Have you considered going into the ministry?

Some people are in the ministry because they have been encouraged by family or friends. Some people think that it’s a job that is easy to do with lots of fringe benefits. Some people think going into the ministry would bring them our glory and attention from others. Some people think they should go into the ministry as a service to mankind. Some people go into the ministry believing it is their duty. Some people believe that through the ministry they can rescue the world. Some people even have a narcissistic bend to the personality that makes the ministry attractive.

Of course, none of these things are true callings into the ministry. That is exactly what it is! For a man to enter into the ministry it must be a calling directly from God. I have been in the ministry for many decades. Whenever man comes to me asking about going into the ministry, the first thing I tell them is to go back and tell God no that they do not want to do that. I explained that if God does not leave them alone and keeps issuing a call to their heart, the ministry must be for them. But let us be clear about the ministry. It is hard work; the minister is alone in his efforts even though he may have a wife and family. Usually, the pay that a minister gets is much lower than in the secular environment. It would not be unusual for our young ministers to experience verbal abuse from the congregation and or from leaders of the congregation. Expect to be discouraged. Then seek the Lord for comfort.

If you have a genuine call from the Almighty God, it is something that you feel you must absolutely do after much prayer. Investigate what it would take for you to be standing in the pulpit. You will probably have to have an endorsement from a denomination. You definitely should have graduate education in the ministry from a seminary. Explore whether God wants you to be a senior pastor or support staff member. Once you believe God has called you into the ministry, be prepared for financial costs for education and housing.

When you have finished your education and are ready to be available to the church, understand that in most denominations the congregation or leaders of the congregation will vote on you after you have candidate by preaching sermons and meeting with the people. Be prepared to face rejection because, apparently, that is not where God wants you to serve. In some cases, a denominational leader or group of people appoints you to a local church.

After you are installed as the minister, do nothing for at least a year as part of your leadership! Simply preach the gospel and service the needs of the people. Make no changes in how you would like the order of service to be conducted or any constitutional issues within the church. You must be well anchored within the congregation and have their undying support before you take any major steps.

When you are serving God in the church, you must have the full support of your wife. In fact, going into the ministry is also a calling from God for her, too. You’re not necessarily a team ministering to the church, but many people will see you in that way. Your wife can be your biggest supporter or your biggest downfall if she does not agree with being in the ministry. She will always be the center of attention even if she holds no specific position in the church.

Make sure all the details are clearly spelled out in the agreement to the call of the church offers you. Believe it or not, some church leaders are unscrupulous, and some church leaders do not care about your well-being. They just want to hear sermons that they approve of. You must have a kind heart that is willing to be bruised. You must also have a spiritual heart that always looks to God for blessings and guidance even if your setting is positive or negative. Once you’re in the ministry, if you do not enjoy it, you should review your calling. This is the grandest of all professions because you are dealing with every person’s eternal soul. That responsibility rests squarely on your shoulders. It will be difficult for you to remain faithful and committed beyond moral challenges or ethical challenges. Stay humble, re-examine criticism as a potential and positive contribution to your calling. Learn to the love the people as Jesus loved them. Learn to forgive them. After being installed in the ministry of a particular church for at least 2 to 4 years, then you can work with the congregation to make any internal changes that you believe is best. Be kind. Be loving. Be strong. Be determined. The wise. Be faithful through your convictions. And, most important of all—make sure God is glorified through you.

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