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What does “called, equipped, sent” mean? Part 1

Hello 🙂

So I was chatting to one of our ace students, Maria, and she was like “Can you explain ‘called, equipped, sent’ for me” Which I tried to do, and we both thought doing so here as a blog post would be good also.

Called, equipped, sent – three words into the ethos and heart of Student Soul.

“Called, equipped, sent” sums up very briefly something of the ethos, aim and heart of Student Soul. It is not the whole picture, but one window into it. (One window with three panes…)

It’s about who we are as a community, and about who we are as people. Even more than that, it speaks to process, to growth, to aspiration. It is about who we are becoming, both collectively and individually.

So let’s break these elements down a little bit.


What does it mean to be called?

This word speaks to a deep sense of meaning, purpose and identity that each student, that each person, has. To be called is to be in possession of a reason to live. It’s about who you are, what you’re doing, where you’re going, and what motivates you to get out of bed in the morning.

And where do we hear this call from? If I am the one who as been called, who did the calling?

Following the way, truth and life of Jesus

For us at SS, this word speaks to the truth that God has called each one of us to live for Jesus, following the way, truth, and life of Christ. For me to say “I have been called” means that I have claimed an identity of one who is loved by God and who is choosing to live for God to the best of my ability, and rely on the Spirit of God for the many things I can’t pull off and despite the many failings that are a real part of my life. I am called because I have responded to the call of Jesus Christ to follow.

So this is one of our key words at the moment because it’s true and relevant for those who choose to join in with the life and ministry of the Student Soul community. But it’s also an important word for those who are not yet part of Student Soul but might be soon, and also for those who will never be part of it! Why?

Because it is a word of promise.

We are “called” as human people because of where we came from. In the Christian tradition that we are a part of, the first and second chapters of Genesis in the Bible tell something of our origin story as humans. We were created by a loving and innovatively colourful God. We are made with intent and purpose, and made to be in relationship with this creator God. We were made in God’s image, according to the likeness of the very life of God (see Genesis 1:26-28). So to be human is to be known and filled with purpose, meaning and direction by the creator of everything seen and unseen.

Boundary-less life: we’re all called

To be called then is to hear at this moment and in a new and powerful way the invitation to follow Jesus. And it means to recognise that because you are made with great love, kindness, creativity and mastery by the same creative God who flung stars into the galaxy, there is a sort of eternal, latent sense of calling that has been hanging over your life all the way through. Ever since you were born, there has been a Voice calling you, inviting you into the adventure of a life time.

There’s no inside crew here. This is good news for all people.

This is what you’ve been waiting for.

Living like you mean it: growing in the call

So to be called is to lay claim to your true identity as a gloriously epic and amazing human being who lives because of a gift of life was given to you. And then it is to live into that deeply and vigorously as you become increasingly aware that simply being born called isn’t enough – you have to live called! So it is choosing to embrace a life of meaning and purpose, and choosing to become all you are meant to be. And it is starting to realise that living like you mean it isn’t always as easy or obvious as you thought. But then you hear the very specific voice of Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh… (John 1:1-14), and you notice just how potently that voice resonates… and you see how much fullness of life there is in this voice… and you start to experience a great sense of clarity and focus in this voice of Jesus.

A unique and particular call

So there is the general call of God which lies upon all humanity. And there is this great well of potential, creativity, goodness, and fullness that is available to us because of who we are made to be. And somewhere along the way Jesus may arrive in the picture, and as you start aligning yourself toward Christ you find your desire increasing for an even deeper experience of life in God. And so in a whole new way, you choose to follow the call of Jesus. And as you journey through life pursuing this call, empowered by the Holy Spirit of God, you find that Jesus is increasingly calling you in a more particular and specific way. You’re going deeper into God, and as a result God’s taking you deeper into yourself. You’re discovering who you’re meant to be. You’re being shown who you were made to be since the foundations of time itself. And through the power and life of Jesus you are being freed from all that has held you back from that fullness of life.

Welcome to the journey!

Hey, so that’s a quick and free-rolling intro into what it means to be called. I’ll probably update this and make it more condensed at some point, but here is is, on the run and in the raw.

Following up soon will be part 2, what it means to be equipped.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us, leave a comment below, share to a friend or say hi on any of our social media places. Peace.

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Tom Mepham

Tom Mepham is the full-time minister of Student Soul. He received his Diploma in Ministry from the Knox Centre of Ministry and Leadership in December 2019, prior to which he graduated with a Bachelor of Theology from Otago University in 2017. He is a member of the Southern Presbytery, part of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. Tom is also a writing and performing musician and you can keep up with his explorations at his website.