5 Signs God is Preparing You for Ministry
Have you ever pondered what God wants you to do with your life? Perhaps you’ve even considered getting into ministry full-time, but you are just not sure if that’s God’s plan for your life. Well if you long to be used in a mighty way for his kingdom, one of the most satisfying yet demanding professions is Christian Ministry.
So today, I want to talk to you about the five signs that God is preparing you for ministry.
First, let me say that, if you are a Christian, you are already in ministry. Every believer has the Biblical mandate to go and make disciples and proclaim the gospel to others. You can find that in Matthew 28:19 and whether you’re on the mission field, in the ministry, or in the marketplace, we are all in full-time ministry.
We are all called to minister to those that are around us but what I’m referring to today is the work of ministry. Specifically, the public work of ministry but not just limited to public ministry, which is what we most often think of, you know famous, preachers, and popular authors. Yes, they are in ministry, and some of them, but there are so many other ways to serve in ministry and whether it’s in public ministry like preaching and teaching or behind the scenes like administrative support or really behind the scenes, like intercessory prayer or anything in between.
How do you know if this is what God is calling you to do? And it’s not just some emotional response to a really motivating message, the truth is that in order to survive and thrive in ministry, you got to be called.
And there are way too many ups and downs too many sacrifices that need to get made and if you’ve got one foot in and one foot out, it’s just going to be a matter of time before you choose the out foot.
So let’s talk today about the five signs that God is preparing you for ministry.
#1 – Desire.
Psalm 37:4 says that God gives us the desires of our hearts, but this doesn’t just mean that he gives you what you desire. It means he actually gives us the desires that are in our hearts. So when you think about what you want to do with your life, nothing else even comes close to serving him. That my friend is highly likely that God is preparing you for working ministry and you’re going to want to be prayerful and careful over your motives so while Satan wouldn’t likely give you a desire to serve in ministry or to serve God. He may give you a selfish motive for being in ministry. Now, for example, money, recognition, fame, etcetera but for those that God calls into the ministry, they find a sort of discontent in everything else that they do.
So I want you to scan your life. Where are you currently serving? Because truthfully, if it’s his desire and you’re likely already doing it, God does not call people to do full-time what they’re not already doing in their free time.
#2 – You have a heart for his people.
Now, this is not to be confused with people pleasing or having the gift of gab. Having God’s heart for people, often means that you have to communicate tough stuff that people don’t like. And I frequently hear from others that they say, I just love people and I just want to help people. My friend, this is not necessarily the same as having God’s heart for people and our human love for people can be from a broken place.
We can have a gift to get or need for approval, or our control factor, or a need for friends just to name a few. This is not the same as God’s heart for people God’s heart is that people are restored to a right relationship with him. And this often takes telling the tough stuff in love and thinking of the Prophet Jeremiah in the Old Testament. He was hated for the messages that he brought, but he was communicating God’s heart. You can’t be a successful people pleaser in ministry.
#3 – You’re already serving.
Most ministries aren’t birthed. They’re grown. What I mean, is that many believe that God is going to do all the work behind the scenes while they just sit back and do nothing. And then one day their ministry is just going to get burst into this fully functional ministry. And that’s not typically how I’ve seen it happen in the Bible or in our real life and no one just pops onto the scene. But rather they’re doing the work of ministry on a small scale already, whether it’s volunteering for their church or they’re out in the mission field or within their sphere of influence, maybe even in the workplace, they are already using their gifts for the good of others, and the glory of God.
Luke 16:10 reminds us that “if you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones, but if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities” and I’ve seen it countless times a person’s devoted service turns into a full-time Ministry and God will not promote to full-time again what you’re not willing to do in your free time.
And the area in which you are currently serving may or may not have anything to do with what your ultimate ministry will look like, but it’s preparing you, my friend. There are no shortcuts in life, and there certainly are none in true service to God, everyone’s preparation is going to be different. For me, it was all about learning things like YouTube and camera equipment and lighting and software, you know, the whole bunch of things that I had absolutely no desire to learn about, but that was part of my preparation. For others. It might be the fundamentals of good communication, or dealing with difficult people, regardless of what God needs to prepare in you it’s never done in isolation, you will already be in service. Show me your free time ministry and I’m going to show you your full-time ministry.
#4 – You’re willing to sacrifice.
If you’re getting into Ministry for any other reason but to fulfill God’s purpose for your life, my friend keep walking, it will be unfruitful and discouraging. Christian Ministry is not for the faint of heart and there is a large element of sacrifice that is going to be needed. And I know we see the famous preachers and the teachers and we see all that they have and all they’ve been blessed with and we think that it’s possible to be in their position. And yes, With God, all things are possible, but if that’s your motivation, you’ve missed the point of ministry.
Matthew 6:33 reminds us what our mission should be and that is to “seek first, his kingdom and his righteousness and then all these things will be given to you as well.” No, it’s not a kind of give-to-get mentality, it’s a full sacrifice and trust that God will supply all of your needs. Not necessarily all your wants, but all of your needs.
The sacrifices that you will need to make for Christ are almost innumerable, from finances to freedom, your life is about living for him and while it should be, for every Christian, there is more responsibility when you are in the public eye. When God called me out of the fitness industry and into ministry, my husband and I had to count the cost.
I needed to give up my income. I needed to go back to school. I needed to work twice as hard as I already was, and put off buying a house for who-knows-how-long, and that was just the beginning. I then lost friends. I dealt with toxic trolls. I was criticized for taking this Christian thing too far, the list goes on my friend.
If you are not going to be all in, don’t even step in, but if you find yourself saying there is nothing, I would rather do more than to serve the kingdom of God and I don’t care what it cost me. That it is, highly likely that God is preparing you for Ministry.
#4 – He’s purging you.
In ministry, there is no room for selfish ambition and personal gain when God is preparing one of his servants for ministry, his process is completely antithetical to the fleshly well-orchestrated flashy ministries that you see on social media. The Bible is clear, many of them have already received their reward, but the question is, what’s your motivation?
Matthew 6:1 reminds us to “be careful, not to practice your righteousness in front of others, to be seen by them.”
If you do, you will have no reward from your father in Heaven. If God is calling you into public ministry, he will purge you of all wrong motives, he will also prompt you to get your private life in order. God will not allow you to represent him with blatant sin in your life. And if you are itching to proclaim his good news in public, but at home, you’re struggling with lust, lying, laziness, or any other sin.
My friend, he is not going to launch you into ministry but if God is dealing with you on these things then perhaps you’re seeing other people able to maybe get away with, my friend, this could be a sign that God is preparing you for ministry.
You are on a very short leash be thankful, resist the temptation to complain that so-and-so isn’t being disciplined, and instead thank God that he’s preparing you for something better, something for his glory, something that is going to leave a legacy. Your desire should be not to bring reproach to the name of God and my greatest fear in ministry is not failure, it’s just not representing him well. And before God will use you publicly, he will deal with you privately. So my friend, if you sensed the unction for ministry, I want to encourage you to be prayerful as you take your steps forwards.
The Holy Spirit is faithful to lead you and guide you, and as long as you remain in the vine your ministry will bear fruit. Just be careful of the comparison trap but that’s for another day. Let God do what he needs to do in you and I heard it once said and I love this. It says, “your character needs to outpace your success.”
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