Stage One: The Calling
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The calling to ministry usually grows slowly out of the events of our life, work, talents, learned skills, and areas of interest. Most likely, you won’t wake up one morning with God’s voice booming, “Go forth and serve My people!” Nor will He send a fax. But if you pay attention to your inner urgings, to the types of service that bring you satisfaction, to the types of work that energize you, and to the gifts that others see and admire in you, the calling becomes recognizable.
Stage Two: The Confirmation
If someone invites you to join an already established ministry, it’s possible that God is confirming the calling through that person. But we must not wait for others to give us the push we need. We have to listen to our hearts and look at the need and our ability to fill that need. Consider: Will the ministry I’m considering meet a genuine need? Will it contribute to the good of the Body? Would the community support your involvement by encouraging you, advising you, trusting you, offering help when possible, coordinating and communicating with you when warranted, helping you get training if appropriate? Are you qualified, and if not, could you become qualified, or is out out of character?
Being qualified means you have the right abilities and experiences, or the willingness to train for these. It also means you have an attitude of service. It means having the right motives, that you’re not interested for the sake of getting your own needs met, or to feel important or to be in control. It means having competence — you must know what you do best and desire to be trained. And it means being a team player, i.e., knowing and abiding by the rules, cooperating with others, and having genuine concern about those with whom and for whom you will serve.
Stage Three: The Commitment
Are you willing to surrender your personal time and needs, your personal routines and business pressures for the sake of those you will serve?
Even at the earlier stages, you can make this prayer of commitment:
“As a servant of God, I commit myself to serve Him diligently and ably, using my talents and skills to my utmost, according to the work that needs to be done and that I agree to perform. I commit myself to work with my co-servants in unity, mutual support and cooperation, honesty and integrity, flexibility, and a willingness to listen without complaint or gossiping. I commit myself to following God’s will by leading a prayerful life and through careful discernment, and a desire to love and serve Him and His people — in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!”
We commit ourselves to the Father in order to become obedient to His will. We commit ourselves to Jesus to become leader-servants like He was. We commit ourselves to the Holy Spirit to become empowered to do the Father’s will and to better imitate His Son Jesus.
© 1997 by Terry A. Modica
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