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Am I Called to Ministry

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The Call to Vocational Ministry

The summons to vocational ministry is rooted in calling, yet confirmed by character, competency, and capability.  Scripturally speaking, the local church is not to choose leadership based on cognitive might or blind faith.  Likewise, it is unwise for an individual member to enter vocational ministry based on a subjective calling alone.  There are ministers today without proven character and faithfulness, which leads to ineffective ministry.  However, it is also a mistake to hire someone with “all the right skills.”  There must be a real sense of God’s call.

Primary Calling: An Overview

  • Effectual Calling: God Calling Us to Himself (Romans 8:30)

Corporate Ministry and Mission: An Overview

  • Priesthood of Every Believer (1 Peter 2:9)
    • “Yet into this menagerie of competing classes, the Caller introduced a revolutionary idea: leaders and followers who, though called to different roles, are equally loved by the Caller…Because all ministry callings are equally rooted in the call of Christ, formal or vocational ministry is not more sacred than other ministry.” – Dave Harvey
  • Commission to Make Disciples of All Nations (Matthew 28:19-20)
    • Occupation versus Vocation
    • “Do you realize that the works of ministry (loving God and others, witnessing, serving in the local church, discipleship, etc.) are all expressions of the work of the cross in our lives, not a specific ministry call?  As a believer, you already have a full-time ministry: to have an impact in this world.” – Dave Harvey  

The Will of God: An Overview

  • Three Aspects
    • Sovereign (Decretive/Secret)
      • The will by which God accomplishes all that He foreordained before the foundations of the earth.
    • Moral (Preceptive/Revealed) à Am I being faithful?
      • Knowing what pleases Him—living a life of holiness.
    • Particular (Individual) à Where will I be most fruitful?
      • The context and way we serve Him—a personal word from God.
      • Consider the biblical examples:
        • The provision of Isaac’s wife (Genesis 24)
        • Peter’s call to suffer (John 21)
        • Paul’s trip to Macedonia (Acts 16)
        • The endowment of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12)

Subjective Calling versus Objective Calling

  • Subjective
    • Encounter with God
      • Moses’ leadership is based on his encounter (Exodus 3)
      • Paul is summoned directly by Jesus (Acts 9)
      • Timothy took heart through prophecy (1 Timothy 1:18)
  • Objective
    • Evidence (Sign) of the Call
      • Moses is given signs to validate his call (Exodus 4)
      • Paul has the witness of Ananias & the church (Acts 13)
      • Timothy is told to grow in giftedness (2 Timothy 1:6)

Aspiring verses Obtaining (1 Timothy 3:1)

  • Evidences of prior grace (Romans 12:6)
    • Self-Awareness à Accountability
      • Cultivate character, competency, and capability
        • 1 Timothy 4:11-16; Make your progress evident
        • Pray, study, mature; Get your house in order
        • Growth in shepherding, leading, and teaching
    • Humility à Submission
      • Submission to spiritual authority
        • Timothy walked under spiritual covering
        • 1 Peter 5:5; Sumbit to elders (local church)
      • Taking on the form of a servant
        • 1 Peter 5:6-11; Humble yourself and persevere
          • Under God’s mighty hand
          • Because of God’s care
        • Acts 20:19; Recognize humility within yourself

The Call to the Harvest

  • Consider the harvest
  • Evaluate the harvest-worker
    • Do you have a sense of God’s call?
    • Are you cultivating character here?
    • Are you looking to your local church for guidance?
  • How to be good soil: (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23)
    • On the path à Pray / Resist the enemy
    • On the rocky soil à Count the cost (Persevere)
    • Among the thorns à Simplify; Give


For more on this topic

You can download a copy of Dave Harvey’s works, Am I Called? and Missiology, for free.  Visit (Books/Free E-Books/Perspectives).

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