Are You Called to Ministry?

There will always be a cost in choosing to respond to God. It may cost you the closeness of friendships or of family members who do not understand or agree.

We are Called to Serve

When the mother of James and John, two of Jesus’ disciples, came to Jesus to ask if each of her sons could be given a place at His side in heaven, Jesus said to her “You don’t know what you are asking” (Matthew 20:22). This mother was indeed totally unaware at the time, of what sacrifice her sons would have to make in order to follow Christ.

Jesus then asked James and John, “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” (Matthew 20: 22). What He was really asking them was: “Are you able to take part in the suffering that I am about to undergo?” James was later put to death by the sword, by King Herod Agrippa – See Acts 12:2.

There is something within the heart of mankind that wants to seek a place of honour or authority, without acknowledging the cost or sacrifice that it requires.

Jesus began to address His disciples about this very issue.

You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many..

(Matthew 20:25–28)

This same last verse in The King James reads: “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” The word for ‘minister’ in this passage is translated ‘diakoneo’ in the Greek, meaning ‘to minister unto or to serve’ (Strong’s).

Jesus gave His life as a ransom for many.

A ransom is the price paid to redeem slaves or captives, or to save a life. By dying on the cross, Jesus liberated many from misery and the penalty of their sins (Strong’s).

  • In one sense, we are all called to ministry, because we are all called to serve.
  • Just as Christ served us, we are also called to serve others.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

(1 John 3:16)

Consider the Call

In my late teenage years, at a Capital Teen Convention, I responded to an altar call for ministry. I did not know at that time that was what I was doing, and I do not remember the words of the person who made the altar call, but the compulsion I felt to respond and go up the front was so great that I thought the whole auditorium would be moving behind me. Yet out of thousands of teenagers, those of us who responded were only a few. A friend who responded with me, years later went on to Pastor a church in Australia with her husband, reaching out to drug addicts and prostitutes. It was not until some 25 years later that God reminded me of that day and gave me the revelation that I had responded to a call to ministry. And at the same time as giving me that revelation, He spoke into my spirit the words: “Consider the call, count the cost, and choose me.”

Counting the Cost

There will always be a cost in choosing to respond to God. It may cost you the closeness of friendships or of family members who do not understand or agree. It may cost you your finances and your time. For some it will even cost their lives. To follow Christ, we must be prepared to give Him everything.

Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, “This fellow began to build and was not able to finish”.

(Luke 14:27–30)

In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

(Luke 14:33)
  • There is a cost in choosing to respond to God.
  • In order to finish what God is building, God must remain our first choice.

It Begins With a Desire

Jesus said “My food…is to do the will of Him who sent Me” (John 4:34). Is that your heart’s desire? My journey did not begin with an altar call as a teenager. It began much earlier at about the age of 5. At a local agricultural show held in my home town, I sat in a little Brethren tent with my older brother. It was there that we were shown a short film about missionaries taking the Gospel to an African village, where a little African boy gave his heart to Christ. I was deeply impacted by this film and it was there that I prayed one of the most heartfelt prayers I have ever prayed in my life. Whilst sitting there on the floor of the tent, I simply said to God over and over in my heart, “Please God, I want to do that. I want to go to Africa and other countries to bring people to Christ! Can I do that? Will you let me do that?” At the tender age of 5, God captured my heart for the nations of the world, with a desire to bring others to come to know Christ.

It is Never Too Late to Respond

Many have responded to the call of God for ministry on their lives as I did, as a teen and/or at a very young age. But at some point, the cost of choosing Christ became too great, or the call became too distant to be remembered. The spiritual gifts they once longed to move in and the souls they once desired to see saved – have been pushed aside and forgotten – crowded out by the business or cares of everyday life. The Apostle Paul told his young son in the faith, Timothy:

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. so do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me His prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.

(2 Timothy 1:6–9)

God’s desire is that we turn and look to the harvest again!

“Do you not say, “Four months more and then the harvest?” I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together”.

(John 4:35 & 36)

God Always Goes Ahead

Just as the Lord went ahead of the Israelites to lead the way – when we step out in faith to respond to the call, we need to know that God has already gone ahead before us and is already preparing the way.

