How to Get Into Ministry
I have spent the past nineteen years serving Jesus Christ in full-time ministry. While church planting, I served tri-vocationally. That’s right. I held three jobs. Not to mention I am married and have five children. I served as a church planter, owned a company, and joined the Air National Guard as a Chaplain. At the time of this writing, I am in my later-thirties and am staying resilient through all of the challenges and opportunities presented to me each day.
I was once asked how to get into ministry. I was also asked how to know if you are called to ministry. People ask how to join a ministry. How to get a job in ministry. How to get into ministry. How to prepare for ministry. How to begin a ministry.
Wow. There’s a lot of questions. But these are legitimate and better answered with another set of questions to begin with before proceeding to customize an answer for each conversation. Here are a five of my questions, each centralized around a theme: Preparation, Planning, Principle, Pals, Passion.
5 Questions on How to Get Into Ministry
1. Preparation: Understanding how to get into ministry begins with much preparation of the heart, soul, mind and strength. President Abraham Lincoln spoke on preparation for ministry when he said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first hour sharpening the axe.”
So… What are you doing to prepare your heart, soul, mind and strength to serve Jesus Christ in this way? If you’re married, how are you preparing your spouse? Children? How are you preparing them for fishbowl living and criticism?
2. Planning: Ok, so I’m not a United States President. However, I am in the process of writing an ebook on the subject of how to get into ministry. My working title is “Plan to Produce Fruit: A Guide to Ministry Planning.” It will be available at a low-cost on by the end of Summer 2013. Signup to pre-register for it here at no cost or obligation to you until it becomes available. Just write “Plan to Produce Fruit” in subject line.
So… Where is the Lord taking you and what plans are you establishing to facilitate that direction? Is further education in the picture? What ministry experiences have you had or do you desire? If you want to know how to get a ministry job, you will need some heart and head work. I’d be happy to help think through this with you.
3. Principle: As we talk about how to get into ministry, we need to reflect on our core beliefs. President Thomas Jefferson spoke about the importance of holding fast to principle when he said, “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”
So… What principles, precepts and preferences are you willing to stand like a rock for no matter what? Does God’s Word top your list? Where does Agape Love fit in?
4. Pals: President George Washington spoke about the absolute necessity of not going it alone but having trusted allies on your side when he said, “Be courteous to all, but intimate with a few, and let those few be tried before you give them all your confidence.”
So… Who are you taking with you on this journey toward ministry? Spouse? Children? Friends?
PS: DON’T BE STUPID AND BE A DO-IT-YOURSELF KIND of Church Leader. Jesus had twelve disciples. Jesus has a Trinity! The only time He was EVER truly alone (other than going up a mountain to pray–see: He wasn’t alone!) was when He paid for our sins on the Cross. Again, this is why Church Leaders Campfire exists! We are here for you! Even the Lone Ranger had his Tonto.
5. Passion: President Theodore Roosevelt told his critics in 1910 a story about the Man in the Arena. “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”
So… What are you passionate about that you are willing to die for?
So… Are you able to do anything else? Can you swing a hammer? Throw a ball? Manage budgets comprised of millions of dollars? Act on television? Lead soldiers on the battlefield? Do your skill sets and positive experiences in the past scream at you that MINISTRY IS THE ONLY OCCUPATION YOU WOULD BE HAPPY DOING?
Got answers to these questions? Ask me my favorite quote that God used to woo me into His plan to conform me into one of His shepherds.
Questions: Are you able to do anything else? What more do you need in order to know how to get into ministry?