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am i called to full time ministry

Am I Called to Full-Time Ministry?

Am I called to full-time ministry? It’s a tough question and my answer is probably a little stickier than you’ll be comfortable with. Let me say at the outset that this is merely my opinion on the subject and many great men who have gone before me would disagree with my view on the subject. So please, as I disagree with them, don’t take that to mean disrespect of their ministry. I want to share what God has taught me as a man who was called to ministry but now has a much different part to play in God’s plan.

You Need to Ask The Question

That’s right. Every believer at some point in their life should ask the question, “am I called to full-time ministry?” As my father-in-law is fond of saying, “if you can do anything else besides ministry…do it.” He doesn’t mean that in a negative way. Just that you need to seriously ask the question and if the answer is no, than don’t try and force it. But I think many Christians never even ask the question. They go along with the American dream of an HGTV house, 2.5 kids and a range rover. If you’ve never asked the question please, DO IT NOW. Take a weekend and pray through it with a loved one or a friend.

You Are Called to Ministry

It’s been said a million times, but it’s worth saying again; every believer is called to ministry. Even if you aren’t called to full-time ministry you ARE called to ministry in your church. In Ephesians 4:16 it says “when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Paul is very clear here. It’s only by every person doing ministry that the church can grow and build itself up in love. If we remove one person from ministry the entire body suffers. If you aren’t faithfully serving in your church, no matter your age, you are hurting your church. Whether you are “called” to full-time ministry or not, you ARE called to ministry.
[x_blockquote type=”left”] If you aren’t faithfully serving in your church, no matter your age, you are hurting your church[/x_blockquote]
But that doesn’t mean you have to do ministry that you would hate! God has made you perfectly for the ministry that he wants you to accomplish and you are the only person who can accomplish it. Here’s a great sermon on that topic called Intricately Woven. It’s by a Bible Institute Graduate who is now serving in full-time ministry at Grace Community Church in Orange County New York.

Debunking the “Mystical Call”

For literally centuries people have been talking about the mystical call. It’s hard to describe and that’s what makes it mystical. In fact Oswald Chambers says, “If you are able to tell exactly where you were when you received the call of God and can explain all about it, I question whether you have truly been called.” That’s been pretty much the prevailing wisdom for the last oh…two thousand years. Martin Luther described the call to full-time ministry as, “God’s voice heard by faith.” He said those whom God called felt a sense of leading, purpose, and growing commitment to christian ministry.
Charles Spurgeon said the first sign of God’s call to ministry was an, “intense, all-absorbing desire for the work.” You can probably track down even more people who think this way. The call to full-time Christian Ministry has always been described as a mystical call from God that cannot be explained. My first question is, “if the call is mystical how can you ever know if you have truly been called?”
[x_blockquote type=”left”]It’s my belief that describing the call of God as a “mystical” experience has caused many people to ignore God’s true call. [/x_blockquote]

Don’t Miss God’s Real Call

It’s my belief that describing the call of God as a “mystical” experience has caused many people to ignore God’s true call. If you’re looking for a mystical experience where God speaks to you audibly, gives you a sign or shows up in an obvious way you might miss it when He’s actually calling you. Remember the story of Elijah? He went up on a mountain to hear from God. There was a huge wind that tore through rocks, an earthquake, and a fire. Yet God chose to speak in a small whisper.
[x_blockquote type=”left”]God likes to speak in a whisper rather than a shout.[/x_blockquote]
I think this passage shows us something profound about the way God works. He likes speaking in a whisper rather than a shout.
If you’re looking for the shout it’s easy to miss the whisper.