By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

(Exodus 13:21 & 22)

When we step out in faith, God always goes ahead

When the Lord was leading Moses and the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promise Land, they had not yet even crossed the Red Sea before Pharaoh had changed his mind and the Egyptians began to pursue the Israelites, in order to bring them back into slavery and servitude. Satan does not want us to respond to God’s call, so he will use anything he can to try to hold us back.

  • Don’t be surprised when opposition comes.
  • The greatest opposition comes just before the breakthrough.
  • God is faithful to deliver us when we keep looking to Him.
  • Christ empowers and enables us to walk free as we act in obedience to Him.

Old fears, old struggles and old mind sets are removed under His anointing as a result of our obedience. When God opened the Red Sea and took the Israelites safely across on dry ground; closing the sea behind them; Once and for all He cut off their past, their old enemy, and those to whom they had been in servitude. There would be no going back! When the Israelites saw that they were being pursued, they were terrified and cried out to the Lord. But Moses said to them,

Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

(Exodus 14:3 & 14)

Be Healed Along the Way

Many of us have thought, or have been told, that we cannot minister out of brokenness. But there is a true story in the Gospels, of a woman who had an issue of blood. Her issue of blood had baffled the doctors and had endured for 12 years. By Levitical laws she was considered unclean.

When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period (Leviticus 15:25). The woman must wait thirty–three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over (Leviticus 12:4). Yet despite this, the woman pressed in as close as she could in order to get to Christ, saying, “If I just touch His clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering (Mark 5:28 & 29). At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched My clothes?” (Mark 5:30). When the woman told Him the truth of what she had done; instead of being angry, Jesus commended her for her faith and said to her: “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering”.

(Mark 5:34)

This woman was healed because she reached out to Jesus in faith. And, like the woman with the issue of blood, I believe that God wants us to have faith enough, that as we respond to His call on our lives, that we, too, will be healed along the way. Don’t wait until others think you are ready, but obey the voice of God. We cannot afford to let the opinions or words of others stand in the way of our obedience to God. Trust that if God is calling you, He will also enable you. He will never give you more than you can handle, or promote you beyond His ability to carry you.

  • Trust that God will lead you clearly and tell you when the time is right.
  • The need for the world to come to know Christ is too important for us to delay.

When He (Jesus) saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field”.

(Matthew 9:36–38)

God Qualifies Us With His Power

We all have areas of human weakness in our lives. But many believe that those areas of weakness disqualify them from responding to God’s call. Often those very things that we feel disqualify us from responding to the call to ministry – are the very same things that God uses to qualify us. Our weaknesses cause us to lean entirely on Christ instead of our own strength. When God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses told the Lord:

O Lord, I have never been eloquent, (persuasive or expressive) neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.

(Exodus 4:10)

God’s response was not to let Moses off, but that He would help him and teach him what to say.

Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you to speak and will teach you what to say.

(Exodus 4:11 & 12)

The Apostle Paul said to the Corinthians:

I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Sprit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

(1 Corinthians 2:3–5)
  • Don’t look at your weakness, but look to God’s strength.
  • Our weakness causes mankind to rest their faith in God’s power.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12:9).

The Secret is Walking With Jesus

In Luke 24, two followers of Jesus were walking along a road towards a village called Emmaus. Jesus appeared on the road to walk beside them. Jesus asked them what they were discussing. The disciples were kept from recognizing Jesus and were downcast. They told Jesus about ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ They explained that He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed. The disciples had hoped that Jesus would be the one to redeem Israel but that the chief priests and rulers had sentenced Him to death and crucified Him. They went on to express that on the third day when some went to His tomb, it was discovered to be empty and that the first women there had seen a vision of angels, who told them that Jesus was alive. Jesus called them slow of heart to believe!

“How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter His glory? And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself”.

(Luke 24:25–27)

Because the hour was late, the men urged Jesus to stay with them. While sitting at the table with them, Jesus took bread and gave thanks. As He did this, the men’s eyes were suddenly opened and they recognized Him; then He disappeared from their sight.

