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Question 186

Q: What is your opinion of God calling someone into pastoral ministry during mid-life, and the best way to confirm that call? 

I know I can preach and teach, but is that the only indication of a call into vocational ministry? 

Asked by: Steve, Illinois

A: Steve, first of all, the call, I believe, begins with an inward unction.

The Apostle Paul said, “Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel.”

I think that there is a divine call that begins with the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

Secondly, we have to have the right gifting and apparently you do, to be able to preach and to teach. But third, and this is very critical, I believe that a call has to be confirmed by the body of Christ. I’ve known situations where someone’s said that he was called to preach, but apparently, nobody was called to listen, because he didn’t have the gifting to be able to preach.

So what we need to do is to consult the body. The fact that you are in mid-life doesn’t trouble me. I think that God can take someone in mid-life and lead them into vocational Christian ministry. The point that I think is missing in your question has to do with a confirmation of those who know you best and the body of Christ where you serve.

Scripture references

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