Make Sure You’re Supposed to Be Here, part three

In part two, we looked at the first characteristic of those with a genuine divine calling: their inner confidence in their call. Today we look at the second:

2. Other believers who observe their lives will see the calling on their lives and affirm it.

I once knew a pastor who thought he was called to pastor because he had an emotional experience at a conference. But I could easily tell, and so could many others, that he should not be in ministry. He was never called by God. It was obvious. Three weeks after he started pastoring his church, his people began asking all kinds of questions. They ranged from, “Is everything all right with him?” to “How do you fire a pastor?” Three weeks.

Over the next two years, his ministry unraveled, and he was forced out of the church. It was ugly: for the church, for the staff, but especially for him and his family. As it turned out, two other churches had previously forced him out. For some reason, he never woke up and saw what was so obvious to everyone else.

Spare yourself the grief, and spare the church of God. Be certain of your calling. If you haven’t yet had occasion to do so, I would encourage you to call or meet with older friends who know God well and know you well. Pray together and sound out your calling. Even if your internal sense of calling is strong, this will reinforce it, and later, when times of doubt come—and they will come—you can go back to how the Holy Spirit spoke through the Body of Christ to affirm God’s calling on your life.

Next week, I’ll share a story of a time my calling was affirmed by others.

Part one here
Part two here

2 Replies to “Make Sure You’re Supposed to Be Here, part three”

  1. I am here at 3.54am on a friday morning and I am reading your articles and I am really impressed with the honesty and clarity of each one. I am a female seminary student 1st year 2nd semester, I am a single mother also of a 13 year old and a 22 year old, going through all kinds of craziness trying to stay sane. In one of my classes I had to write about my call to ministry and at times I doubt,because I look at myself and where I came from and sometimes how I respond to situations and I question why would God want someone like me who sometimes cannot behave properly.

    My call came through a series of dreams.Before I left my native country to come to America, I had dreams as soon as I arrived in the US. The dreams or what I initially thought were nightmares began to become more specific and very detailed. Then I came to New York and I began having encounters with Homeless people, and I was terribly afraid of them, and in the beginning would tell them to go away, I could not help them. One man told me I was a preacher and I looked at him like he was out of his mind, I was still very much in the world and was planning on staying there, thank you very much! As time has gone on, I love them, I love them so very very much, and more than anything I want to see them whole, it is the single most heartbreaking thing in life to see a man or woman laying filthy in the street, whilst everyone walks by and does not consider their journey. I don’t know if this constitutes a call or a sincere compassion, I am struggling, with feeling good enough. And I am struggling in seminary. everyone seems so intelligent and together….keep me in prayer

  2. In my church this is required. Someone who has a call has to appear before our board of Deacons, mature believers, and the group makes a decision to take the person in care. Then that person is in the care of the congregation as they move toward ministry. This decision also goes to the association, which is a group of many churches that has a committee, of clergy and mature lay believers, that do the same.

    I’ve done both of these, and have a mentor from the association, and the support of my board of deacons, as I move through seminary. I’m also very active in my church.

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