You have a desire to plant a church or be in pastoral ministry. You would even say you feel “called” to ministry. But it doesn’t appear as if there are any opportunities right now. What should you do while you wait? Here are few practical suggestions.
Be Honest About Your Desires
It’s not humble to be silent about the dreams God has placed in your heart. If you are going to move into pastoral ministry, you need to let others know about the desires stirring in your heart. If you sense a call to ministry, humbly share your thoughts and dreams with your pastor.
Interpret Your Desires As A Mandate to Prepare, Not a license to Launch
In his book, The Making Of A Leader, Dr. J. Robert Clinton describes five developmental phases that leaders go through. In the first three phrases, God is working primarily in the leader, not through the leader. God is so passionate about his people, that he’ll take the necessary time to forge the character of a man before putting that man in a position of leadership. Don’t be preoccupied with your age. Time is not passing you by. If God wants you to be in ministry, nothing, including the passing of time, can stop him. Charles Bridges said, “The greatest and hardest preparation is within.”
Make Sure You Have a Place Where Your Burden Can Be Evaluated
We tend to assign a unique authority to our subjective impressions about our calling, as if our sense of calling is divinely inspired and untouchable. This shouldn’t be the case. Rather, a sense of call to ministry must be evaluated through God’s word and wise counsel. It’s important to understand the nature of burdens. A burden for ministry is are invitations before they are engines:
- A burden is a mandante to pray before it’s a mandate to go.
- A burden is a mandate to pursue counsel before it’s a mandante to go.
- A burden is a mandate to pursue evaluation before it’s a mandate to go.
- A burden is a mandate to apply before it’s a mandate to go.
Jim Elliot said:
So many missionaries, intent on doing something, forget that God’s main work is to make something of them.
Remember That Calling Is Revealed In Service
The most important thing is not to discover your role. Rather, the most important thing in God’s eyes is service. In Mark 10:42, Jesus said, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them, but not so with you. Whoever would be great must first become servant”
If you sense a call to ministry, invite others into your life, allow your call to be evaluated, and dive into serving at your local church.