Step Towards Transformation
In the church today, we refer to those whom God calls to be professional ministers as “full-time” ministers. However, being a minister of the gospel is not something reserved just for those behind the pulpit or on Christian television. Every believer is in the full-time ministry.
God has no part-time help, and believers who run businesses, wait tables, or sit behind desks are as much in the full-time ministry as the pastor of a large church or the evangelist who holds crusades around the world.
So you can see that the secret to success in ministry is not what office you stand in, but who put you there. Are you in Bible school because it seemed like a good idea at the time, or did God direct you there? Are you an lawyer because you can make a good living for your family, or did God call you to the legal profession?
If you are in God’s will, you can be as fulfilled, peaceful and spiritually productive in a workshop as you can behind a pulpit. And Jesus will not discriminate between “full-time” ministers and ministers in secular positions when He grants rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The Word of God says that we will all be rewarded based on what we did with whatever He gave us. “To whom much is given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48).
As a pastor of a church, over the years I have seen many believers zealously desire to move into full-time ministry for the wrong reasons. In most cases, they were led by outward pressures and not by the Spirit of God.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons (mature children) of God. [Romans 8:14 ]
If you are led in your spirit by the Holy Spirit, then you will avoid the following reasons not to go into the ministry:
1. Friends In the Ministry.
Your example for the ministry is not your friends but the Lord Jesus Himself. “…but they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (II Corinthians 10:12). As I pointed out in Chapter One, God is the one who created the plan for your life, and He will place friends in your life who will merely confirm what He has already revealed to you in your heart.
2. Pressure from a Guest Minister
Traveling evangelists or visiting missionaries often see the great needs of the world and take on the role of God’s recruiter. Through emotional appeals and stirring slide presentations, they tell you not to wait to be drafted, but to volunteer NOW for God’s army. After all, the Word of God says “go,” so you do not have to think or pray about it, but simply go.
All of this can be deceptive, and as a result the world is filled with enthusiastic but quickly frustrated ministers who either were not called to be where they are, or went out too soon and were never separated. Even Jesus was not directed by the needs of the world, but by the will of God.
If you minister because of the needs you see, you will spread yourself too thin and quickly become discouraged. However, if you accept your calling and are faithful to do what God leads you to do day by day, you will be content. Then, when you see a need, you can pray for and financially support ministries that God has called to meet that need. This is why the Body of Christ is a team and not just one member!
3.You Feel Like You Are Getting Old
You may have been saved or recommitted your life to the Lord at an older age, and now you feel like you have wasted your life. But the Holy Spirit tells us in Colossians 4:5 that God “redeems the time,” and He can make up for lost years if you will move at His pace. There are many examples in God’s Word of those who began a successful ministry later in life. Moses, for instance, entered the ministry at eighty years old.
4 The Ministry Looks Glamorous.
Your job seems dull and you are only winning a few people to Christ now and then, while the masses in exotic locations around the country and the world are crying for Jesus. The grass always looks greener on the other side of the television set, where thousands are saved as Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, or some other great man of God preaches the gospel.
The truth is, the ministry is far from glamorous, and the work is very hard. Many full-time ministers would gladly work in places with you at the factory or office, and their families would love for them to have a nine-to-five, Monday-through-Friday job like everyone else.
Your ministry at the office may not always be exciting to you, but it is to the Lord. You and your ministry are just as important to Him as the famous evangelist and his ministry, and He has a specific purpose for you being where you are.
5.Jesus Is Coming Soon.
Since the Lord’s return could come at any moment, you feel as if you need to be “out there.” What if Jesus came and you were not fulfilling your calling?
The fact of the matter is, you cannot fulfill your calling unless you are faithful to what the Lord leads you to do now, for this moment. “The steps of a righteous man are ordered of the Lord” (Psalm 37:23). And I would rather be found diligently preparing for the ministry when Jesus comes, than to be “out there” too soon with nothing to preach and probably making a mess of my life and the lives of those around me.
God is pleased with those who exercise patience and wait for His timing. Don’t be worried that God will overlook or forget you. He knows right where you are and He knows when to separate those whom He has called. What the Lord has begun in you He will complete.
The Lord will perfect that which concerns you. [Psalm 138:8]
More than anything, remember that God created you for a reason. He has a plan and a purpose for your life. You are not an accident or an afterthought, and He knows the end of your life from the beginning.
If you will put your trust in the Lord, believe His Word and live it through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and be faithful to do what He’s called you to do, then you will achieve success in life and great rewards in eternity. More than that, your life will be pleasing to God, a blessing to all the lives you touch, and a tremendous joy for you.
Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. [Psalm 37:4,5 ]