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Question:

Recognizing the Call

Two questions about ministry and the calling: (1) How did you as a pastor realize that you were called to ministry and to the pastoral office in particular? (2) Knowing that many are called to serve who are not called to preach, per se, how do you help other people recognize and discern their calling?

Responses:

Pastor Mark BoerPastor Mark Boer – Boise, ID

I imagine that each pastor has a different experience in arriving at their place of ministry. My story involved knowing at different stages what the next step was. I knew God wanted to use me and that I should attend Bible school. At this time, I didn’t know specifically what my calling was but only what I was to do. A couple months after graduation, I knew I was to move to a certain city and then accept a position on staff at a church. In this process, I discovered that certain gifts (pastor, teacher) were evident, and therefore, I also knew my calling. In other words, I didn’t focus so much on identifying a ministry office to which I was called, but rather asked the Lord, “What do you want me to do now?” Near the end of my time in that position (almost 12 years), I again knew something inside—that I was to start a church. So, my understanding that I was to be a senior pastor came more in obedience to a directive from the Holy Spirit as opposed to a spectacular revelation that I was now a five-fold ministry gift of pastor.

As for helping others discern their calling, of which I regularly do, I encourage this same approach. What is the Lord leading you to do now? Do it. Be faithful. When and if the time comes to do something else, follow His directive. In this process, you also will recognize the gifts of God inside you.

Pastor Jim GraffPastor Jim Graff – Victoria, TX

I believe that those called to pastoral ministry experience a few common signs. First, we have a desire that remains within us because God has given us grace for that purpose. Next, we have confirmation within a healthy community of faith of both our gifts and our calling. Finally, the guidance of the Holy Spirit faithfully directs day by day and season by season. If someone wasn’t experiencing all three dynamics, I would question their call to pastoral ministry.

Bill AnzevinoPastor Bill Anzevino – Industry, PA

After graduating from Rhema Bible Training Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, the Lord instructed me to move back to my hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. A local pastor asked me if I would help him with his youth. At this time, I was uncertain about what the Lord wanted me to do, but I felt it couldn’t hurt to share what I learned at Rhema with a few individuals in this youth group. I wasn’t there more than a couple of weeks before the pastor called me into his office and asked me if I would preach a message at a sister church located in Midland, Pennsylvania. They were without a pastor at the time and needed people to speak. I agreed. He then asked me if I would consider candidating to become their next pastor. I said “Absolutely not! God would have to speak to me in an audible voice as He did to Moses in order for me to consider that.” He laughed, I laughed, and I went about my day. The following Sunday as I was traveling to Midland to speak, I heard an audible voice that said: “You will be the next pastor of that church.” I was stunned by what I heard, but I remembered saying “God would have to speak to me in an audible voice!” That happened in 1979 and I’ve been pastoring the same church for over 38 years now. This is how I know God called me to pastor.

Helping others discern their calling can be challenging based on the attitudes and personalities of the individuals. Over the years I’ve watched individuals start churches that took them and the people out of the will of God. The churches failed, the people were hurt, and in some cases, stopped serving God. These individuals refused Godly counsel and stepped into an area of ministry God never called them to. One individual started two churches that both closed in a matter of a few months. On the other hand, others have gone out from among us entering full-time ministry and are doing a tremendous work for God because they are functioning in the office God called them to.

It’s important for everyone to know that Jesus is the head of the Church and He puts people in positions of ministry as it pleases Him. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and He knows where we belong. The way to discover our place, be it serving or pastoring, is to seek the Lord wholeheartedly, continue being faithful to the general revealed will of God as outlined in scripture, be faithful in small things and help others succeed. Doing these things shows God your passion to serve and the gift of God within will emerge. Promotion comes as we show ourselves faithful.

Pastor Mike BangPastor Mike Bang – Sioux Falls, SD

When I gave my heart to the Lord [the third Sunday evening of 1971], one of the first things I told my wife was, “I believe I am called to preach the Gospel.” Of course, because of the hypocrisy Vicki had witnessed as a young girl, she was determined she would never marry a preacher, even though she had all the giftings necessary for the calling.

Looking back, now I understand why I spoke those words in the beginning of my spiritual life. God knew “His Word wouldn’t return to Him void.” Nine years passed, and two children later, in the summer of 1980, after returning from a business run to Dallas, I just knew, by the Spirit of God, that it was time to sell our trucking company and move to Tulsa where, after graduating from Rhema Bible Training Center, Vicki and I and our three children, moved up to Sioux Falls and pioneered Faith Family Church, a spiritual journey we’ve been on now for over 36 years. I often tell our congregation, “Though you can’t explain the supernatural, you can experience it”; and when it comes to the fivefold calling’ to ministry, you just know that you know; and ultimately the fruit will be the evidence.

