As a millennial, looking towards the future is overwhelming in two ways:
It’s incredibly exciting and incredibly daunting.
How do I know what God is calling me to do? How do I actually do what God is calling me to do? The opportunities seem endless (the exciting part), but creating a practical vision (the daunting part) sometimes feels impossible.
Here are 3 tips I’ve put together that any person can apply to their life if you feel like God might be calling you into ministry (or you know He has!):
- Pray for mentors.
Often times, after having coffee with someone who is a season or two or even three ahead of me, I become overwhelmed with thankfulness. There is something so sacred about spending time with someone who is further along in their journey than you are who is able to pour into you. It’s humbling to me that God not only cares enough to strategically place specific people in our lives, but that He loves us enough to place it on their hearts to spend time with us. This is important for multiple reasons:- You’ll need someone with godly wisdom to offer you advice and accountability in difficult situations.
– You’ll want someone who has your best interest at heart intentionally praying for you.
– You’ll seriously appreciate the perspective given as you enter into new and unfamiliar seasons.
Pray that God will allow you the opportunity to “shadow” and closely work alongside those who have been doing ministry for a while so that you can witness how they organize, relate, react, teach, plan, etc.
- Pray for practical experience.
For the past few years, I’ve been working on getting a degree in Christian Ministry. What never ceases to amaze me is the fact that there is not a single opportunity I’ve gained or lost based on my degree status. God has opened incredible doors because He wanted to place me there. It wasn’t based on my accomplishments and it never will be.Beyond this, there is not a single text book, assignment, professor, mentor, Bible study, or Bible teacher in the world who can fully prepare you for hands on ministry. There are some things you can only learn by experience. Pray that God would place you in groups and situations that will grow you and prepare you.
Lastly, no workshop, conference, degree, or training can give you anointing. God has either chosen you for the task at hand or He hasn’t. You can’t force it by wanting it bad enough, investing time, money, and networking, and then praying that He blesses your plans. Everyone has a different role in the Kingdom, none more important than another. These are tools to equip those who have been called to specific areas/positions in ministry. Make sure you are discerning between your own desires and the will of God.
- Pray for God to change your life through the power of His Word.
Ultimately, how you grow as an individual will determine how you grow as a leader. We cannot pour out what we do not have within us and we cannot lead others well until we lead ourselves well. It is so crucial that we prioritize our time with the Lord.This is hard, especially when we live in a society (even within the Christian realm) telling us to invest our time and resources into building a social networking platform, creating a catchy mission statement, posting relevant captions with perfect word counts and spacing, and making sure we have a smooth feed aesthetic because all of our photos are taken with a professional camera and edited with the same filter.
I don’t say this with the intent to shame anyone by any means, I just want to clearly make a point that gaining fans and building a platform is the polar opposite of everything Jesus was and taught during His time here on earth doing ministry. Our platform should not be our goal, people should. For me personally, I hold a strong conviction to just simply continue living my life to the glory of God. If people choose to follow along, praise the Lord. If they don’t, well, I don’t really think that’s a question I’ll be asked when I meet Jesus face-to-face. I am thinking the questions will be more geared towards how I stewarded the close relationships in my life. Yes, the tall-tail sign of a genuine leader is that people are not forced to follow, but choose to. There’s nothing wrong with having people admire you, ask for advice, or desire to hear you teach. However, at the end of the day, it’s not about people following you, it’s about people following Him.
Invest in Him first. Steward what He entrusts to you well. He’ll take care of the rest.