Last week in a conversation with my mentee, he asked, “How do you know if you’re called to ministry?” If we’re all honest, there have been times when each of us has questioned our calling to ministry, particularly during the difficult times. My mentee is not currently in that situation, but the issue of feeling “called out” of ministry is still a difficult one.
When we go into vocational ministry, we often use language like, “God is calling me to serve at this church.” Or, when we leave one ministry position and go to another, we say, “God called me away from that ministry to this new one.” Sometimes we’re clearly over-spiritualizing a situation, sometimes not.
But when we start to question the calling, let’s not confuse those emotions with ones of discouragement or insecurity. For example, if you had a lot of people encouraging and supporting you, would you still feel “called out” of ministry? If you felt affirmed by key people in your ministry, would your calling change?
Remember, our calling into ministry does not come from people, nor should it be retracted by people. It comes solely from the Lord.
If you’re doubting your call to ministry, don’t confuse it with feeling discouraged or insecure. Deep down, we all feel that in ministry.
Affirmation and encouragement are absolutely healthy and necessary things to have in your ministry, but never should we base a calling to ministry on the praise or opinions of others. Base your calling on the Lord’s direction in your life.
Posted on April 1, 2009