There’s a reason why Jesus said, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” I believe it’s because there are few that are willing “to pay the price” for such a calling. Though this never detours the plan of God, the “spiritual warfare” you experience on a daily basis as a Christian is nothing compared to the warfare one experiences stepping into the fivefold calling mentioned in Ephesians 4. On the other hand, God always equips you and graces you for whatever your giftings are in His Body.

As far as recognizing or discerning your specific calling, I believe the best way is to just get wholly committed to and involved in the local church, and in time, if God has called you to a higher [not necessarily a greater] calling, I am confident that God will make it clear to you.

Pastor Thom FieldsPastor Thom Fields – Kennewick, WA

Recognizing the purpose of God for my life just sort of “unfolded,” for me. I started talking with my father (an evangelist at the time) when I was quite young. We traveled all summer and every weekend during the school year. I was allowed to pray for a girl who had never walked when I was 7 or 8 years old on a Friday night during a revival meeting in Oregon. On Sunday morning, she got herself up off of an old wooden pew and walked down the center aisle of the church as all the other children were gathered in the front of the sanctuary singing. The place went nuts! People were literally screaming and shouting, but my world went so quiet and almost into slow motion. I simply sensed God’s presence and, the best way I can describe it, a “knowing” came upon me. From that moment “I knew” I would be “doing ministry” the rest of my life.

Opportunities and decisions continued to present themselves to me as I grew up; no different than anybody else, I guess. By the grace of God, I made decisions that led me from one open door to the next. I’m not suggesting that I never made poor decisions! Shoot – I’ve made many choices over the years that were poor, wrong, and a few that turned out to be just plain stupid. However, God continues to be faithful and has always helped me to somehow overcome my own ignorance.

Becoming a pastor has simply been the result of the choices that I’ve made over the past 40 years. “Staying” a pastor has probably been more of the miraculous journey. The doors of opportunity would swing open and I would choose to walk through them. However, it seems there have always been just as many doors, if not more, that lead away from the purpose of God. I believe this is true for almost all of us. Staying the course, at least for me, has been the most difficult part of the journey; just refusing to entertain thoughts to “change direction.” I’ve had to remind myself that God declares the end…not me!

On the second portion of the question, “How do you help other people recognize and discern their calling?” Obviously, this issue is huge and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m not smart enough to provide complete insight for anybody on the subject. I will share one little nugget that has proven effective for me in almost every arena of ministry. It’s HOW we try to do everything at our church. It’s HOW we look at and handle every opportunity that presents itself to us. It’s HOW I would answer this specific question in my own ministry. I literally call it The HOW: “Help Others Win.”

HOW are we going to build the Church? Help Others Win. HOW do we raise up new, young leaders? Help Others Win. HOW do we recruit more volunteers? Help Others Win. HOW do we encourage people to stay in their lane? Help Others Win.

Once people come to know and believe that your goal is TRULY to Help Others Win, they begin to trust your decision-making process. If I honestly believe that an individual couldn’t win in a position that required them to be a “preacher,” I’d just tell them. I’d sit down with them and we’d have a discussion with the goal of “defining the win for their life.” Helping Others Win requires that we help define the win – the target or goal. Nobody consistently wins simply by accident. If we, as effective leaders, can communicate our target – or goal – Helping Others Win, we become more successful at WINNING!

I hope this is helpful. This is the HOW I apply to the process of answering these questions each month. This is HOW I attempt to lead my church, my family, my life. I am currently working to ensure that every person possible comes to recognize that this is HOW Thom Fields does life. Helping Others Win isn’t always easy. Helping others win, oddly enough, isn’t even popular. But I honestly believe that helping others win IS always possible.

Pastor Craig BaslerPastor Craig Basler – LaGrange, KY

Immediately after I was saved I just wanted to help serve in any way I could. I was in the U.S. Army and started helping in the chapel. My wife and I then were transferred to Kansas where we began serving in a local church. I was an usher, my wife and I volunteered to clean the church, mow the grass, and help wherever we could. It was there that it was confirmed that we were to attend RHEMA. As we pursued God’s call, it was obvious to me that He had called me to serve Him as a Pastor. My love for the Word and desire to see people know the truth grew.

