The first thing we need to think, struggle and wrestle with when pursuing vocational ministry is “calling”.
1. What is a calling? 2. How do I know that I am called? 3. What do I do when I know that I have been called? The misconception is that only those gifted in speaking are called to be in ministry. WRONG. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ YOU have BEEN called to GO and make disciples, to Love God and Love People. ALL believers have been gifted to do “works” that Christ has prepared for YOU in ADVANCE. See Ephesians 2:8-10.
However, there are some that God has uniquely called, gifted, prepared and disciplined to learn God’s Word in order to Teach the Word of God to a specific community of believers. Pastors are to properly exegete the Word of God and exhort the local body of believers merging the two together in unity! The Pastor/Minister must Love the Word of God and Love People.
1 Timothy 3:1 Ephesians 4:11-15
definition: (1. What is a calling? 2. How do I know if I have been called?)
Charles Spurgeon said his calling was, “an intense, all-absorbing desire for the work.” In essence those called by God have a unique desire to preach/teach the Word of God for building up the people of God to reach the World for the Glory of God. “But,” Spurgeon continued, “if he cannot help it, and he must preach or die, then he is the man.” My advice is, like Spurgeon, if there is anything else you see yourself doing besides preaching/teaching the Word of God, then you should sincerely get down on your knees and seek the Lord for clear direction. That being said, if you long to see the people of God apply the Truths of God no matter what the cost, you my friend possess the inward mark of a minister/pastor.
1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9;
Now What: (3. What do I do if I know that I have been called?)
1. Lean not on your own understanding.. Proverbs 3:5, in other words, chase after God and His Word with reckless abandon. Make a habit of meditating on His Word day and night, memorizing and wrestling with the very words of God. Also, seek God first before and above all else! Your relationship with God is vital to daily strength and wisdom in the days ahead.
2. Sit under godly men. Learn always. You have probably heard it said, Leaders are Learners, it is TRUE! The Pastor/Minister that stops learning stops leading. Find a mentor, one who will keep you accountable, instruct you in pastoral care, Bible study, sermon preparation and daily etiquette of the pastor.
3. Be YOURSELF! God has called YOU to be what HE has called you too. He did not CALL you to be the next, Mark Driscoll or John Piper. God has called YOU to be YOU.
This is not exhaustive! This is an on-going work to help those contemplating a call to vocational ministry. If you have any more tips/helps feel free to post below!