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Five questions for would-be ministers

Are you considering heading into Christian ministry? Here are some questions to ask — especially if you’re a Gen Y guy, like me.

1. Are you already a servant?

A desire to put yourself forward, to ‘lead’, to ‘teach’, does not mean that you should pursue ministry. Have you truly begun serving others yet?

2. Do you relate well to people?

A preoccupation with theology, knowledge, and truth does not mean that you should pursue ministry. Are you already active in loving others?

3. What do others think of you?

Because we are the church, not a club, we need to be attentive to those around us. Have you been talking with your leaders, friends, family and workmates to help you reflect on your personality, your skills, and your motivations?

4. Have others been encouraging you to explore ministry?

Discerning whether you are heading into ministry, and what that might look like, is not a solo flight. Do you already have existing supporters and partnerships?

5. In what capacity would it be best for you to serve?

A desire to give your whole life to God in service does not mean that you should lead a church, or even a small group. Before you consider ‘the ministry’ or ‘mission work’, have you considered paths like ‘workplace ministry’ and ‘professional mission’?

Categories: Uncategorized Written by Arthur

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Arthur Davis

Arthur Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at

7 replies

  1. Hey Andrew. :) *waves*

    Who then can be a shepherd to God’s people? Those whom God has given the requisite gifts, of course.

    God’s responsible for giving gifts. If you’re not suited to be a shepherd, then why would you want to be one? We simply use the gifts God has given us in the best way we can.

    From observing some horribly painful situations, I’d say that it’s in no way loving to place a person not qualified to be a shepherd in that role. And I mean for that person, not the congregation.

    I don’t think Arthur has raised the bar to ridiculous levels in this post, to be honest. It’s certainly not even as high as Timothy or Titus. No shame in being an arm and not a leg.

  2. Perhaps I should say, the one who can accept this should accept it… :P

    Yeah nah.

    These are questions, not so much a benchmark. What do you reckon, AB?

  3. Hello Peter, it’s been a while.

    I think these are very good questions. Motivations and calling are very hard to discern and we need the kind of wisdom that is implied here. My little bleat was just that when you go into this process you realise we are all very unworthy of the task and there’s always a residue of poor motivation.

  4. Hey Arthur, I know these lists can be endless, but I wonder whether these questions are more central, less discussed, and easily overlooked…

    1. Are you sure of your own salvation in Christ?
    2. Are you walking by the Spirit?
    3. Are you hearing God clearly or is the noise of the world too loud?
    4. Are you willing to follow God’s call, no matter what he calls you to?
    5. Has God clearly called you to something?
    6. Are you doing this out of love or fear?
    7. What does your husband or wife think?

    Any thoughts?

  5. Hi Pete

    I’d say your questions are some of the most essential questions for every growing Christian.

    But all Christians should be growing Christians.

    Being a growing Christian does not make someone a shepherd/steward/overseer/etc.

    In other words, if I were to answer all seven of those questions in the affirmative, that would not in itself make me suitable for ministry leadership (although I would certainly have to be able to affirm those things).

    The five questions in this post are hitting at the individualism with which we turn our journeys as growing Christians into self-righteous self-promotion (see the other post). That’s why the questions in this post try to connect us with the mind of the corporate church community and its welfare.

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