If you want to be a “professional” minister, there is one qualification these days. You must be a great Speacher. Yes, I know I wrote speacher, not preacher. A speach(er) is a one way conversation to a “large” audience with a “biblical” message. This seems to be given the most important role/qualification for almost any vocational ministry.
Of course, speaching is important and helpful, but there are a great number of other gifts and ways to utilize those gifts. The irony is a common speech you will hear on a Sunday morning at church is that our call to ministry can be in any vocation in life because all of life can be ministry. Yet, when looking at vocational ministry positions, most begin and end with your ability to give a great speech.
This speech must contain multiple elements. It must be compelling, touching on felt needs. It must be biblical and meet real needs. It must make the audience (I hate that word for this context) laugh, cry and jump for joy. It must motivate the listeners to give their life to Jesus for the first time or the millionth time. It must compel them to return next week and invite a friend.
All of this seems good, but it is way to limiting to the gifts of the spirit, the gifts of the people, and the different ways God can move in people’s lives. I have struggled with my call to ministry for many years due to this perceived qualification. I don’t feel like I’m much of a speacher. Others have told me different (church people can be so kind), but I struggle every time I prepare one of these speaches. Sometimes I struggle because I play the comparison game. That’s a trick of the devil! Sometimes I struggle because I’m not sure if I’m saying what God wants me to say or if it’s what I want to say. Sometimes I struggle because I don’t feel comfortable and confident in front of a large audience. (I need to learn to trust God more with what He has taught me and wants to teach others.) But, mostly I struggle because I don’t have a desire to speach.
I hear others talk about the call to preach and I don’t got it. I have a call to ministry, but I don’t have a call to preach. How do I know I have a call to ministry? At this point, it’s because my life is meaningless if I’m not serving God. How do I know I don’t have a call to preach? Because I really don’t want to. I have no desire. If someone were to ask me to share Sunday morning, my first gut reaction is “no thanks!” Then, I’m thinking I should probably pray about it and/or ask them if they were serious.
However, I do have a great passion for the people of God (and those that don’t yet know Jesus) to learn about God, grow in their knowledge & faith and give themselves fully and completely to the Lord. I just don’t have a desire to teach them through a speach. (If you haven’t caught on yet a speach is a combination of speech and preaching.) I do, however want to teach them through conversation both one-on-one and small groups. I love to teach through the written word (which I have neglected and often overlooked.) And I also love to teach through my example and/or shared experiences.
This blog is the beginning of me finding my voice through the written word. I intend to start small through this blog, refine my writing and learn how to use it to impact peoples’ lives for Jesus Christ. I would appreciate it if you were to follow along. Share it with others and periodically give feedback or ideas. It’s crazy to think after 20+ years of serving God (10 or so through vocational ministry as a youth pastor) that I am just finding my voice. I hope I can help you find yours too.