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The Starting Point is part of the Take Your Next Step into Ministry series that helps a person interested in Christian full-time ministry (and tentmaking) understand different aspects of his or her call into ministry to become an effective servant of God.
If you have just started seriously considering part or full-time ministry, you are probably trying to think through the many implications God’s call has on your life. We have supplied a number of questions to help you gain an overall understanding of your call and the general process of God’s training program.
What motivates you to go into full-time ministry?
Is this a new desire or has it been longstanding?
Where and when did it begin?
Write down as clearly as you can what God’s ‘call’ for you means.
Have you prayed and fasted to confirm and clarify God's leading for your life?
What specific confirmations and clarifications regarding His will has He revealed to you?
Have you discussed your God-given burden with your church leaders?
Do you church leaders, parents or others around you have concerns? What are they? Do you take them seriously?
What obstacles have you met up with?
What do your parents think about your going into full-time ministry?
What are their concerns? What might be behind those concerns?
God speaks to us through our parents even when they are older or unbelievers. They might not be able to fully understand what we are talking about, but it is important that we honor them by respecting their advice and taking it seriously.
If married, does your spouse share your vision?
Did you communicate your burden clearly with him or her?
The husband and wife both need to share the same willingness to serve the Lord.
As a husband, have you loved your wife and built up your marriage so that she has the needed security and love to share your vision? If not, wait and further deepen your commitment to properly establish your marriage relationship. Your wife’s eager participation is critical.
As a wife, have you discussed with your husband what his and your spiritual ‘dreams’ are? You need to pray and wait for God to fulfill them. Many times they are fulfilled only later in life. Meanwhile, discern how you can be a ‘helpmate’ to the way God is leading him and discover how God would want you involved now where you are.
Are you serving now? Where?
List the actual ministries you are doing (planning, counseling, visiting, teaching, serving, etc.).
List other ministries that you have participated in that are not listed above.
What spiritual gifts have you used in the above ministries?
What ministries do you like being involved in the most?
Have you personally done any serious study of God’s Word? List the studies you were personally involved in and when it took place.
Have you received discipleship training or mentoring from another? Again list when it took place and what level of training it was (e.g. beginners, growth/overcomer, or specialized training).
Have you taken any formal training programs? When did it occur? How did it help you?
Do you meet with the Lord daily in prayer and reflective reading of His Word?
Are there days or times when you are not consistent? Why is this?
Do you keep a spiritual journal about what He is saying to you?
What steps have you taken so far toward serving Him full-time or part-time ministry?
Are there certain skills or degrees that are necessary for service in your area of interest?
What barriers are between you and reaching that goal?
About how much time do you expect is needed to reach that goal? How much money?
What milestones have you already crossed?
Do not be frustrated at ‘closed’ doors. Take the steps that you can. Pray about how to overcome those final barriers to reach that goal. Remember that God places those obstacles there to shape our own faith and give us opportunity to grow. This is our training.
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