I Believe I’m Called, Now What?
Below are some things that you can work on immediately.
Counsel with your pastor. You need the support and direction your pastor can give you. Your pastor may want you to meet with the Local Board of Administration and be recommended for license as a ministerial student. You may, also, want to give your District Superintendent a call (716-646-0282), to get his perspective.
Get involved. You cannot ignore present opportunities to witness, to work in the Church and to help people and think God will use you later. Use every present opportunity to be faithful to those things which will later occupy your efforts more fully. Offer yourself to your pastor to be used in whatever way he/she thinks is best and then listen to their counsel as he/she involves you in church-life.
Learn by watching and listening. Watch what your pastor does and how he/she does it. Ask questions. Listen to what is going on around you. Learn how the Church works and what is necessary in order for people to work together. Ask your pastor if he/she will let you attend some board or committee meetings.
Develop your people skills. More people run into problems in the ministry because of interpersonal relationship problems than anything else. Don’t be a “milk-toast” type person, but develop your ability to get along with others – to be reasonable and rational when others are upset and irrational – to be understanding when that is needed – to hold firm to a principle without being obstinate and “bull-headed” – and to help people resolve their differences without causing division.
Cultivate spiritual disciplines. Many people are more concerned about how big their ministry will be rather than how deep their ministry will be. Make holiness your aspiration. Learn to pray. Spend time in God’s Word. Concentrate more on being spiritual than successful. You take care of the depth of your ministry and God will take care of the breadth of your ministry.
Determine you are going to be adequately prepared. God needs people who are ready to be the best they can be. For most, this will mean a ministerial training program which may involve college and seminary. Not everyone is able to follow this track into ministry, but don’t ever shortchange the preparation portion of your calling. Don’t keep the boundaries of your usefulness too narrow by failure to prepare adequately. Youthful enthusiasm might cause you to feel that the quicker you can get out there and do your thing the better, but a few more years of training may make your contribution to the cause of Christ far greater because you are more equipped to do His thing rather than yours.