Today I am trying something a little bit different: I’m shortening down the video format to a mere three minutes. After all, who has got time for a whole seven or eight minutes? I’ll try this for a few weeks under the heading of “Three-Minute Thursdays.” The first one deals with the common question of “How can I know I’m called to ministry?” You can watch it on YouTube or Facebook or read the transcript.
Today we’re going to try something a little bit different. I know that six, seven, eight minutes can be a little bit long for a video, so I decided why not shorten down the format a little bit? So I’m calling this Three-Minute Thursdays. Here’s how it will work. I’ll take on a topic. I’ll try to answer a question, and I’ll do my best to do it in three minutes or less. This week I want to take on this question; how can I know that I’m called into ministry? A common question, a good one. Let’s put three minutes on the clock, and we will give it a shot. Here goes.
How can I know I’m called into ministry primarily through this. Primarily through the affirmation of the local church. There are so many people out there who are convinced they’re called into ministry. They feel a call into ministry, something like that. They believe they’re equipped, and yet their church is saying, “No.” It’s so important that we understand that men are called by the local church, for the local church, to the local church. That is the call to ministry. So if you want to know if you’re called the very first thing you need to do is to seek out, and to receive the affirmation of your local church. As primarily the job of the elders within the local church, is to keep their eye out on men in the church. Especially young men, and to say, “Could this one be called to ministry? Could that one be called to ministry?” It’s the job of every member in the church to, perhaps, say to the elders, “Have you seen this man? What are you seeing in his life?” And what a joy, then, it is for the church to agree, elders and members together, this man is suitable to the ministry and then to call him into it.
The second way men are called into ministry is through the presence of godly character. The Bible says what an elder, what a pastor must be. Lays it out very clearly. You can look at 1 Timothy. You can look at Titus. You can look at 1 Peter. What will you see? Primarily character. Men are called to ministry through character. So there is one skill he must have. He must be able to teach. There’s one thing related to time. He must not be a recent convert. Apart from that, character. The Bible lays out many qualifications for a man who would be in ministry. A man who’d be a pastor. Almost every one of them is character. He must be above reproach. They’re all summarized under that. He must be above reproach. There must be no way that he can heap reproach upon the gospel through his life. Through what he’s done. Through what he is.
The third way men are called into ministry is through the growth of noble desire. The Bible tells us that someone who desires to be an overseer, desires to be an elder or pastor, desires a good thing. It is a good thing to be a pastor. It is a good thing to be an elder. It is a good thing to desire it. That must be present. Yet, it can’t be present alone. That is insufficient on its own to reveal call to ministry, which is why I put this one third. There must be that godly character. There must be that affirmation of the local church. The three of them together that’s how you can know you’re called into ministry. The church affirms you as having character, as having desire. You look at your life, and other people look at your life, and say, “This is a man of godly character,” and you’ll look within, and you’ll say, “I do desire this. I wish to serve God’s church as an elder, as an overseer. I desire to take on that noble task.”