Discerning Your Call to Ministry
If you are considering the ministry, there are two mistakes you must avoid. The first is taking up a calling that isn’t yours. The second is neglecting one that is. Discerning Your Call to Ministry will help you know the difference. A tool for seminary students, pastors-in-training, and even current pastors, it serves to confirm or prompt deep thought about the calling to ministry through 10 probing questions, including:
– Do you desire the ministry?
– Does your church affirm your calling?
– Do you love the people of God?
– Are you willing to surrender?
Pastoral dropout rates are high, and seminary admission rates are declining—signs that many of us don’t quite know what we’re signing ourselves up for. Author Jason Allen, a former pastor and the president of North America’s fastest growing seminary, gives readers a better picture of the calling. Presenting a series of diagnostic questions informed by Scripture, church history, and his own experience, he helps those seeking ordination or ministry positions make confident decisions about their service to God, one way or the other.
Praise for the book
God’s call to full-time ministry is a concept few people understand or explain well. It’s not a mystical form of special revelation or an audible voice from heaven. And God doesn’t call men to pastoral ministry without gifting them for the task and sovereignly drawing their hearts to the work. (Which suggests there are a lot of people doing pastoral ministry today who were never called to the task.) Jason Allen skillfully outlines and explains the vital biblical principles for discerning whether a person is truly called to ministry. This helpful handbook answers scores of questions I hear from young men and potential seminary students all the time. I’m grateful for the help this volume will be and the influence I know it will have.
—John MacArthur, Pastor, Grace Community Church
How do I know if I’m called to ministry? How do I know if I’m ready to serve in ministry? These are two of the common questions I am asked again and again. Now I have the perfect response: read Jason Allen’s Discerning Your Call to Ministry. This book is thoroughly biblical. It is immensely practical. And it is incredibly helpful. It is now my number one recommendation to those who sense God’s call to ministry in their own lies.
—Thom S. Rainer, President and CEO, Lifeway
One of the hardest questions I faced as a teenager was this one: how do I know if the call I feel to ministry is genuine? I wish I had had this book. Jason Allen is an experienced, thoughtful guide on what it means to serve Christ’s church as pastors and teacher. This book will not only help young would-be ministers to discern their calling but will also equip pastors and church leaders to disciple the next generation. The church has needed this book for a long time.
—Russell Moore,President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention
This is a courageous and bold book dealing with one of today’s most neglected subjects in the church. I am grateful to our Lord that Jason Allen has taken up the task to write this much-needed book. This is precisely what we need in the church today. To my knowledge there is no other guide that is as clear and straightforward on discerning one’s call to gospel ministry as this one. It is thoroughly and gloriously biblical from beginning to end, and I heartily commend it.
—Burk Parsons, Copastor, Saint Andrew’s Chapel, Sanford, FL. Editor, TableTalk Magazine
Not every day does one hear the wisdom of the ages from one of the youngest seminary presidents in America. Discerning Your Call to Ministry is a crisp, phenomenally perceptive introduction to the ministry that ought to be read by every young man considering the ministry. Steeped in insights from the Scriptures and from Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Allen adroitly weaves his way through every salient query that needs to be the focus of a prospective preacher. I am especially thankful for Allen’s emphasis on the essential call of God to the ministry and for the importance of the pastor’s home. Headed for the ministry? Drop by this book on your way.
—Paige Patterson, President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX
About Jason Allen
Jason K. Allen was elected by the Midwestern Board of Trustees as the Seminary’s fifth president on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012, becoming the youngest seminary president in the Southern Baptist Convention, and one of the youngest presidents in higher education in America. Previously, he served as the vice president for Institutional Advancement at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and executive director of the Southern Seminary Foundation.
In addition to his seminary duties, Allen has served as pastor and interim pastor of several Southern Baptist churches. Dr. Allen holds a Bachelor of Science from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., as well as Master of Divinity and Ph.D. degrees from Southern Seminary. Currently, in addition to his responsibilities as president of Midwestern Seminary, he serves the church more broadly through writing and preaching ministries.