Is God calling you to join a CTI team?
Good question. While we can’t answer that for you, we can give you some guidance on how to go about answering it for yourself.
Here’s what we do know:
- If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ, your life is to be marked by obedience to His calling (John 14:15-24).
- Each of us has been created with specific abilities that we can use to engage in God’s mission (Mat. 25:14-30, Luke 19:12-27, Rom. 12:3-8).
- Participation on a CTI team is a tangible way for Christian musicians to respond to the Gospel and God’s calling to ‘Go and make disciples of all nations,’ (Mark 16:15, John 20:21, Matthew 28:17-20).
If you’re like most applicants, you probably have a multitude of other options available to you at this point in your life. You may be asking questions like:
- Should I look for a job or internship?
- Should I take summer classes or pursue further education?
- Should I stay home and invest in my local community?
- Should I apply for a CTI team?
- Should I pursue another form of ministry?
As you consider the possibilities, there are a number of factors that may be driving your decision-making process:
- What am I ‘called’ to do?
- What are the short- and long-term implications of my choice?
- How will my my decision impact others?
- How will my decision affect me financially?
- What if my decision leads to failure?
- What is God’s will for me, and what if I ‘miss’ it?
Most CTI team members, past and present, have wondered about these things. Though most everyone wishes for an unmistakable moment of clarity in which they experience God’s leading in an undeniable way, that doesn’t often happen for people considering an experience like a CTI team. While most of our team members have had to work through the questions listed above, they have all had to choose to move forward with or without clear answers to these questions at some point.
If you desire to follow God’s leading in your life, you’re likely seeking His guidance and direction as you weigh the different opportunities you’re currently choosing from. As you prayerfully contemplate the opportunities that God has brought to your attention, we suggest that you take the following steps:
Familiarize yourself with these clear directives from Scripture that God has given to all believers.
“He [Jesus] said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.‘” Mark 16:15
“Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.'” John 20:21
“As you [the Father] sent me [Jesus] into the world, I have sent them into the world.” John 17:18
“When they saw him [Jesus], they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'” Matthew 28:17-20″
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
“Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.” 1 Chronicles 16:24
This call to preach the Gospel across the world and declare His glory goes out to all who call themselves disciples of Christ. Yet, we often find ourselves saying things like, “I’m waiting for a clear sign from God,” or, “I’m waiting until I have clarity about what my next step should be before I commit to anything.” We are waiting for God’s permission to enter into His work.
Perhaps we are waiting because what we truly desire is a unique and individual calling that is specifically (and solely) ours. Perhaps it is because we are hesitant to be ‘lumped in’ with everyone else. We want the luxury of a one-of-a-kind description that tells us exactly what our own response to the call should look like, right down to the date, time, and dollar amount; and until we have that, we feel neither called nor compelled to take specific action.
The reality is that we do each have individual callings on our lives: each of us has been called specifically as individuals and collectively as disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. The point at which our individuality comes into play is when we take into consideration the person that God designed us to be and the purposes for which He entrusted our gifts and abilities to us.
One thing is certain: no matter what our gifts and abilities are, each of us has already been called to take action. The will of God for us is that we would make disciples. To take steps toward this endeavor is to walk within the will of God for our lives. By participating in this grand calling, we are fulfilling His will for our lives. Serving on a CTI team for a season is one way to participate in this grand calling.
The first step you can take is to prayerfully consider these Scriptures and ask for God’s Spirit to guide you as you study them. Pray for an open heart and a willingness to answer God’s clear call to participate in the realization of His plan for all of creation to be impacted by the Gospel message.
Seek wise counsel.
Discuss your options, including the possibility of joining a CTI team, with supportive friends, family members, mentors, and other trustworthy influences in your life. Ask them to help you process through the implications of joining a CTI team or of pursuing a different option, and invite them to share their wisdom and insight with you. Ask them to consider the ways that they picture you using your gifts to answer God’s call (to go and make disciples). Above all, ask them to pray with you and for you as you explore different options, and encourage them to share what the Lord reveals to them.
Examine your fears and determine the role they are playing in your decision.
What are the things that keep you from saying ‘yes’ to God in this next step of life? Could it be that you are placing more trust in money, in success, or in stability than you are in God and His promise to provide for your needs (Mat. 6:31-34)? Will you regret making a decision out of fear or out of a lack of trust in God? Are you placing more trust in your own ability to control things than you are in God’s provision?
Fear has been an influencing factor in the decision-making processes of many of our spiritual predecessors. Moses was afraid to accept God’s calling because he didn’t think God could overcome his speech impediment, so he decided to have Aaron speak on his behalf. Abraham was afraid that God wouldn’t provide his promised son through Sarah, so he made the decision to have a child with Hagar. Jonah was afraid to accept God’s calling because of the potential negative response of the Ninevites, so he made a decision to sail in the opposite direction of Nineveh. In the end, God’s purposes prevailed. He provided for Moses, Abraham, and Jonah every step of the way, but their fear of the unknown ended up having lasting consequences.
Pray that God would reveal the fears that are hindering you from responding to His calling. Read and prayerfully consider Psalm 18:30-36 and ask God to increase your faith and confidence in Him:
30 This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?—
32 the God who equipped me with strength
and made my way blameless.
33 He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for war,
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand supported me,
and your gentleness made me great.
36 You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
and my feet did not slip.
Consider the needs you could meet with your skill set.
You individual gifts and abilities were entrusted to you so that you could glorify God (2 Thess 1:11-12, John 15:8), edify the church (1 Peter 4:10, Eph. 4:7-12), and meet the needs of others (Heb. 13:16): the most significant need being the universal need we have for the hope that the Gospel message brings (Rom. 3:23-24, 10:9-15). Are you actively looking for ways to glorify God, edify the church, and share the Gospel with your specific abilities?
Could it be that God has placed an opportunity before you to help meet the greatest need the world will ever know, using your gifts? Are you willing to offer you abilities and your time in order to let the world know that our greatest need has been met in Christ?
CTI teams serve in partnership with ministry leaders who are working around the globe to declare the Gospel to those who have not heard it. These ministry partners request the assistance of a CTI team that is uniquely equipped to engage their specific population with the Gospel message. There is an ongoing need for musicians to answer the call and commit to being trained and serving on a CTI team so that these national and international partners can further the reach of their ministry. Is a 6-week or 1-year commitment to ministry with CTI a way for you to actively participate in the meeting of that need?
Our hope and prayer is that you would find yourself in awe of Christ’s invitation to respond to the calling He has given you. Boldly seek out opportunities to bring His Gospel message to the world, and trust that God will direct your steps as you begin taking them.
If you think CTI may be a tangible way for you to respond to God’s call and participate in the work of sharing the hope of the Gospel, you can begin by filling out an application for a CTI team here.