Am I Called to Preach: Five Biblical Tests
1. Do I meet the qualifications of a preacher as set forth in the Word of God? The scriptures (1 Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9) should never be taken as a checklist. These scriptures should not be a legalistic document either. These scriptures, however, are the standards that a Christian minister should hold to as he/she pursue a vocation or lay call in the ministry. If at any time you fail to meet any of the qualifications you run the risk of defacing your call. Pray that God keeps you in the straight and narrow way.
2. Do I have the witness of the Spirit in my heart that God has called me? Another way to ask that is, “Has the Spirit burdened you with the fire of preaching?” In Nehemiah Chapter 1 we discover that the minister has to receive a burden from God. God’s call may show up in your life in different ways. Remain open to how God will use the Spirit to direct you.
3. Has the gift of preaching become evident in my life and service? The question is, “Can you preach?” Likewise, do you enjoy preaching? If you don’t enjoy preaching then chances are you may not be call to pulpit ministry. If you have the gift of preaching there is an internal enjoyment and a spiritual hunger to preach. Like Jeremiah said, “it is like fire shut up in my bones!” Your passion and desire will be to preach God’s Word, not to explode!
4. Has my church recognized and confirmed my preaching gifts? The question is, “Do people enjoy hearing you preach?” Here is a story for you. One day as a man gazed in the clouds and saw the alphabets, G P. He believed the letters to mean “Go Preach.” Soon after this vision off he went to preach! He was a horrible preacher! He didn’t enjoy preaching nor did the audience enjoy listening to him preach. Finally, someone asked him why did he decide to preach and he shared his vision from the clouds. The person responded that maybe the letters meant for you to “Go Plow.” He tried plowing and was one of the best farmers in the country. He found something that he really enjoyed. Don’t go preaching when you should go plowing. If plowing makes you happy leave the preaching to the preachers!
5. Has God used my preaching gift to the salvation of souls and the building up of the saints? Don’t open the Bible unless you expect lives to be changed. When you preach are souls being saved through evangelism? When you preach are saints being encouraged through the edification of God’s word? If no one is being changed or challenged then preaching may not be for you!
Written by Andre M. Rogers, D.Min. Professor of Pastoral Ministries at CIU