest of my life. What a great life, dude. What about heaven? What about treasure in heaven? What about what’s ahead? What about the spiritual quality of your life and all? There’s God uses those adversities, those trials, those challenges, those rough seas.

Bob (00:14:07) – to grow you. To develop you. Because any time you forget you’re supposed to stay green, you’ll end up rotting.

Ed (00:14:18) – Did I hear you correctly? There’s no retirement because Marie and I, we have a plan. We’re going to open up a taco shop in Playa del Carmen and we’re going to sell tacos until noon. We’re going to make us enough money.

Bob (00:14:30) – Oh fish.

Ed (00:14:31) – Tacos. No no, no. Connie. Yeah. Connie. But, I mean, I guess we might have to go to the market. You know, whatever the market demands, and we’re going to sell tacos until noon and then just hang out and take a little nap, you know, siesta, and then get up and enjoy our time. So are you. Are you saying that’s not possible? Oh. Anything’s possible. I was thinking in relation of going where you’re invited, where there is an a dynamic of this, where you’re leading, you’re being led by the Holy Spirit. Right. you God wants you a certain place and the default answer on an invitation is.

Ed (00:15:11) – Yeah, I want to be there. I want to do that. I want to be available. It’s it’s that availability. Right? The characteristics of a of a usable person, would be a spiritual person, a teachable person, someone who’s faithful. But then all of those are really not useful if they’re not available, if they don’t make themselves available. And when I learn how to go where I’m invited, I’m going to end up in places that not everybody’s going to understand. Not everybody’s going to like, not everybody is going to, you know, I would never do that or I and you just like, no, the Lord wants me there. And he I don’t know why he wants me there. I’m not sure what he wants to do yet, but if it’s not sin, then, like, like we have here, if we do anything short of sin, if it’s not sin, and I’m not approving of sin, then I should develop a perspective of man. This is probably from the Lord.

Ed (00:16:02) – I need to pray like you did with your England. You don’t know if you’re going, but your heart was there like so like, yeah, I’m ready to go. And then I look at reality and well, I’m going to go then God’s going to provide this and he’s going to give this. And and as I pray, he’s going to make it clear to me. So it’s more of the heart of the matter where, hey, Lord, I’m yours. And when I first got saved, and I mean that in general for all of us, it’s like, I’m going to go anywhere and do anything for the Lord. And over time I’m like, yeah, you know, nah, you know, it’s too much. And, you know, people just phone it in and yeah, you know, I don’t want to do a hospital visit the Super Bowls. On what?

Bob (00:16:39) – Seriously?

Ed (00:16:40) – What do you mean you’re not going to do a hospital visit? Well, the Super Bowl is on. Oh, okay.

Ed (00:16:45) – Yeah, yeah. All right. I mean, that tells me your heart. You’re going to watch the Super Bowl while somebody is. Well, how about this? Why don’t you go to the room and pray with them and watch the Super Bowl with them? Like, why is there. Why is it automatically a decision? And I’ve watched this over the years. That’s not an example that’s happened recently, but. As the Super Bowl just passed. but I’ve seen guys make that decision like, oh no, I can’t. What do you mean you can’t? You said yes when you were born again. You said yes when you like. This person can’t get out of the hospital bed and you’ll be there after the Super Bowl is over. What. Well, and again, that’s a it’s a silly illustration, but it actually illustrates a darkened heart. Like this person needs encouragement. this person needs a pastor to represent the Lord. And I’m sorry. God’s watching the Super Bowl right now. you know, I can’t.

Ed (00:17:38) – I can’t make it, because that’s really what we’re saying. We represent the Lord and we’re going to schedule around it, and I just can’t make it. Not good.

Bob (00:17:46) – No, it’s not good.

Ed (00:17:48) – Go where you’re invited. I like what you also said, that these opportunities. Well, a couple of things. One, you know, all of these challenges and steps outside, trials, testings, adversity, they develop the character of Christ in us. That’s what God’s doing in us as we yield our lives to him. But also when you do end up showing up to a place because you did take the invitation, I, I’m reminded of, of Romans 12 verse 18, if it’s possible as much as depends upon you, live peaceably with all men. And because there’s tension or messiness between you and me, I need to be mature enough in my leadership and my servanthood not to allow your problem with me to hold me back from being used by God, right? Yeah.

Bob (00:18:38) – I mean, in myself.

Bob (00:18:40) – I’m a bit. I’m an introvert. I’m, I, I get energized by being alone and stepping into a crowd of people I don’t know is awkward for me. unless I can go and. I can have a purpose or something like that. I mean, I, I remember when I first went to England, I was invited to this group of, regional pastors in, in the area and meeting at a real super fancy hotel for a real fancy dinner. And so I have to dress up because everybody’s, like, dressed to the nines and. I don’t want to be there, but I know I should because I have to somehow interact. And so and so I’m I’m there, everybody’s talking to everybody else, and I’m by myself. And nobody’s talking to me. Nobody’s introducing themselves to me. I’m kind of like the weird guy that’s there. although I look like them. I mean, I’m dressed up and all, and then. And then my phone goes off. I program my phone that when I got a call from the from the United States, it would play the Star-Spangled banner.

Bob (00:19:54) – And so I’m there, standing just awkward. And all of a sudden my phone rings and it’s the Star-Spangled banner, and everybody hears it, and they stop talking and look at me and it’s like, you know, it’s like that old Southwest Airlines want to get away. I mean, I, I it was it was terrible. But I knew I was supposed to be there because there was no other way to start developing relationships one by one somehow. And so you just you walk into it, you just do it and you see what happens.

