Presently the church I am serving is blessed with a worship leader that is one of a rare breed. I’ve served, worked with, and talked to many Music Ministers over the years, but this guy is different!
There are things you recognize about him almost immediately: 1) He’s been called by God, 2) He is gifted by God to fulfill his call, 3) He loves doing what he is called to do, 4) He walks by faith… not by sight. His name is Jeff and he previously led worship at a large church in North Alabama.
Why would I mention Jeff at a time when he is filling in for us for a few Sundays? Becaues there are many who are trying to discern if they are called to ministry and I’m using this as an opportunity to suggest indicators to discern if God’s call.
Indicator Number One. A deep sense of God’s calling. This can only be explained as something the person KNOWS they MUST respond. It is not irrational, but an inner knowing that transcends human description. It is a deep sense there is nothing else in life the person can do and be in God’s will. Jeff has told me he finds great joy in doing what he’s called to do.
Indicator Number Two. A giftedness to fulfill God’s call. This does NOT mean the person is fully prepared to fulfill the call, but there are natural abilities that can be sharpened that relate to the call. Just Lebron James is a natural on the basketball court, so too the one called will be a natural in ministry. That doesn’t mean Lebron skips practice and training to be a better player… it just means there are some things God gifts people to do. The call to ministry IS a call to prepare and improve. It is obvious by watching Jeff that he is gifted in fulfilling his call.
Indicator Number Three. A passion for ministry… a LOVE for all things involved in ministry. The person who is called will give their life to carrying out their call because they love doing what God has called them to do. For them ministry isn’t work, it is a joy. They are willing to sacrifice as needed in order to do what God has called them to do. They can’t be kept out of ministry… it’s in their blood… their DNA… their soul!
Indicator Number Four. Their faith in, and walk with God, is strong. Here Jeff is a great example! After being in ministry for decades, serving in significant churches in several states, including at least one that would be considered a mega-church… he chose to step away for a brief time for the sake of his family, his health, and future ministry. He was at a position that 90% of worship leaders in America would give anything for. And he walked away because God is redirecting his life in ways he doesn’t yet know or understand. THAT TAKES FAITH.
People who are called by God into the ministry HAVE a strong faith in God… on the front end… that increases over time. You would think this is a no-brianer, but it isn’t. I have served with and met many in ministry who by their conduct were anything but maturing in their faith. They had the tools to pull off what they did in ministry, but their walk with God was obviously not near what is required as one called by God.
The first, and I believe most important indicator God has called a person to ministry, is their commitment and faith in God BEFORE they are called.
Indicator Number Five. Others will recognize in the one called that they are called and being equipped by God for ministry. This doesn’t mean Aunt Susie is God’s means of calling a person, but it DOES mean that when a person communicates their call to the church the buds that will bear fruit in ministry are present. If others do not see for themselves indicators that point to God calling a person… then the individual would do well to continue seeking God’s direction.
Indicator Number Six. On the flip side, failure at everything else is NOT proof of God calling a person to ministry! A person God calls to ministry is not a failure in everything else in life. In fact, in all likelihood, the person would be successful in whatever path they followed in life. One of the reason so many ministers are failures IN ministry is because they were a failure BEFORE ministry.
Are you wondering if you are called? Consider these thoughts… seek God’s guidance… and follow His leading.