We have now been serving as pastors for 25 years at the same church. Hallelujah! The desire to serve is still as strong as ever. I believe that serving any way you can will help you remain sensitive to the call of God.

I always encourage young people to find a place to serve—start somewhere. As you do, it will become obvious what your gifts are. Your calling may not be preaching, but you’ll never go wrong serving where there is a need. God looks for faithfulness. When He finds someone willing to do anything, He can guide them into specific things.

Pastor David KibbenPastor David Kibben – Cheyenne, WY

How did I realize I was called to the ministry and to the pastoral office in particular? When I was about 8 years old, I remember my mom telling me that they had named me David for a reason and that God’s hand was on my life. As an 8-year-old, I don’t think that registered with me concerning what that meant as far as God’s hand being on my life. Although, I did think it was pretty neat that I was named after David in the Bible, the giant slayer.

As a teenager, and in my first few years of college, my dad would tell me I had a call on my life. To be honest I ran from that because I wanted to be a football coach and physical education teacher. I had no desire to be in the ministry. After graduating from college in 1981, I moved back in with my parents for that summer thinking that I would eventually get a job as a PE teacher and coach. I begin working for a ministry in Tennessee working in the book and tape department. This ministry had a small Bible school and during a seminar, that summer, the head of the ministry spoke by the Holy Spirit that if God was telling you to go to Bible school then you needed to attend in the fall. As this man spoke (to me it looked like he was looking right at me), the Holy Spirit began to minister to my heart about attending this Bible school. It was not something I wanted to do, to be honest, having just been in college for five years, but the Holy Spirit kept speaking to my heart. For the next few days, I wrestled with the thought of going to Bible school in the fall. After praying and seeking counsel from my parents and others, I applied and was accepted for the fall term.

It was during a chapel service in September that I saw myself in the ministry. The leader of that particular service had invited the students to come down to the altar and consecrate ourselves to the Lord in a greater degree for the remainder of the year. It was during this time that I saw myself being called into the ministry. To be honest, I was very overwhelmed by what I was seeing that I didn’t tell anyone what was going on. Then the woman who was leading the chapel service made a statement; “David, I’m seeing the same thing you’re seeing.” We talked the next day and she confirmed what I was seeing, but she encouraged me to seek the Lord, stay in school, and serve the Lord in whatever area I felt led. I praise God for the advice that she gave me and others that I looked up to at the time to not get into a hurry about being in the ministry. I worked for three more years in the book and tape department of that ministry, eventually heading it up, and occasionally teaching in the Bible school. Then in August of 1984, I was asked to be the Assistant Director of the school, and in August of 198, I became the Director of the Bible school, a capacity I held for two more years.

Then in July of 1986, at a seminar on the ministry gifts, the guest minister spoke over me that God was calling me to pastor. I remember the Lord speaking through him, that this was not something I had asked for, but that He, the Lord, was calling me into the office of the pastor. Again, I thank the Lord for wise and seasoned ministers such as this man who encouraged me to pray and seek God concerning this matter. I would not step into the pastoral office until July of 1987. God had to do a work in my heart, plus prepare the place for where I would first pastor. I have now been a pastor for over 26 years, and I am so glad that I answered the call of God to go into the ministry and eventually into the pastoral ministry. It always pays to obey God.

What would I say to others that are sensing the call of God upon their life? First, I would tell them not to get in a hurry. I’ve seen too many people jump out ahead of God and miss God by going into the ministry too soon. Unfortunately, I’ve seen many people’s lives, their faith, and sometimes their marriages, become shipwrecked as a result of rushing into the ministry.

Secondly, I would encourage a person to seek out godly people concerning what they are sensing in their heart about the call of God. I realize that God calls a person, but others will recognize the call of God upon your life. They will be able to give wise counsel and help you discern that calling.

Thirdly, consider attending a Bible college or some type of ministry training institute to help you develop as a minister. Remember, preparation time is not lost time, and you can gain valuable insight from those who have been in the ministry before you. I praise God for the training I have received from two separate Bible colleges.

Fourthly, faithfully serve the pastor and church where you are currently planted and be a blessing to that person and church. God desires that we be faithful and Jesus tells us in Luke 16 that we are to be faithful in the small things before we will be entrusted with larger things. Elisha served Elijah for twenty years before he fulfilled the plan and purpose of God for his life.