Ed (00:20:32) – There’s a there’s a sense of yielding yourself to what God wants for you over and above what you want for yourself. And even as you describe it, it’s very strange or interesting that many pastors, even dynamic pastors, are very introverted. I don’t know why. I don’t know why that’s the case, although they are able to adapt and be used probably supernaturally to minister to a large group of people. there’s a tendency where a lot of pastor friends that I have would have that same testimony, that they’re more introverted than they are extroverted on that scale.

Ed (00:21:08) – However, as you’re describing it, I can I can see how the personality type that we have becomes an excuse for not following the lead of the, you know, so I don’t want to go because of these people here. I don’t want to go because I’m introverted and I get exhausted. These places I don’t want to go or I don’t. And it’s subtle or not so subtle, but the end result is I’m not going where I’m invited. I’m not acknowledging that this may have come from the Lord, so I’m not even praying about it. let’s say I get ten invitations. I may not even pray about the ten. I was like, no, I don’t want to do any of them. But my heart is wrong. It’s not whether I go or not, and it’s not even whether my what my personality is, it’s it’s the heart of the matter. So much of our lives and ministry is very challenging because they’re hard issues. And as a pastor, I can’t touch your heart. I can’t do anything about your heart.

Ed (00:22:04) – Only the Lord can. And I want the Lord to touch my heart. And one of the things that comes through, this sense of going where I’m invited is, is the Lord wants me there, most likely. Or I wouldn’t have got the invitation. The Lord wants me there. Then I need to learn to be following his lead to, like you said, stepping out of comfort. but it comes out of a time of prayer, right? you know, and that’s. I see a lot of this, these invitations with conferences or teaching at churches or doing leadership development at churches. Like, I want to go where I want to go where I’m invited. I, I don’t want to go where I’m not invited or I’m not wanted.

Bob (00:22:45) – And on the flip side, you don’t force yourself into situations where you’re not invited.

Ed (00:22:49) – Right.

Bob (00:22:50) – And so that’s, you know, Jesus addresses that, you know, taking the higher seat, so to speak.

Ed (00:22:54) – That’s just as important because we can we can make things happen and then say, the Lord did it.

Ed (00:23:01) – and I, I don’t I can’t, I can’t say I’m innocent of that. I’ve certainly done it before, but I can’t really live with myself. I don’t want to manipulate, I, I don’t want to be Jacob. I want to be Israel, I want to I want God to do it. And so most of my conversations are with him and and most of his answers are, it’s going to be okay, son. Don’t worry about it. Like you’re fine. look to me, follow me. but this principle is super important where we want to learn to be. And it doesn’t even have to be like, you know, we’re thinking of an invitation to a party, to a house. Just. Just an invitation into a life where you come and see my mom at the hospital. Yeah. Will you come to my house and pray for my daughter? Will you come over to this side of the room? you know, we’re in the sanctuary. Can you come over here for a minute? Because I want to introduce you to someone.

Ed (00:23:54) – I just want to go where I’m invited. Which also reminds me that I need to be sensitive to listen for the Holy Spirit when he’s inviting me, when he wants, when and where he wants me.

Bob (00:24:05) – And it’ll probably be random. You probably won’t get a word saying in the next ten minutes. There’s going to be this person that’s going to come to you and ask you this. And now it’s all just instant in season and out of season, and your conscious communication with the Lord, is essential to preparing you for those moments.

Ed (00:24:25) – Well, even you being here today was a last minute. I was looking at my schedule. I had some time, spaced out, and yesterday, I’m like, you know. Hey, Kevin, are you going to be here tomorrow? Yeah, I think I’ll be here tomorrow. Hey, Bob, can you be here tomorrow? And you’re like, yeah, I think so. And as you processed it, yeah, let’s do let’s come together and do some recording for a.

Ed (00:24:46) – Cast and you were invited and requested and you’re here. And this wouldn’t even take place if you didn’t go where you’re invited, right? That’s true.

Bob (00:24:55) – I think you have to have an attitude like I want to step forward into new things, and generally it’s going to be a yes unless I get a check from the Holy Spirit that there’s something fishy about the whole thing. And even then, you still just because it smells funny, it doesn’t mean you’re not supposed to do it. It it just you have to have further information.

Ed (00:25:20) – Well, we come to another ending to an episode of Lead to Serve. So glad that you’ve chosen to join us. Stay in touch with us. Leave a great review. Text me if you have any comments or input. (720) 608-0012 email me Editor Taylor Dawg. Until next time. This is the Lead to Serve podcast coming to you recorded live, but it is recorded from Aurora, Colorado, actually from the studios of Grace FM. So pray for us in our radio network that it will continue to reach many with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Ed (00:25:55) – God bless you guys. Until next time.

Host (00:25:57) – Thank you for joining us for this episode of Lead to Serve with Pastor Ed Taylor, a leadership podcast from Calvary Church in Aurora, Colorado. If you have a leadership question you want to hear answered on a Future Lead to Serve podcast, please email it to Pastor Ed at Calvary Coat Church. And if you like our podcast, please subscribe, rate or review us on iTunes and share us with your friends on social media. Thanks again for joining us, and we’ll see you next time right here on the Lead to Serve podcast.

 

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