“I’ve been called to the ministry”, is a statement I’ve heard many times over the years. Have you been called to the ministry? What does it mean to be “called to the ministry”?
I’m just guessing, but probably 99% of the time, the one saying those words and the one hearing those words, are thinking of pastors or evangelists. On a few occasions it might be linked to the “mission field” as a missionary.
Guess what? If you are a Christian, you have been called to the ministry. Every true, born-again child of God has been called to serve the Lord, in his/her ministry.
If I had a quarter for every time someone said, “that’s the preacher’s job”, I could be a step closer to retiring. Why do people say this? They say this because they think the only ones called to the ministry are those who are either pastors evangelists or missionaries. This simply is not true.
Most Christians today want to “pass the buck”, because, let’s face it, they’re lazy and ignorant, and I’m not saying that to be cruel. They’re ignorant, because they want to be spoon fed for thirty minutes or less, once a week, and what they are fed is usually mush. They’re lazy because they have been pampered by spineless pastors over the years.
On numerous occasions, Jesus said, “Follow Me”, and if you will read all the verses related to that command, you will immediately notice that He was busy, working. He was constantly at work, fulfilling His Father’s will. He gave us six days to work and one to rest. So obviously, at least 86% of our time should be occupied with work, and 14% with rest. However, far too many Christians want to take 100% for rest, and leave the work to others.
Many think we will be idle in Heaven, just strolling around, sniffing the flowers. I personally believe that we will all be busy at whatever He assigns us to do. There is no other conclusion one can come to when reading the Scriptures. In this life, He has assigned all of us a task (a ministry), designed specifically to our gift(s) from the Holy Spirit.
Work is not a dirty word (even though it is a four letter word). To some though, you would think it is highly contagious, in a bad way.
Our God has given every one of His own a responsibility while we are upon this earth. It is called our ministry. I honestly believe that if we are in His will, it will not seem like work. Some are called to depend upon their ministry to live, such as “full-time” missionary work for example. Most however have been called to serve Him, while working a secular job to support themselves. How we support ourselves isn’t the issue, as long as it brings glory to Him. What matters, is that wherever our two feet take us, that is our mission field. It is our ministry.
The Spirit of God has blessed you with one or more gifts that He wants you to use in the ministry He has called you to serve. So many of you are missing a wonderful blessing by ignoring this aspect of your Christian life.
Some have been called to offer a kind word to others. We all have been called to tell others about Jesus, in whatever way the Holy Spirit guides us. Some have been called to glorify Him in music or preaching. All who have children have been called to raise those children in a way that brings honor to Him. Some have been called to the political arena, others to the teaching field. Some honor Him in art, others in written form. Some have a ministry of helping others with needs brought to their attention by the Holy Spirit. God has given some money to use for His cause. I could go on and on and on. The point is, each of us is different. Therefore each of us has a special ministry given to us by the Spirit of God. We all can’t be the arm. We all can’t be the leg. We are different parts of the body, and Jesus is the head. Every part of the body, working together, with Jesus as the head, is what God wants of us.
So have you been called to the ministry? If you are a child of God, you most certainly have. But don’t get “being called to the ministry” confused with the pastorate. Some are called to the ministry of being a pastor, but some are not, and here is where I diverge.
First of all, I do not feel, based on God’s Word, that God has ever called any woman to the pastoral ministry. I have also noticed that there are many men in the pastoral ministry who I do not feel have been called to that particular field of service for Christ.
Now I will never mention any particular person. I will keep that to myself, because their calling is between them and the Lord, not them and me. In other words, it is none of my business, with the following exceptions. If they are living contrary to the Word of God, and are preaching contrary to the Word of God, it is my business and every other Christian’s business.
If they are living contrary to the Word of God, such as, their life style is promiscuous, then they have not been called to the pastoral ministry. Furthermore, they need to check with God to see if they are actually one of His own (saved).
If they are preaching contrary to the Word of God, such as, proclaiming that Jesus is one way to be saved, but there are other ways, then they definitely need to come to Jesus for forgiveness and salvation.
Obviously, there are dozens of other examples that could be provided, but surely you get the point.
Let me return now to my original thought. Do not feel that the only way you can serve the Lord is by either being a pastor, and evangelist or a missionary. One of the very reasons that many well-intentioned men have entered the pastoral ministry is because they think this is the only way to serve Christ. They have not been called by Christ for this particular ministry, and it shows.
Please read First Corinthians chapter twelve. The apostle Paul explains to us, in a very clear and concise way, how we fit together in the body of Christ. We are different, as the leg and the arm are different, but all a part of the body of Christ. We all have different functions, as the leg and the arm, in the body of Christ. Don’t try to be the leg if you are the arm. Don’t try to be the arm if you are the leg. Serve Christ in the part of His body that He has placed you. That is your call to the ministry.
Many will ask a very legitimate question. That question is, “How do I know my ministry for Christ?” I can’t answer that, but maybe I can help. What ability (or abilities) has the Holy Spirit given you? What are you drawn to do for Him? What are you good at? What comes natural to you? These are not necessarily fool-proof aides, but maybe they can help.
In the end, just ask the Head of the body. He wants you to ask, and His Spirit will guide you where you need to be and show you what you need to be doing for Jesus.