Finally, follow peace! There is nothing wrong with serving in the ministry of helps, and helping your local pastor fulfill the vision and purpose of God for that church. If God is calling you into the ministry, you will have peace in your heart even as you may have doubts in your head.

Pastor David SwannPastor David Swann – Clovis, NM

I think ministry begins with a deep-seated desire to preach and to shepherd God’s people (1 Tim. 3:1). As Paul goes on in 1 Timothy 3 with various qualities, he says with the ability to teach/preach! Some are gifted with a speaking ability to make clear God’s will, to take time to understand verses and passages and make them understandable! Pastor John Osteen said, “It’s God’s ability to make simple what’s complicated!” Those without this teaching/communicating gift can serve in areas of the Church and ministry that does not require a public speaking component. The fivefold ministry has different applications, but all five carry a public speaking ability! Without the desire and gifting, the ministry of helps or organizational skills would be a focus of service.

Pastor Kevin BerryPastor Kevin Berry – Lansing, MI 

I was about 14 years old when I had this thought on the inside of me that God wanted me to be a pastor someday. I had no visitation from angels, I didn’t see a vision, and nobody gave me a prophetic word. Deep down, I just felt that was what I was supposed to do. So, I remember going out to visit hospitals with our youth pastor at that time—Pastor Dave Williams. I told him that I thought God was calling me to be a pastor… but how do I know if that’s just me or if that’s God? Pastor Dave’s response to me was, “The Bible says God gives us the desires of our heart, and I believe God has given you that desire.” So, from that day on, that’s what I set my heart to do.

Little did I know that my youth pastor would become the pastor of our little church; little did I know our little church wouldn’t stay little. And little did I know that someday I would have the privilege of pastoring that same church. When it comes to the call of God, follow your heart, not your head. Talk to some trusted spiritual authorities in your life, and enjoy the ride!

I tell people that every member of Mount Hope Church is a minister. If you are in the family of God, you are called to minister. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are God’s masterpiece, created to DO GOOD WORKS. As I’ve heard Tony Cooke say, “We are not saved by good works, but if we are saved, we will do good works.” We have a “discover your gifts” class that helps people recognize their special gifts so they can serve in a way that God created them to serve. We also encourage people to “test drive” a ministry. We encourage them to “kick the tires” and try out a few ministries and the Holy Spirit will let them know what the right fit is for them.

Pastor Barry FredericksPastor Barry Fredericks – Newtown, CT

My wife and I were saved in a wonderful Assembly of God church. She was born again about 6 months before I was, and I was born again in January 1979. The pastor of the church was a fine man (he is with Jesus now) and a dear friend. His ministry was almost exclusively, “You must be born again.” The church believed in the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but never taught someone how to become Spirit-filled. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit while driving and listening to the testimony of a Catholic priest who was baptized in the Holy Spirit. The pastor led a great number of people to Jesus, but there was little teaching that helped me grow once I was born again.

I have always loved to read, so when I was born again, reading the Bible was a joy. I began to see that there was much more than “you must be born again” written in the Word of God. A man in the church, who was a friend, had a son who was at Rhema. The son would send his father Brother Hagin tapes and the man would give them to me to listen to. The company I worked for required a great deal of driving to call on accounts, so I had the opportunity to listen to Brother Hagin for hours while driving to each account. As I listened to Brother Hagin, I began to grow and become very hungry for the Word. Through names Brother Hagin would mention, I began to listen to Kenneth Copeland and Fred Price. I would record on audio cassettes the TV messages of these men of God and listen to them.

In 1980, having learned a little about being led by the Holy Spirit, I began to sense an inward witness saying, “go to Rhema.” I ignored this initially, but it continued to happen until I began to believe it was the Lord calling us (Sheila and I) to go to Rhema. Once I did become born again, the Lord Jesus Christ became the most important part of my life. We were very active in the church we attended. Ushering, teaching middle school, the men’s ministry, plus helping to lead an independent youth ministry. I do not know if I ever thought He would call me to be a fivefold minister. I became very excited about the thought of going to Rhema and was humbled to think that I could ever be a minister. Once I truly thought we were called to attend Rhema, I shared this with Sheila. She had a hard time with this initially. She was not opposed to going but had some natural concerns. I had a very good job with all of the benefits and an excellent salary package. We had three young sons and Sheila had concerns concerning our finances if we moved to Oklahoma and attended Rhema. I could not, nor would I force her to change her mind, so I had to leave it in God’s hands.