Our Eyes Will be Opened

As soon as these men’s eyes were opened, they asked each other; “Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32). These are the symptoms of ‘walking’ with Jesus:

  • Our hearts burn within us as He opens up the scriptures.
  • What was once hidden in darkness suddenly comes into the light.
  • The Holy Spirit reveals to us what we could not see before.
  • God helps us to understand.
  • What was difficult for us before suddenly happens with ease.

It is interesting that the name of the village of Emmaus that the two men were walking to means “warm baths”. Perhaps these men in their distress were looking for a place of comfort, but Their greatest comfort was found in the presence of Christ.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

(2 Corinthians 1:3–5)

It Takes Faith to Step Out and be Different

Just like Peter took a step of faith out of the boat to walk on the water to Jesus, it takes faith for us to step out and be different (see Matthew 14:29). Often we must leave what feels safe, comfortable, familiar or conventional – to do what is uncertain, untested or unknown. Stepping out of the boat does not mean we will not make mistakes, that our faith will not be tested, or that at times we won’t falter. It does mean we are prepared to actively make a response towards what God is asking us to do – trusting that when we are tested or do falter, that He will be right there to take our hand and help us when we do.

In stepping out of the boat, Peter had a desire to experience more of the power of God manifesting in his life. God’s power manifested in Jesus’ actions as He walked upon the water and Peter’s desire was to experience the same.

God Has Given You an Open Door

Ministry does not just take place between the conventions of four walls. It does not need to have the recognition of man, or even be given a name. It begins with a heart that is willing to serve and a faithful response of obedience. And yes, it is possible to be healed along the way.

  • With continual steps of faith and obedience, we prove God again and again.
  • If God is calling you to respond, then He will give you an open door!
  • The need is great! The need is very great!

In the Book of Revelation, Christ says:

These are the words of Him Who is holy and true, Who holds the key of David. What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut .

(Revelation 3:7 & 8)

Prayer of response:

Dear Heavenly Father, I ask that You stir my heart and that You continue to stir my heart again and again. I invite You to speak to me now the words that You want me to hear. (Wait a few minutes here, to allow God to speak to you). Renew Your passion within me for reaching the lost. Place within me now an urgency to respond. I put aside all excuses, all frustrations, all discouragement from the past – and I choose to look to You. I ask that You will fulfil all of the plans that You have for me, through the power of Your Spirit. I place myself now at Your disposal Lord, to do with me as You will. I believe that the words You have spoken to me are true, and in faith I am choosing to respond. I choose to fan into flame, the gifts that You have given me. Let them not lie dormant, but fulfil the purpose for which You gave them to me. Thank You, that You have not given me a spirit of timidity or fear, but one of power, love and self–discipline. I am not ashamed to testify about You. I agree and testify that the words of Romans 1: 16 are true: “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.”

If you have never made the decision to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, but would like to begin a relationship with God through Christ today, please click here to find out how.

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If you would like to have a relationship with God through accepting His Son Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, please pray the prayer below.

Dear Heavenly Father. Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. I am sorry for the sins I have committed and I ask You to forgive me. I now turn away from all the things that I know to be wrong and I receive Your Holy Spirit and Your gift of eternal life. Thank You for this free gift of Salvation and eternal life. Help me to come to know and experience Your love for me more and more, and to now share the love You have given me with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

We would love to hear from you: If you have prayed this prayer for the first time, or have recommitted your life to Christ today I would love to hear from you to encourage you in your new walk with Christ. You can send me an email

What next: Once we have started our relationship with Christ – it is important that we continue to grow in our understanding of Him, and experience His love for us on a regular basis. God does this for us as we read the Bible, which I encourage you to do on a regular basis, asking the Holy Spirit to help you understand it and make it “come alive” to you in a very personal way. May I encourage you to do this every day, and to actively pursue those things that God reveals to you. We also need to be spending time with other like-minded Christians on a regular basis, who are also growing in their relationship with God. We gain encouragement from being with other growing believers. Ask God to lead you to a Bible-believing church (or Bible-believing Christian group) that will encourage your relationship with Christ and help to meet your needs. Ask Him, and trust that He will guide you to the place of fellowship that is right for you.

May God both work in you and through you, those things that He desires, as you continue to submit your life to Him each day.