1 Timothy it says, "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work."
Anyone who desires to go into the Ministry, desires a good work. You are desiring the heartbeat of Jesus Christ, and that is to see men and women saved by the power of the gospel.
I will not go into everything here, however in this article I will discuss some of the things to consider when praying and making sure that one is truly called into the ministry. The ministry is a very serious aspect of God's divine order and should not be taken lightly.
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Rom 10:15)
A calling from God is when God himself deals and speaks to an individual to preach his word. Each individual should respond to this calling and obey it. God calls individuals in different ways, but the end result is always the same, God wants total sacrifice and obedience to what He wants to do with that individual.
Someone does not choose the ministry, just because he wants to join. There are men who preach without God's calling, but that doesn't mean they are called of God.
God calls to future ministers in different ways. One way may be a spoken word to that individual. Another may be through scripture or prophecy from other preachers or saints. Sometimes it's just an impression in ones heart.
So, how can one know for sure if he is called or not? Some time must be spent in seeking the Lord. Consistent prayer and fasting should be done to hear God's direction. Then once he believes he has heard, then he should seek for some confirmation of some kind.
Another way to test it, is to lay it on the alter and walk away from the call. If you are called... you will not be able to get away from it. It will burn in you!
WHAT IS THE MINISTRY
When someone desires to be in the ministry, they must understand what is involved in being a preacher. Being in the ministry is more than getting behind a pulpit and preaching, almost anybody can do that. Preachers are a dime a dozen. Even preachers who are not called can do a fairly good job. But, it doesn't mean they are called by God.
Below is a small list of things to consider if you want to be in the ministry.
WRONG REASONS TO DESIRE THE MINISTRY
One of the biggest mistakes some individuals make concerning a calling to the ministry is discerning God's call and one's own desires. The calling of God is much different than one may think. The pressure is incredible on someone who is a minister.
Some individuals think they are called because they love to win souls. Loving and wanting to win souls is not the only condition in deciding if one is called, although you must love souls to be a minister.
Being a preacher entails not only winning souls, but also the constant daily and weekly care of those he wins. The people that are won to God will have problems, problems and more problems. Being in the ministry is more than just going out and preaching at people. A minister must take long periods of time to heal and meet the needs of his flock.
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:28)
Other wrong reasons that some individuals may want to be in the ministry is; because their congregation will take care of them, or they will drive a nice car or even worst, preach because they can make money. Others like the power that they will have over people, and some even want to be seen and praised by men. As the below scripture says, there are more serious responsibilities for the ministry than just the glory of preaching. We read...
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. (1 Peter 5:2-4)
THE CROWN OF GLORY
There are rewards for a minister that fulfills his call and is fruitful in "Making Full Proof Of His Ministry." The overall reward is a crown of glory that you get from Jesus when you have finished this life.
A minister that is blameless will be rewarded for his labor. Someone may give you praise on this earth, but a minister is to stay humble before God and man. Jesus came to minister and didn't look for any rewards for his work. Don't get me wrong, God wants to and does bless the ministry, but a preacher is to pour himself out, not wanting a reward from man. A minister seeks to please God and not men.
Other rewards are mental, spiritual and emotional satisfaction. When you love and give your life for others, there is no other feeling of joy than that. Jesus died because of the joy that was set before him.
COMING INTO YOUR CALLING
After your calling, there is a time period in which you must be prepared. During this preparation time is also the time that a called preacher must spend time with God, preferably before he begins his ministry. The reason is, one must learn to hear God's voice, bring his will into perfect submission and he must crucify his fleshly lust and pride. A preacher that is not broken will not have any anointing and authority over devils or over his own flock. A called preacher must be totally obedient to God's timing and direction. He has to know when to move, speak or to forbear.
An upcoming preacher must learn to submit to authority over him, whether gentle or froward. He must sit under another man's ministry to be taught. Some individuals are truly called, but because they are not willing to wait, submit and learn under someone else, they leave and start out on their own, which usually always ends up in trouble and ruin.
When the timing is right, God will open up doors for your ministry. Your leadership should know when the time is right. You then can start to fulfil your call on your life.
Preaching is the most demanding and serious calling on the earth. Becoming a minister is not for novices. And before getting into it, an individual must make up his mind that it is not an easy road, because all eyes are on you. After all, you represent Jesus to your flock, so you must be blameless and deserving of the office. The ministry is a rewarding call of God, but it comes with a price tag; dedication, commitment and sacrifice.
For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. (1 Corth. 9:16-17)
If God has called you into the ministry, do it with all your heart and be that sold out vessel for the Lord!