In the beginning of 1982, the Lord dealt with Sheila’s heart supernaturally and she was all in. We applied to Rhema, were accepted, and the Lord worked out all of the financial details. The Lord Jesus supernaturally ‘stretched’ our finances so that all of our needs were taken care of the two years we spent at Rhema.

Starting a church was always the initial direction we had. I prayed literally every night at Rhema, asking the Lord for direction as to where to go when we graduated. I have always been pretty much of a ‘home body.’ Traveling for over 12 years for the company I worked for helped me to believe that I would not desire to minister in any itinerate position. I knew if the Lord had called us to travel He would grace us to do so. Pastoring, unless the Holy Spirit directed otherwise, was what we believed we were called to do. The Lord directed us to Newtown, CT to start a church there.

Both Sheila and I love to teach God’s Word. Having the privilege of discipling a group of believers, teaching them to the best of our ability the same truths we were taught at Rhema, excited us very much. Weekly services, leading people to the Lord, getting them Spirit-filled, healing services, Bible studies, prayer meetings, youth and children events and a variety of fellowship activities in a local church was what we believed we were called to start and the Lord never spoke to our heart to do anything differently. When we returned home (we rented out our house in CT when we attended Rhema), we looked for a place to start in Newtown. Several people referred us to the building we are now in and have been in for 33+ years. We have just started building a brand new church building.

Everyone who desires to be involved and serve at the church must become a member. They need to know what we believe as a church and how we function. They will know during membership classes everything they need to know and determine if they believe what we believe and if they choose to serve, abiding by the guidelines of the church. This eliminates a whole lot of offenses. We frequently talk about the Lord having a plan for everyone (Jeremiah 1:5), and that if a person sincerely desires to know what the Lord would have them to do, He will direct them. From Matthew 25, we believe that everyone has at least one talent the Lord has given them for them to use ministerially. Thanks to the teaching we received at Rhema and continuing to study concerning the leading of the Holy Spirit, we always encourage people to seek His direction for their ministry. We encourage every person who calls our church their home church to be involved. They may not remain in the ministry they begin in, but being involved in ministry begins to help them to see what it is like to work with others in a church setting.

Often people desire to serve in areas they enjoy or are good at. Praise and worship singers and musicians are a perfect example. Those who like to work with children or youths are another example of believers serving in areas they already have a leading towards. We encourage that. Those who are newly saved, or who have not been very active, do not have the ability as of yet to teach, so we try to get them involved in ushering, greeting, working the in parking lot or the bookstore. We always encourage them to grow in the Word and prayer. If they do, other ‘more spiritual’ areas of ministry may become a desire of their heart. Their faithfulness and attitude is what we will look at.

In Acts 6, those who were to be waiters for widows were Spirit-filled and full of wisdom. It is not that those in non-teaching positions cannot be spiritual. Based on Acts 6, they should be. Hopefully, the spiritual maturity will come over time. Using Acts 12 as our foundation, we teach the congregation that every ministry in the church is important and vital to the success of the church as a whole. We recognize those who have been faithful to serve in all areas of the church; stressing no one is more important than another. There is one ‘Super Star’ and that is Jesus. Using Matthew 25:14-30, we teach that by being involved and seeking the Lord’s leading they will know God’s will. Finding it and being faithful in that position will earn them eternal rewards by their doing the best they can in what the Lord called them to do.

Pastor David BeebePastor Dave Beebe – Albion, MI

The five ministry gifts to the Body of Christ are simply people whom God calls, equips, and who care for the Church. An unhealthy attitude that I’ve seen is that many pastors believe the local Church is God’s gift to them. The pastor, obviously, is the gift that (1) feeds the flock of God, and (2) is an example to the flock. The pastor is the highest local authority and has the greatest responsibility to lead that flock.

My suggestions, from my experience:

  1. Pray in the Spirit often. A pastor needs to be led by the Spirit.
  2. Study the Word of God every day—not simply for devotions. Study the Hebrew and Greek words in every verse. There will be a supernatural ability to teach in the heart of a true pastor. “Apt to teach” means an ability to do so.
  3. Speak the Word out loud—every day. I read the Word out loud whenever I can. This also helps your confidence speaking to crowds.
  4. How do you know if you are called? That’s between you and God. This is not an ego trip, but a service call.
  5. If at all possible, serve under a seasoned pastor. You will learn people skills necessary to pastor. Pastors are all about loving the people whom Jesus died for…sinners and saints.