My Call to Full-Time Ministry

When I finished Bible College I felt the call to full-time ministry. I had a strong passion for the Local Church and what God was doing through it. Before I became a pastor I spent a year working at the Bible Institute ministering to students. I then decided to get to the “real” ministry of the church. At the time I believed in the mystical call and felt that God had given me my own version of it.
I went on to be a Youth Pastor at a church in Michigan and truly loved my time there. However, God made it clear to both me and my wife that it was time to leave just 3 1/2 years into our ministry there. Without going into details, the Pastor I went there to work with died suddenly of a genetic heart defect. This led to a cascade of events that eventually led us to resign from the church.
After leaving such a tough situation I wasn’t ready to jump back into ministry. Shortly after that my wife and I joined another church. It was a great place to heal and experience loving community. Our small group loved on us, and we jumped back into ministry (though not full-time) once again. For those 4 1/2 years I was in full-time ministry I was absolutely called to ministry. I had a passion for the church and the people I was serving.

Was My Calling a Lie?

Now four years later, I work in marketing. I’m not completely removed from ministry but I’m no longer on the front lines. Does that mean I was never called? Was I just deluding myself? Was my entire ministry career worthless? NO! I was called for that period of my life. I’ve heard countless stories just like mine. Business men who become pastors, and vis versa. People who went to another country after working a job for years. Men who started a business then became a pastor, then went back to their business again.
At some point, every person has to step away from full-time ministry. We don’t often think about that fact. Most of the stories in the Bible are of people who were martyrs in ministry. They started their full-time ministry and died doing it. But for the majority of us that will not be the case. At some point we will retire, go to another job, switch careers, have a family issue that takes us away from full-time ministry or any number of reasons. If that is true, then I think the mystical call really doesn’t make sense.

God Hasn’t Finished Your Story

The real truth I’m try to get at is this; your story isn’t finished. Even though I haven’t been in ministry for several years now that doesn’t mean I will never return. If God is the One writing your story you must always have to be prepared for a surprise chapter…or ending! The real question isn’t, “am I called to full-time ministry?” It’s, “have I surrendered my life to God?”
If you wake up everyday giving your life to God you can never be sure where He will take you or what He will use you to do. That’s the real adventure and excitement of the Christian life. Being used by God in new ways every day. Today it might be serving in your church, four years from now as a pastor and 10 years from now in business. It really doesn’t matter, as long as you are open to small whisper of God!
[x_blockquote type=”left”]If you wake up everyday giving your life to God you can never be sure where He will take you or what He will use you to do.[/x_blockquote]

19 thoughts on “Am I Called to Full-Time Ministry?”


      I agree with most all your points. I grew up the seventh of eight children, in a German Methodist pastors home. Always in Sunday school and church at a minimum three days a week. At ten years of age in an evening service after my father preached a salvation message I knelt at the altar and in a stat of deep conviction a confessed my sins and was born again! At age 15 at a church camp away from home I again came under deep conviction and in my back slidden state I once again publicly bowed at an altar, repented and found wonderful forgiveness and God graciously by Jesus blood cleansed me and has led me to this hour including calling me to the full time ministry of being a disciple of Jesus as a auto and truck franchised dealer, Sunday school teacher, husband, father of four children now adults. All of this has been full time.

  1. People who leave serving Christ for the world were never truly Christians.
    “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”( 1 John 2:19)
    “For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry.”(2 Timothy 4:11)
    We must follow Christ regardless of the situations were going through. The Apostles went through the most persecution during the early years…
    “For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace: And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. (1 Corinthians 4:9-13)
    For many are called but few are chosen(Matthew 22:14)

