Kaleo, means “to call, invite, name” or “to be selected.” The implications of this for each follower of Jesus is staggering. When God calls, God is both “naming” us and “selecting” us for His purposes. “Naming” us in that we are called by God, to God and for God as His adopted child. “Selecting” us in that everything we have, everywhere we go, everything we do ought to reflect His character. Kaleo can be defined as:
“the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion, dynamism, and direction lived out as a response to his summons and service” (Os Guinness, “The Call”, Word Publishing, 1998, p.4).
This means that no matter who we think we are, no matter where we live, no matter what we do for a living, God’s call transforms us so that through us God may transform our worlds.
Staggering? Somewhat daunting? Perhaps. But nothing less than this “call” ought to characterize the lives of followers of Jesus. Wholly surrendered in obedience. It is ordinary people obediently following an extraordinary God. I call this the “Kaleo Life.”
Practically speaking, Kaleo Life may be a life of action. It may be a professor silently pointing her students to the One behind the order and mystery of science or language; could be a small business owner allowing voluntary bible studies or prayer groups at work; could be a single mother committed to raising her children as followers of Jesus; could be someone championing the cause of the oppressed or the outcast in our community ~ working with the homeless or being an advocate for children. It could be as incredible as a veterinarian who obediently followed God’s call to Uganda and in continued obedience is now impacting the lives of thousands.
Kaleo Life may be an attitude. It could be an employee who consciously reflects Jesus and is now impacting the workplace. It could be the conviction that God has called you to be joy-filled or generous or compassionate and you intentionally reflect this.
The Story of Caz McCaslin
Caz McCaslin is the founder of Upward (www.upward.org), a global ministry dedicated to “introducing children to Jesus Christ by creating opportunities to serve through sports.” Year after year as Caz grew his local, church-based basketball league, he finally ran out of room. But the kids didn’t stop showing up. One year when he had twenty-seven kids on a waiting list, Caz swelled with pride. But days later, he was struck by a holy urgency: “What if those twenty-seven kids never get a chance to hear the gospel?” Caz thought the answer was to build a bigger gym. But a good friend challenged his thinking: “You don’t need a bigger gym, Caz; you need a thousand gyms.” So he put his process in a book, challenged churches to “win the race to a child’s heart,” and built a first-class service organization. Ten years later, the ministry serves half a million kids and continues to expand (Will Mancini, “Church Unique”, Jossey-Bass, 2008, p.80).
Caz McCaslin is living the Kaleo Life.
What about you? What is your story? We’d love to hear how you are intentionally living surrendered to Jesus Christ and the difference that is making in your life and the lives of those around you.