serves as chief counsel and vice president of the Southern
Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board.
He was head of litigation at one of Virginia’s largest
law firms and continues to serve on the board of the American
Center for Law and Justice defending religious and civil
liberties. Singer has written Directed Verdict
and Dying Declaration, legal thrillers with a
Christian worldview. He spoke with Associate Editor Scott
Harrup about Made to Count, the inspirational
book he co-authored with Bob Reccord, president of the
North American Mission Board.
Your focus in Made to Count is God’s call
to the secular marketplace. Can you flesh out that concept?
America’s next great revival could well happen through
an authentic Christian witness in the workplace. As leaders
of a missions agency, we’re proud of the more than
5,000 people involved in the ministries we support. But
every Christian must be a missionary to his or her sphere
Why did you make a transition from the secular marketplace
to a ministry position?
When I went into ministry, my non-Christian friends thought
I was crazy because I was leaving a well-paying job. My
Christian friends were all saying, “Isn’t
it great that God is calling you into ministry?”
And I had to tell my Christian friends that I had always
been in ministry. God was simply changing my mission field.
The point we try to make in the book is that there is
no one right way for Christians to live out their faith.
So God’s call on the believer’s life can take
different forms at different times?
Exactly. In my senior year of pre-law I helped coach at
a Christian high school. I felt God clearly call me to
go there and teach. Instead of going straight into law
school, I taught for five years and developed a real heart
for kids. Funny thing was, when I was totally invested
in that, God asked me to give it up and go back to law
school. I ended up being a better law student and a much
better lawyer because I had been a teacher. After about
13 years of legal practice, God challenged me to give
that up for Him. It took a year and a half for Him to
reveal to me the next step. Sometimes when God is calling
you to something new, one of the most important times
of preparation is that time of waiting.
How does God use believers “outside the box”?
The book lists so many. Our opening example is
a guy who goes from one construction site to another cleaning
portable toilets, and his goal is to be the best cleaner
there ever was with the best attitude. He’s had
a tremendous impact on construction workers.
What are some steps to discerning God’s call?
Go to Scripture, because God’s call will never contradict
His Word. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Pray. Finally, listen
to the wise counsel of godly friends.
Anything a believer should not do?
In Made to Count we caution against going to
friends and asking them what they think God’s calling
is on your life. Rather, ask them how they discerned God’s
call on their own lives. God’s call isn’t
discerned by a polling process. We also caution against
putting too much stock in “fleeces” or in
personal emotions. Gideon’s fleece was really a
sign of his inability to accept God’s call at first.
Jonah certainly had a negative emotional reaction to God’s
call to take His message to the Ninevites.
Any other comments?
A lot of Christians feel like God will call them to something
that will make them miserable, but God doesn’t work
at cross purposes with His own creation. He created us
with certain gifts and passions. The intersection of those
gifts and passions is that sweet spot of God’s calling
on our life.
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