What is a call to the ministry?

That is a difficult question to answer, and the application of it varies from experience to experience. But I was watching this interview that David Meredith did with Sinclair Ferguson, and he asked Ferguson about guidelines for someone considering God’s call. What are the marks? What do you do?

Ferguson said that the marks of God’s call are summarized by Paul in his words to 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” (2 Timothy 1:6). First of all, there is a gift. God has placed a gift in someone, and that is a call. But then how do you see that gift? How do you know?

Then Ferguson said, “I think people discover their gift not so much by looking for it but by doing whatever comes to their hand to do.”

That is crucial. Don’t go around looking for it all the time. Do what God has placed in front of you. He goes on to comment that too many people are overly conscious of what we today call “gifting.” What is your “gifting”? But Ferguson says that the really important thing is that you have heart for service and you fan that flame. Do not wait for people to recognize this gift. See the needs and meet them.

Secondly, he said that as the church recognizes this gift in people, you have to give the young people space to work it out, to serve. They should be encouraged to serve and teach and speak.

In many cases, this is demonstrated in prayer services. Provide an opportunity for young people to pray, and listen to what they pray. This will demonstrate their heart, what they care about, and fan that flame.

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