Did you ever wonder if you are called to ministry? You are!
If you’re a Christian, God has called you to serve Him through your vocation.
Your vocation is what God put you on this earth to do. For most people, their vocation overlaps with what they do for a job. But your vocation is for more than making money to pay your bills. God gave you this vocation so you could serve Him and others.
I have a Christian friend who is a plumber. When he goes on a job, he serves his customers by fixing their problem with excellence. But my friend also serves them by praying for them and, if they are willing, praying with them. He may even talk with them about their relationship with God. His vocation is a ministry; we call it a marketplace ministry.
All of us have been called to ministry through our vocation, but some have received a special call to ministry as their vocation. Many of these will become pastors, youth pastors, or missionaries.
How do you know if you have this special calling?
1. Take the opportunity to do something a pastor or missionary might do
Go on a missions trip, preach a sermon to your youth group, or go with your pastor to visit someone in the hospital. Then evaluate your experience. Did you feel like God was using you while you were doing it? Did others seem to benefit from what you did?
2. Listen to others
God often directs us through others, perhaps a friend, mentor, pastor, parent, or someone in your congregation. Perhaps they listened to your sermon or watched you care for kids in the nursery and then tell you how you’re really good at this or how it seemed to come so naturally to you.
3. Ask yourself what you enjoy
God doesn’t want you to live a miserable life. He made you with particular skills and desires so you can serve Him and others in your own unique way. When you do that, you find joy, even when it’s hard.
As a pastor, I’ve stood with parents whose child has just died. I’ve had hard conversations with people. Ministry has often meant doing things that made me nervous. Even at these hard times, I knew I was doing something significant, something I was put on this earth to do, something that brought deep joy.
What do you like to do? Do you enjoy listening to people and helping them with their problems? Do you enjoy studying the Bible and helping others understand it? Do you love to work with kids or teens or older people? What God called you to do will be something you love to do, even if it’s hard.
4. Don’t wait for a dramatic moment
God called Paul to become an apostle by knocking him off his horse with a bright light, but that isn’t how God usually works. He may call you in a surprising way or it may be a gradual realization. The “how” is His business. Yours is obedience.
Which leads me to my fifth suggestion…
5. Do what you already know you’re supposed to do
Being obedient today is the best way to discover what you’re supposed to do tomorrow. It is also the best way to discover God’s call on your life, whether that’s ministry through your vocation or ministry as your vocation.
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