What are you doing to identify and encourage people in your church who may feel God calling them to ministry? How would you help someone who is being led to be a pastor move forward? This is one area where the church has dropped the ball in recent decades. Think about it.
When was the last time you heard someone preach on the call to ministry? Or even teach a sliver of a message on the topic? When was the last time you personally invited people in your church to answer the call to ministry? To say that the church’s traditional emphasis on helping young leaders discern a potential call and then setting them on the right path has dwindled is an understatement. It’s time for a fresh mindset and a new imperative when it comes to challenging and equipping new leaders to do God’s work.
Part of your role in shepherding your flock well is to connect your people in service. At the most supreme level possible, that means raising up those leaders who are called into full-time ministry work. Think of the call to ministry as the highest level of service your people can attain. It’s not a level they can aspire to based on their own will, but rather one that God has to invite them to.Part of your role in shepherding your flock well is to connect your people in service. Click To Tweet
If you see people eagerly scaling the levels of lay leadership in your church, especially young people don’t shy away from introducing a conversation about the call to ministry and helping them articulate the prompting they may be feeling deep down. If you aren’t walking in awareness of how you can help the budding ministers or missionaries around you, you’ll do both them and the Kingdom a disservice. On the other hand, as you are open to raising them up, you will be taking an active role in expanding God’s work beyond your doors.
At The Journey, we have been fortunate to see more than a dozen men and women called out of our congregation and into full-time ministry. These individuals are now scattered around the globe, working in various churches or parachurch organizations.
While I’m thankful that God used The Journey as part of His plan for the lives of these young (and a few not so young) servants, I often wonder if the number should actually be much higher. I have to confess that I haven’t always done everything I could to raise awareness about the call to ministry. Now, I am constantly reminding myself to be on the lookout for the one, two or three people among our volunteers whom God might be planning to raise up to be pastors on our staff, or who may be called to lead new churches or to pastor existing churches in need.
My challenge to you–and to myself–is this: As you lead and equip your church, be diligent about raising up leaders in various levels of service; and as you do, don’t forget to cooperate with God in calling out those who are truly called for the sake of Christ and the expansion of the Kingdom.
– Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson
The above excerpt is from pgs. 152-153 of The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry.
Drawing from Nelson Searcy’s decades of ministry experience, The Renegade Pastor is a relevant, step-by-step resource for church leaders who are ready to step up in surrender to the pursuit of God’s best for his or her life and work.
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