I went into reading Jason K. Allen’s Discerning Your Call To Ministry with high expectations after reading the endorsements from some well-known pastors. At the same time in the back of my head, I wondered if Allen just had a lot of his pastor buddies give him a good review, but this is not the case.
Allen starts off his book by giving clarity that this book is specifically about the call to the ministry of the Word. He clarifies that all Christians are called to ministry in some way or the other, but there is a specific call to full time preaching and teaching the Word of God.
Each chapter is another question helping those who sense a call to ministry to narrow down if they truly are called to vocational ministry. Allen asks some hard questions and lays out the Biblical qualifications for ministry. The 10 questions are:
- Do you desire the ministry?
- Does your character meet God’s expectations?
- Is your household in order?
- Has God gifted you to preach and teach His Word?
- Does your church affirm your calling?
- Do you love the people of God?
- Are you passionate about the gospel and the Great Commission?
- Are you engaged in fruitful ministry?
- Are you ready to defend the faith?
- Are you willing to surrender?
I believe the most challenging chapter for me in this season of life is his chapter on surrender. Allen writes, “After all, struggling churches and dying communities need ministers, too. God typically calls more to a people than a place. If God calls you to minister to a church in a challenging area, are you willing to go.” (pg. 126) I have a place in mind where I would like to eventually plant a church, but Allen’s words have challenged my heart. Lord give me a heart like Isaiah and say, “Here I am! Send me.” (Isa. 6:8)
This is a great book for those trying to determine if they are called to be ministers of the Word. Allen will make you think twice and see if what you feel lines up with what God’s Word says.