In the most basic sense, all Christians are called to ministry. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) applies to all believers. Too, every Christian is part of the Body of Christ. Fulfilling one’s role as part of the Body – no matter what that role is – means ministering to others. However, most people who ask this question are really interested in whether they are called to vocational ministry, such as the pastorate. This is an excellent question. Certainly, vocational ministry has unique demands.
In confirming any calling, it is important to first examine your heart and motivation (Jeremiah 17:9). Do you truly feel this call is from God, or is it a personal desire? Or is it an attempt to live up to someone else’s expectation of you? If the motivation is pride or people-pleasing, you should give pause. Are you feeling “called” because you think that in order to be “most Christian” you must work in a distinctly “Christian” ministry? Christians are the fragrance of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15) no matter where they serve. You can be light and salt and “do ministry” outside the church or in a secular job just as well as you can within the church or in a distinctly Christian vocation.
Some of these leaders are paid and some are not. Some work for churches full-time, some part-time, and others on a volunteer basis. Regardless of their formal relationship with a particular church body, they are called to a higher level of responsibility for the maturing of the body of Christ. So they preach, they lead, they counsel, they give oversight, and they cast a vision for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
There are those who testify that God showed up in a moment of their lives in an unusual way and made his presence known to them in the moment of their calling. But this isn’t always the case.
How do you know if God is calling you? continues in the next article…