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The Adventure of the Call

• Greg Boyd

Like a GPS, sometimes the Holy Spirit redirects our path to bring greater adventure and blessing. In celebration of Woodland Hills’ 25th anniversary Greg explores the ways the Holy Spirit has redirected the path of Woodland Hills, and what course correction means for followers of Christ.

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In the second sermon in the Course Correction series Greg looks at what happens when the Holy Spirit calls us to change course.  The Holy Spirit’s calling in our lives can be likened to GPS system rerouting. GPS helps us find our way and sometimes we need to be rerouted to stay on the correct course. Many times God may call us to make small changes that over time will result in a big difference.

All people who are following Jesus have a call on their life to surrender to Christ and live by His commands. But each of us also has a particular call that is unique to us and the ministry God is leading us into. Greg uses the 25th anniversary of Woodland Hills as an opportunity to look at the ways God has call Woodland Hills in an adventure of ministry highlighting the course corrections the Holy Spirit has directed along the way.

In looking back over the history of the church the Holy Spirit directed several key course corrections starting with the very beginning of the church. Before Greg began preaching he thought he never would want to be pastor. He was happy being a bookworm professor and felt he wasn’t gifted in administration or working with large groups of people. The leader of the conference that Woodland Hills is part of called Greg and urged him to pastor a church plant in Woodbury. After many phone calls and a promise that Greg would only be asked to preach, Greg agreed to be part of the plant. However, Greg’s wife Shelly still needed to be convinced. Shelly didn’t see herself as a pastor’s wife and it took time and prayer for her to feel comfortable agreeing to join on as well. Greg used this to illustrate that sometimes God calls us to things we would never expect. Abraham, Paul, and Peter were called by God to radically different lives.

God has a way of interrupting our plans! It is our fallen inclination to live life like it is our life alone. Our job as Christians is to say yes to the Holy Spirit’s rerouting. It is when we say yes that things get interesting and blessings flow!  However, we can’t just turn off our GPS and assume that God will never reroute us. We must keep it on at all times.

Greg shared the story of finding the building that Woodland Hills is currently in. Janice, a member of the executive pastor team, got a picture and word from the Lord of a bulls eye with an arrow pointing to a spot on the bulls eye. No one knew what this meant and Janice was unsure as well, not being a person who often experienced words from the Lord. A couple days later someone dropped off a map of Saint Paul with concentric circles over it that looked just like that bulls eye. The place on the map that the arrow was pointing was this very building! Through several miraculous events the church was able to purchase the building that had originally been much too expensive.

Through the history of Woodland Hills, God rerouted the church in other ways such as giving Greg and leadership a heart for preaching about the kingdom and racial reconciliation. In conclusion, God is not a hypothesis; He is a living God that is still in the miracle business. God can move us miles if we are willing to move just an inch.

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Topics: Calling, Holy Spirit

Sermon Series: Course Corrections

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Focus Scripture:

  • Hebrews 11:8

    By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

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One thought on “The Adventure of the Call

  1. Kathy says:

    So much of this week’s sermon can relate to what is going on in my life right now. I am working on writing the first novel in a series and am trying to finish its current draft before working on the sequel for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). One of the things I’ve been working on is making sure that I pray before I sit down to write, and asking God that if there is any way that he wants to use my writing to help people to please do so.

    The two inches vs. a mile thing, and not trying to look ten feet ahead, are also very crucial. I do use outlines in my writing, but I view them as road maps and I am willing to change them the moment something comes up that will be better for the story, characters and (ultimately) the reader. I think it’s that ability and willingness to let go of our original plans–not whether or not we have them–that is key.

    Anyway, happy birthday Woodland Hills! It is a joy being able to come here and listen every week (I’m from Ontario, Canada) and I will definitely be continuing to do so.

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