Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What To Do If You Feel Called to Ministry

The call to ministry is a huge thing. It is not something that should be taken lightly and it is not something that should be jumped at too rapidly. In James 3:1, it says that not many people should want to become teachers because they will face a stricter judgment. Those of us who want to be pastors should really think it over because God is going to judge us more severely for what we do in His name.

I was called to ministry when I was in high school. My youth pastor took a few of us to Trinity Baptist College for a youth conference. I also think he wanted us to go there because that was his college. During the conference, I began to feel God's call on my life. I don't think He was calling me to a particular ministry; He was just letting me know that I was His and He was claiming me.

If you are experiencing the same thing, here are three things to do to make sure this is the calling on your life.

  1. Pray. This should be pretty self-explanatory, but it is amazing how many overlook this aspect. Pray and ask God to verify the calling on your life. Pray to make sense of what you are feeling. Pray. Can't really say much more.
  2. Prepare for ministry. Preparation looks different for everyone. For me, I began to help out at my church and in my youth group. I went to college to study Bible (changed my major, but more on that later). I volunteered at my church and taught Sunday School. I went to seminary. How you prepare will probably be different from how I prepared. God may call you to seminary, He might not. But you must prepare. You must practice and you must hone your chops. There is no shortcut.
  3. Have others verify your calling. Many people jump into ministry, only to find out they aren't really meant to be there. They can't preach. They have no gifts for ministry. And that is okay. It is very important that others in ministry verify and confirm the calling of God on your life. Your mom is not the one to confirm your call. In my life, my youth pastor and pastor confirmed my calling. Other pastors have confirmed that God is at work in my life and my ministry. If there is no confirmation of your gifts, this may not be your calling.
I realize that some of what I wrote may not be an easy pill to swallow. I have had the opportunity to speak with individuals who are feeling a call and these are the things that we talk about. If you are feeling the same thing, I would suggest that you look to see how your prayer life, your preparation, and your verification are lining up (that is the worst outline ever...good thing this isn't a homilectical outline.)

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