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President of the North American Mission Board of the SBC
Director for Personal Evangelism Training for the Southern Baptist Convention
National Director for Evangelism Explosion Ministries in the U.S.
Former Vice President of Sales, Chemetco Corp.
D. Min., M. Div., Southwestern Theological Seminary; B.A., Indiana University, 1972
Dr. Bob Reccord has learned how to discern God's call on his life and encourages others to do the same in his new book Made to Count and its companion gift book Live Your Passion, Tell Your Story, Change Your World. Dr. Reccord says, "God calls every single believer to work for Him in the workplace." He believes there should be no delineation between the marketplace and the mission field. "The call to the mission field is one in the same." Where God has someone is where He called them -- whether that is in the marketplace or the traditional ministry areas of the church. Wherever God calls a person is sacred, which goes for the marketplace as well. Dr. Reccord made an interesting observation from Hebrews 11, the chapter listing the fathers of faith. He noticed there are only one or two prophets or priests; the rest worked in the marketplace. He also made a point that America's Founding Fathers called their positions vocations, which in the Latin means "calling." Dr. Reccord contends that they understood the true meaning of vocation, a word that is seldom referred to in the marketplace -- that the workplace where God calls a person is their calling or mission field.
There are eight biblical truths on how to fulfill one's life calling that Dr. Reccord explores, but he'd like to focus on the first three, which he believes are closely related. The first principle is that God prepared a unique plan and calling for your life even before you were born. The second point is that God calls you to a life-changing relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. Third, God calls you to partner with Him in a mission that is bigger than you are.
Dr. Reccord remembers when a man asked for prayer about a job situation. The man said that he wanted Dr. Reccord to agree in prayer for a new job because the man was the only Christian at his current job. Dr. Reccord refused to pray for the man's request. Then he told the man that perhaps God had him where he was because God trusted him to be there and to reach out to his non-Christian co-workers. The man understood what Dr. Reccord shared with him, changed the way he saw his workplace, and decided to stay and let God use him in the job where he was. With this story Dr. Reccord challenges people to change the perception of where they think God is calling them. He says that Christians sometimes believe God will put them in an idyllic situation where everyone is a Christian and everyone will get along, but that is not always the case.
Also, one does not have to be high on the corporate ladder to make a difference. According to Dr. Reccord, "Making life count is not so much about what you do as how you do it. And why. And, most important, for whom you do it." He shares the story about a man who had to clean a port-a-john. On a hot summer day, a construction crew was building a house, and nothing was going right. Even the site's port-a-john reeked with bad odor. Suddenly, a big, burly guy covered with tattoos, flashing a big smile, and singing to the top of his lungs came out of a truck with blaring music. This was the maintenance man for the port-a-john. The whole construction crew watched as he enthusiastically went and cleaned the portable toilet. He stayed inside cleaning the toilet for what seemed to be quite awhile. When the maintenance man finished the job, he still had a smile on his face and a good attitude. This baffled the crew. One of them asked, "How can you do that? More important, why did you do that?" The maintenance man replied he worked for the Lord and that he did every task as though he was doing it for Him.
Learning the Call
Dr. Reccord accepted Christ through the influence of a friend at the age of 10; however, he didn't truly make a personal commitment. When he went to college, he wanted to become a doctor. He attended Indiana University, and drank and partied through college. His grades were suffering and he broke up with his girlfriend. At this point Dr. Reccord asked God to come and change his life.
Also around this time he recognized his call to preach. A few weeks before these events happened, his pastor thought he should be a summer student pastor. Dr. Reccord thought this didn't fit into his plans of becoming a wealthy doctor, but God changed the course his life was taking. After he graduated from Indiana University, he went to seminary.
Then he started working for a company in Detroit, with the understanding that he would minister at the same time. He ministered to several churches that were in need. He found it interesting that those he ministered with wondered how he could work and minister at the same time. After this, God continued to bring him to different positions in both the secular arena and the sacred arena. Through his different work experiences, Dr. Reccord has learned that God was the one directing his path and helping him find and fulfill his true purpose and calling.
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