Pastor John MadanPastor John Madan – Nice, France

I knew I was called when I walked on campus in September 1978 to start a three-year bachelor degree program in psychology. I could not explain it, but it determined everything I invested in for the next 3 years.

We went to Rhema in September 1982. I was sitting in the pastor’s class in my second year (January 1984) and I asked God what I was doing there. I heard in my spirit, “You’re a pastor.” I have known it ever since.

In helping others to recognize and discern their calling, I believe in teaching how to be led by the Spirit of God (and this is one of my favorite subjects). Every pastor needs to teach this regularly so people find their place & are happy to do it. I teach that our confession is, “we are always in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing with the right people, with a great attitude, and with God’s abundant provision.”

Pastor Andy WhitePastor Andy White – Chandler, AZ

In my case, I was so dense that God literally spoke out loud while I was at the altar after a service. Out loud the Lord said, “When are you going to come do what I’ve called you to do?” I turned around and no one was within 20 feet of me. I answered, “Right now.”

The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:16, “For if I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the Gospel!”

My translation: If you can do anything else; do it. If you can’t, then you’re called.

Pastor Mike KalstrupPastor Mike Kalstrup – Oakland, IA

For me, my calling to pastoral ministry was progressive. I had received Christ two years earlier and I was actively pursuing God’s plan for my life. To be clear, I was not seeking a position or office of any kind. I simply loved Jesus and wanted to fulfill God’s purpose in my life—whatever that might be.

It’s my conviction that a call to the ministry, in the specific sense to which we are speaking, is a very definite and powerful spiritual experience. For me, it was a very clear and undeniable experience that I had during one of the services in a series being held in a small church. I can still remember the scripture the minister spoke on in II Peter 1:10a ‘Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure…’ It was during this service that I recognized and accepted the call into the ministry. It was a very deep and undeniable experience.

It’s important to understand that I just said ‘yes;’ I didn’t have a clue what it meant. There was nothing on my ‘radar’ that would ever make me think at that time that I would ever be a pastor. Again, I wasn’t pursuing a position; I was just willing to do whatever God had in mind. I think this is a mistake by many well-intending people. We don’t do the choosing, He does! People want a position or desperately want to be recognized, so they decide that God wants them to pastor. Sometimes our motives can be deceptive, but what’s important is to remain faithful until He does the calling. Patience is a virtue and preparation is never wasted time. I simply knew I needed to begin preparing for whatever God had for me. So I began attending Bible school. It wasn’t until 18 months later…again, with a very definite and spiritual experience that the Lord spoke to my heart about starting a spirit-filled, word of faith church. Immediately upon hearing what God had in mind for my life, I told Him that I didn’t think that it was a very good idea! You could say that it had to be God because it certainly wasn’t what I had in mind! Nearly thirty-nine years later, I’ve had the privilege of pastoring Fellowship Church that my wife and I pioneered long ago. And it started with simply being willing to say ‘yes’ to whatever God had for us.

As I said, discerning and recognizing our calling is a process. All of us are called to serve in some capacity, though it may not be a preaching, pulpit type ministry. I have numerous men and women within my church who attended Bible school, and are ‘able to teach’, [Ref. I Timothy 3:2] yet they work in secular vocations outside of the church. Even though what they do in the church is volunteer, they provide an immeasurable benefit and blessing to the local church and the world around our campus. From teaching in life classes, leading praise & worship, to providing leadership and administrative support, all of these members within the Body of Christ and the local church help us to fulfill God’s divine purpose through our local body. And what a help they are! So, as we build relationships together and discover each person’s giftings, we work to get them plugged into the purposes they were created for. There are those who can stand and instruct others in biblically sound doctrine, but they have also discovered that God wants to use them in the ministry of giving. Others have worked through the process of discovering their calling knowing that they have a heart for missions. Some we have sent permanently, others we help to send on short-term trips. I know that some people can have a hard time getting settled, or they feel condemned because they aren’t doing what others may be doing. But the most important thing that any of us can do is to be faithful where we are! God will always get us where we need to be if we’ll be faithful to do what we know to do.

Pastor Jann ButlerPastor Jann Butler – Tacoma, WA

It was through a seeking-time in prayer that the Lord told me to start a church in Tacoma, WA. He told me my calling was changing from an evangelist (which I was presently doing) to a pastor.

One way to help others recognize their calling is by the fruit that they are showing in their personal life. I look to see if God’s character is building within them.