Pastoral Ministry: Have You Received the Call?
Many people feel that they must serve God as a minister, but how do you really know that this is your calling? It’s not easy, and you could potentially be setting yourself up for a life full of heartbreak if you make the wrong decision. Here’s how to tell if ministry is right for you.
Do You Meet The Qualifications Set Out In Timothy 3 and Titus 1?
The first place to look for confirmation is in the Bible itself. If your character is mature and stable, exemplary, then you could be ready for ministry work. But, if it’s not, you’re not ready. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re on the wrong path. It just means you’re not ready for ministry work just yet.
For example, if you haven’t conquered certain sins (like gambling or pornography), you need to work on these before you meet the Scriptural standards. Once that’s done, you may move on to the next confirmation.
Are You Compelled?
Being compelled or called into pastoral ministry happens when you have a strong desire to serve the church as an overseer and preacher. Again, we find this in 1 Tim. 3:1, “If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.” If you cannot shake this desire (and you should certainly try), then it must be taken seriously.
It’s more than a mystical calling with vague feelings leading the way. You must have a desire and the capabilities to be a leader, because this is what you will become.
What Does Your Community Think Of You?
Your community – other Christians with whom you interact. What do they think of you? The most important call is an objective one by your church, encouraging you to pursue the ministry, to lead them.
If your community doesn’t have faith in you, you cannot become an overseer of the church. No one will follow someone they don’t respect, and no one will believe in you if they don’t respect you. So, having the support of the community is essential. You’ll know if your community supports you – they’ll tell you if they want you to lead.
Can You Afford To Attend A School?
As much as you don’t want it to be an issue, money is sometimes a consideration. You have to be able to afford to attend school, pay your regular bills, and survive. Fortunately, an online Bible school like Christian Leaders Institute provides an alternative to the traditional method of schooling, offering to educate you for free.
But, if you choose a more traditional route, you will need to determine whether your finances can support such an endeavor. Whether you seek the help of your community or whether you decide to brave the financial struggles yourself, this is a test you must pass to become successful as a pastor.
Do You Love Teaching?
You must love teaching, and you must love teaching others in any place at any time. Rarely does the opportunity for teaching come at a time of our choosing. You must be willing to accept that God’s word can and must be taught anywhere. You will be expected to teach to young children as well as adults, so your style has to be flexible, you must have exceptional communication skills, and you must be able and willing to teach harder or more challenging lessons in a way that is understandable to every education level.
There will be many trials and challenges, for sure. Your test is to overcome those challenges.
Are You Motivated By Good Preaching?
You must be motivated and stirred even by good preaching. If you are called to preach the gospel, then you need to be thrilled to hear it being preached. The content of The Book should move you, and you should be able to say honestly that there is no greater joy than to preach the message of the Lord.
This last one is especially difficult for some would-be preachers, since many people love the gospel, but they do not love preaching. They are more private about their faith. This is fine, and the Lord places no requirement for everyone to become a preacher, but you cannot lead if you’re not willing or able to become excited every single time you heard the word being spread.
To test yourself here takes years. It comes through constant observation during church, as well as outside of church. You must either develop or have inherently, an unshakable enthusiasm. It cannot be faked. If it is, you’re doomed.
Once you’re ready, it’s time to enroll in schooling. This will be the most challenging and rewarding time of your life. Enjoy it.
Guest Author :
Henry Reyenga Jr. has more than twenty-five years of experience as a church planter and pastor of four new churches and one replanted church. He has authored three books. His latest book, Raising Up Revival Leaders outlines the Christian Leaders Institute vision and methodology. Order an e-book here or order a print Copy here. Henry Reyenga has traveled and spoken internationally. He founded Christian Leaders Institute in 2002.