There is nothing easy about figuring out your calling, or for a ministry to really understand a person’s calling. As a matter of fact, we could add another “C” and that is “Challenging.”
When an individual or a couple visits for a “recruiting weekend” both parties start out with some unrealistic expectations. It’s like going out on a first date. We all really want this date to be the last “first date.” There’s this weird fantasy that everyone has going in that this will be great and what an incredible love story we will tell others for years to come. We will reminisce how awesome the dance was, how the shoe fit, and how it was love at first sight. Yet even if it was as magical as we had hoped, at the end of the date, we still wonder, “Is this it?”
We believe that the question of calling requires an incredible act of faith. Even if you over-analyze the question, you still need faith to say, “Let’s do it!” But this requires more than blind faith. Jesus says tocount the cost before following Him. We need to count the cost before we agree to join a ministry. The ministry needs to do the same. So how do we do that? We believe if we focus on the following five “C’s” this will help us all discern if a person is called to the ministry. Is it a guarantee? No, we all still require faith to trust that God is clearly revealing His will.
1. The first “C” is Character. Nobody is perfect, for all have sinned, but is there any concern regarding character? What is your weakness in regard to character? Are you aware of that weakness and are you working to improve? It’s not perfection but progression, and ask are you progressing? Is God showing His power through your weakness? Romans 3:23; 2 Corinthians 12:9
2. The second “C” is Compassion. Ministry is challenging and to do it well you must love the people God is reaching out to more than you love your own comfort or desires. The romance of ministry dissipates rather quickly, and when it does you will need that love, the kind that only God can give you, to sustain you. The people you are trying to reach will know which kind of love you have. You can’t fake it for very long. Matthew 9:35-38
3. The third “C” is Competency. Too often we think ministry is all about the heart but how do you respond to what your heart is feeling? We must work through the complex issues here with both heart and head, and those who are interested in this ministry must seek God to know if they have right assortment of passions, gifts, and abilities to serve the people here. God trains those He calls, and supplies the abilities so that we are competent to do His work. Philippians 1:3-6
4. The fourth “C” is Compatibility. Life is too short to work with people who are divisive, contrary, and create conflict. On the other hand working with people who are all alike would be boring. The work is hard enough — we should not spend all our time and energy trying to get people to get along. We believe ministry is a team sport and not for lone rangers. Having different perspectives, gifts, and talents that complement one another is a great asset in a ministry. What do you bring to the table that would help the team move the ball down the field? Philippians 2:1-4
5. The fifth “C” is Capacity. Ministry is not singing Kumbaya by the fire every night. It’s hard work. You will be a target for spiritual warfare. There will be days when you want to quit. If this is your calling, do you have what it takes to keep going in spite of the trials and troubles you will encounter? Will you persevere empowered by the Spirit of God? If so, the reward is awesome, and you will see God is glorified as you work to advance His Kingdom. Galatians 6:8-10; 2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 12:2-4; Revelation 2:3
We suspect that any missionary worth their salt will struggle with their Calling. When God calls, Satan will be right there whispering in your ear, “You are not worthy!” Weird thing is, he is right, you are not worthy but God in you…He is worthy.
Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? “Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ “Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? “Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”