Sunday, January 07, 2007
Called to the ministry
Many young men attempt to discern whether they have a calling to the ministry; this short read (~90 pages) can help.
Edmund Clowney approaches the whole subject by an entirely different route than those that think in terms of "feeling called". The best way to prove you are called is to be involved in ministering now. Your gifts become evident on the field; are you now ministering mercy to the world and the church with the Word? If not then there is no calling. The calling comes through God's blessings on your active service in the body of Christ.
To miss your calling, follow this three-point program: assume that it begins in the future, decide that you don't know what it is, and sit down and wait for the Lord's call. To learn how to serve Christ tomorrow, you must serve him now. Stir up your gifts and Christ's call will be made clear. God's call to service normally comes in service.
Clowney deals with the issue of vocation and avocation. We are to stick to the positions in which God called us and glorify Christ there. Leisure time ought to be kingdom time, and it is possible for a man's fullest vocation to be his avocation. On the other hand, the way of the cross requires the willing abandonment of any vocation for the sake of the Lord. I think the direction that Clowney is leading us towards is if you are unable to utilize your gifts for ministry in your vocation then it is time to abandon it for full-time gospel ministry.
I recommend this book, and for my local readers, it is available for check-out from the church library.