How do you know if you are truly called to pastoral ministry?
Kevin DeYoung, author and pastor of University Reformed Church, recommends considering these six questions as you think about your calling:
1. Do I like to teach all kinds of people in all kinds of settings?
Most people thinking of pastoral ministry are excited to preach. I want to know if they are excited to preach at the rescue mission and excited to teach catechism to five-year-olds.
2. Do I find myself stirred by good preaching?
If a man is called to preach the gospel he should be thrilled to hear it preached. The content should move him, and he should find himself thinking, “Oh, that I could proclaim this good news.
3. Do I find myself stirred by bad preaching?
The last point was obvious. This one is less so, but just as important. I think there ought to be a fire in a man’s bones when he hears the Word of God handled badly.
4. Do I enjoy being around people?
Some pastors are extroverts; many are not. Whatever your personality, you won’t be a good pastor if you don’t like people and recoil from them as much as possible.
5. Do I make friends easily?
This is a subjective test, but a lack of meaningful friendships is not a good sign. It could be an indication that you are too harsh, too much a loner or frankly too awkward to be effective in pastoral ministry.
6. Do I like to read?
Thankfully there is no GPA or SAT requirement for pastoral ministry. And yet, if we are to be “apt to teach” we must be eager to learn. Preaching grows thin and ministry grows stale without time in the Book and the books.