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God's Goals for Us helps us prepare for full-time ministry by help evaluating where we are at and better understanding God's goals for us. Part 2 of 'Take Your Next Step into Ministry' series.
Training for ministry is the training of our lives. It is true that a seminary degree is often the first qualification Christian organizations look for before you can join them. God, however, is more concerned with who we are than with what we know.
He is more interested in the way that we trust Him than in what we have ‘done for Him.’ We tend to think that we are ready for service far earlier than He thinks. In other words, we are much more ready for the training period to stop than He is. God’s true graduation ceremony takes place when we step into His presence in heaven.
To be honest it is difficult for us to objectively judge where we are at in our own lives. We tend to focus on the areas in which we are doing well while ignoring areas in which we have struggles.
It is helpful for us to look at our life with a timeline in view. We start with our birth and map out how God has dealt with us throughout our lives including trials, opportunities and significant experiences.
If God has called you into full-time service, then you can be sure that God has already registered you into His training school. It is encouraging to go back to see in what areas He has already begun His training in your life.
God does not call His leaders out of nowhere. Like Moses and Joshua and the myriad of other servant leaders that He has called through the ages, they all have a context shaped by culture, sex, language, age, etc., often with much baggage (i.e. unresolved personal problems). They maybe young or old, but they all have sensed God significantly moving in their lives.
The more clearly we understand how God works in preparing us for the works He has called us to, the easier it is to observe what He has already done and focus on working on what still needs to be developed.
We admit that our understanding of what God will do through our lives is often vague until we look back into history. We can trust God in His self-appointed role to train us. He uses many people, situations and His Word to train us, but He ultimately oversees the process. We can fully trust Him in this process, even if like Abraham or Moses we need 80 years to get us to the point where He can use us.
We have designed two sections which will help you better understand the important areas of your life that God is most interested in developing. We suggest that you read both of them, no matter where are you are at. Once read, return and focus on the exercises of the group that is most applicable to you.
The Starting Point is for those who are just beginning to think about God’s call for their lives. Many helpful questions pinpoint areas to explore at this early stage of deciphering and confirming God’s call.
The Pursuit of Christ is designed for those who have already started thinking and actively working along with God in this training process for full-time ministry. This second set of questions helps evaluate and enhance your preparations for full-time ministry.
These are areas we should expect God to actively train us. The closer we work with Him in these areas, the easier and smoother the training will go. If we neglect any of these areas, we should expect to confront significant difficulties ahead.
We suggest that you get a long piece of paper out and begin to jot down your observations on a timeline. Then you will begin to see where you are going!
Next => The Starting Point