It is an honor to be called by God. It is an honor to labor and serve His people.
In order to be successful in ministry, you must be called by God.
Whether you start a church, work for a church, start a ministry, or join a mission, it’s difficult to know if God is calling you. You begin to think, is this me?
There are many ways that God communicates with us. Some will hear His audible voice, others will have an impressionable dream, but many will agree that when the call of God comes on their lives, there’s no mistaking that THIS is God.
If you are in the place of searching for clarity, have no fear, God rewards those who diligently seek Him.
There are signs that God is calling you into ministry.
Sign #1: Motivation.
Often times we take Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” to mean that God will give us what our hearts desire. And while this is true to a small extent, it really means that God will give you the actual desires of your heart.
So that desire to spread the gospel, that desire to be an encourager and help others was planted there by God.
Many times the call into ministry starts with a simple motivation to do more for His Kingdom. It starts off as maybe a fleeting thought, but as it continues to grow, you start to wonder, Is this me, or it is God?
You know you have the right motivation when your excitement is unmatched by anything else. I have a lot of passions in life, but none that I desire more than to share God’s Word.
When your motivation is to bring glory and honor to Him and not yourself, you have the right motivation.
Sign #2: Communication.
After the initial desire is ignited, God begins to communicates with you. While some will hear the audible voice of God, most will receive more subtle forms of communication from Him. This can range from a prophetic word, an impression on your heart, a dream, or a growing knowing. This growing knowing is an internal drive that pushes us forward to seek and search for more. Proverbs 25:2 reminds us that “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” When you sense God speaking to you, press in and listen.
Sign #3: Confirmation.
When the call of God is on your life, you will not be left in confusion. He will give you confirmation. If God has called you, others will see it and confirm it.
People who follow God and see you in action, like your parents, family or pastor will see the gifts and confirm that God may in fact be calling you.
But be careful here, you don’t NEED confirmation from man to do what God is calling you to do. When I was called by God, I received mixed feedback and this caused me to delay stepping out for a long time. Sometimes the lack of confirmation is not a sign to back off but rather press forward prayerfully.
I’m glad I didn’t listen for confirmation from others. I would have remained in confusion. For me, God confirmed my calling through my circumstances. God will manipulate the slightest of circumstances to achieve his purpose.
Sign #4: Isolation.
The call to ministry can be a lonely one. If God is calling you it’s likely that He is purging and pruning and preparing you. When God purges, He often removes key relationships from your life. He purges old mindsets and refines strengths and weaknesses. In the pruning, he cuts away anything that could be a detriment to the ministry and He prepares you to be a living testimony of his goodness.
This is a time to rejoice because there is no greater place to be than in the presence of your heavenly Father, just you and Him. When you say yes to God, you are HIS servant.
If you find these signs in your life, it’s likely you’ll head into the next phase: Preparation. In other words, once you know, GO.
Many are motivated to drop everything and start their ministry. Unless God clearly and specifically told you to do that, it’s not wise.
What is wise is preparation. When the Apostle Paul was stopped blind in his tracks by Jesus himself, it still took him several years before his ministry began.
So be persistent in prayer and diligent in the steps needed to prepare for a successful ministry that glorifies our Father in Heaven.
If you are ready to answer the cry for purpose with the determination to discover, I invite you to grab a copy of Kris’ book Make it Matter – A Roadmap to Living a Life of Purpose. In it, you will discover your God given purpose, develop your gifts and design a plan to take you from floundering to fruitful.