    1. I think you are judging too harshly, spiritual gifts of God is irrevocable, however specific ministerial vocations can change as you journey through life. Jesus worked as a carpenter. Being in Full-time ministry doesn’t mean you are more holy or more impactful for God’s Kingdom than those who aren’t in it. The scripture tells us whatever you do do it as if you are serving God and not man. In addition, the bible talks about in 1st Timothy 5 verse 8 that if you don’t provide for your family you are worse than an unbelievable. Full-time ministry is very demanding and a lot of people in it perhaps don’t get payed as much as they should for the hours they put in, Christian YouTuber Allen Parr discussed his experience. A lot of church members don’t realise how hard it is. Now if you’re raising kids that can be difficult that’s why some pastors work bi-vocational. Proverbs 21 5 discusses good planning another scripture talks about zeal without knowledge. If you’re saying someone who leaves full time ministry isn’t a true Christian than what are you saying about other people. You’re coming across as quite legalist. Having a relationship with God is more important than positions in the church. It is good to plan for life after full time ministry. Nobody is indispensable. Full time vocational ministry is very complex and some people take your time for granted. Some people in church look to burn you out and they don’t care how it impacts you and your family. That’s why there have been people leaving Full time Ministry. It is better to leave on good terms with people. The bible saids no man is justified by good works but by their faith in God. If people feel God is leading them out of full time ministry we have to respect that as long as they are serving in church life elsewhere it’s fine. We exist in the world and work in it but we’re not of it. You can’t hold pastors to a double standard as God isn’t a respecter of men. As long as you are using the spiritual gifts God gives you whatever capacity whether part time church work or full time it doesn’t matter. Having a business isn’t worldly. Whilst I believe not all secular opportunities are God’s perfect will for Christians if the gospel isn’t being compromised and if doesn’t detract people from investing in a relationship with God there’s nothing wrong with it. Some situations God gives us free will. Like what you order to meet. God is a fair and just God.

      God bless you

  2. Tyreece Richardson

    I completely agree that we must follow God’s calling. But we have to remember that things will happen when we’re serve in the ministry and when they do we shouldn’t leave unless God is calling us to serve him in another ministry. I think the problem is when we start serving God the worries of this life gets in the way, and leads us back into worldly things like the Business.
    “When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.”(Matthew 13:19)
    “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that HEARETH THE WORD; but the CARE OF THIS WORLD, and the deceitfulness of RICHES, choke the WORD, and he becometh UNFRUITFUL.”(Matthew 13:22)
    And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his DISCIPLES WENT BACK, and walked NO MORE WITH HIM. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, WILL YE ALSO GO AWAY? (John 6:65-67)
    Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted( 2 Timothy 3:12)
    “For Demas hath FORSAKEN ME , having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. ONLY LUKE IS WITH ME. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is PROFITABLE to me for the MINISTRY. (2 Timothy 4:10-11)
    Do not forsake the Lord and always remember what he says, “For MANY ARE CALLED, but FEW ARE CHOSEN. (Matthew 22:14)

  3. The journey of pursuing your calling from God is as you say. It’s the living God we serve and at times He leads us into full-time ministry; at other times we can be bi-vocational; or we can be as those who have lived in totalitarian governments where we have to go underground to fulfil our call! One additional thought is our calling is linked to our identity in the Body of Christ, i.e., if Christ has made you to be a pastor, teacher, prophet, evangelist, or apostle that is who you are (Ephesians 4:11)! It is in your spiritual DNA. Thus, though you may not be a traditional pastor of a church, you can still be a pastor. Our culture understands a pastor (evangelist, etc) to occupy a position or office when in fact it is a person. So I imagine, though you are in marketing, you are gifted and called as a pastor, you connect with others in a pastoral way! I too, have been and out of full-time ministry, but the calling of God has not changed- but the contexts and expressions of that calling have.
    Thanks for calling our attention to this matter of calling!

  4. There is nothing beautiful and precious than responding to the genuine call of God.Paul was into full ministry and so did a great work for God.We might also do full or part-time ministry depending on many factors.It is all about doing it and doing it well.Christians must wake up to the calling of God with great enthusiasm.

  5. This article is revelatory and goes deep into my present questioning.
    I have some kinda longing and yet there are these random moments I get into conversations with people and not too many days later they are beginning some life change and going to work that particular company or go into the ministry of the church full time. I am amazed and yet perplexed because it has happened more than twice in my life.

  6. Meningkatkan literasi digital di kalangan masyarakat dapat membantu mengurangi kesenjangan digital dan memberdayakan individu untuk menggunakan informasi internet sebagai alat untuk pertumbuhan dan pengembangan pribadi

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