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Am I Called?: The Summons to Pastoral Ministry Paperback – March 31, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (March 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433527480
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433527487
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 4.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“This is the fullest, most realistic, down-to-earth, and genuinely spiritual exploration of God’s call to pastoral ministry that I know. I recommend it most highly.”
J. I. Packer, Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College

“Every generation needs a fresh army of gospel men with a sense of destiny in their hearts. They aren’t looking for a job. They are following a call. God is setting them apart to pastoral service. Are you one of those men? Dave Harvey’s wise book will help you answer that question.”
Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., Lead Pastor, Immanuel Church, Nashville, Tennessee

“Discerning God’s call with clarity is an ongoing challenge, but a necessary journey. Dave Harvey has written one of the most helpful, practical books on Christian calling that I’ve read. Am I Called? guides a wide range of readers, not just pastors, through God’s call to ministry in their lives. I know I will be sharing Am I Called? with many in the years to come.”
Ed Stetzer, President, LifeWay Research; author, Subversive Kingdom

“Over the years I have been shocked and amazed at the number of men pursuing and engaging in pastoral ministry who doubted their call. In this accessible but biblical book, Dave Harvey helps those who are wrestling with God’s calling on their life. We need men with fire in their bones that simply must be in vocational ministry. Am I Called? will draw out such men.”
Darrin Patrick, Lead Pastor, The Journey, St. Louis, Missouri; Vice President, Acts 29; Chaplain to the St. Louis Cardinals; author, The Dude's Guide to Manhood

“As a young man, I wrestled with the issue Dave Harvey wisely and skillfully addresses in this book. I’m glad a generation of young men can find in these pages the help that I was looking for thirty years ago.”
Bob Lepine, Pastor, Redeemer Community Church; Co-Host, FamilyLife Today

“The issue of the call to pastoral ministry is a complicated one, involving matters of character, technical ability, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In this book, Dave Harvey offers a good overview of the things that anyone contemplating the ministry needs to consider. In an accessible, conversational style, Dave guides the reader through the biblical teaching on this matter—carefully balancing the external and the internal aspects of the call. He also provides apposite anecdotes from church history to illustrate his points. Full of wisdom and wit, Am I Called? is a delightful and challenging book for potential ministers, their wives, and, indeed, those already in the ministry to read. Highly commended.”
Carl R. Trueman, Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary; author, The Creedal Imperative and Luther on the Christian Life

“The history of the church is marked and marred by the ‘ministries’ of unqualified men. The reason I am glad to recommend Am I Called? is that Dave Harvey sets the call to pastoral ministry in the biblical context: the calling from God and the calling from and to a local church. May God use this book to raise up a whole new generation of men who are called, equipped, and competent for the work he (and we) have called them to.”
Tim Challies, blogger,; author, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

“My appreciation for this book is matched only by a sense of frustration that it wasn’t around when I was considering my call to pastoral ministry. Dave Harvey manages to explain and insist upon the biblical qualifications for pastors without being discouraging or legalistic. Most importantly, the good news about Jesus is the heartbeat of this clear and engaging book. If you are considering entering into pastoral ministry, Am I Called? will act as a faithful mirror and friend. If you are already a pastor, it will renew your passion for raising up the next generation of ministers.”
Mike McKinley, former pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church; author, Church Planting Is for Wimps: How God Uses Messed-up People to Plant Ordinary Churches That Do Extraordinary Things

“According to the Apostle Paul, faithful gospel ministry must include entrusting that ministry to others who will carry it on. Am I Called? will be of immense help to both those wondering whether they are called into gospel ministry, and to the pastors in position to help them figure that out. I know of no other book that does the important, practical work this book gets done and does so well. Am I Called? is marked by both wise, practical insight and a strong gospel vibrancy. I will be putting this book to regular use with young men at my church, and I’m glad to be able to highly recommend it.”
Mike Bullmore, Senior Pastor, Crossway Community Church, Bristol, Wisconsin

About the Author

Dave Harvey (DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary) is the pastor of preaching at Four Oaks Community Church in Tallahassee, Florida. Dave has over 25 years of pastoral experience and has traveled nationally and internationally teaching Christians, equipping pastors, and training church planters. He served on the Sovereign Grace Ministries Leadership Team for 17 years and continues to serve on the board of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF). Dave is the author of Am I Called?, Rescuing Ambition, When Sinners Say I Do, as well as a contributing author toWorldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World.

Matt Chandler is the lead pastor of The Village Church, a multi-campus church in the Dallas metroplex of over 10,000 people. His sermons are among the topselling (free) podcasts on itunes and he speaks at conferences worldwide. Prior to accepting the pastorate at The Village, Matt had a vibrant itinerant ministry for over ten years where he spoke to hundreds of thousands of people in America and abroad about the glory of God and beauty of Jesus. He lives in Texas with his wife, Lauren, and their three children: Audrey, Reid and Norah. 

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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It is easy to read and, as is hopefully clear from the above, it is very practical.
Jude M St John
I was encouraged and challenged by Harvey and i highly recommend this book to anyone seriously considering a call to pastoral ministry.
Amazon Customer
I think this might be a really good first book to hand someone who feels called, or who is considering the ministry.
Ben House

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Dave Harvey has done a great service to the church-at-large- as well as for individual Christian men who are wondering whether or not God is calling them to serve the church in full time pastoral ministry. I finally have a book that I can hand out without any reservations to those who come to me and ask, "How can I know for certain that I have been called by God into the pastorate?"

In three parts: a) Approaching the Call; b) Diagnosing the Call; and c) Waiting, Harvey mines theological, and exegetically based advice with a plethora of helpful bullet points, questions to ask, evaluations, and practical steps to take as one wrestles with and pursues God's vocational calling to the pastorate.

I especially appreciated how Harvey focused on applying the gospel to an individuals life and how he addressed key issues like character development, service and affirmation from the local church, and the importance of working with a plurality of leaders in the context of a local church - alongside the necessary theological training.

One of the highlights for me was reading the biographical stories at the end of each chapter on the pastoral calling in the lives of some well known and unknown pastors of history: Thomas Scott, Charles Simeon, Lemuel Haynes, Martin Luther, David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, James Montgomery Boice, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, John Bunyan, and John Newton.

I highly recommend this book for young men who are wondering if they are called, those pastors who are struggling with their calling, and pastors and elders who are looking to invest in young men to develop as future pastors and church planters in the context of planting gospel driven churches around the globe.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Dietrich on May 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
Over the past couple of days I've been Tweeting and posting things I've been learning from Dave Harvey in his new book, Am I Called? The Summons to Pastoral Ministry. This book has been the best book I've read this year and by far the best book I've read on the idea of a call to ministry (yes, there are plenty of others).

I think this book has struck me the way it has because I find myself in the situation of aspiring to be an elder (1 Tim 3:1) and trying to discern a call. This is why part one of the book, "Approaching the Call" was helpful.

In part two of the book, "Diagnosing the Call," Dave works through the call in 6 chapters that ask good questions to help qualify this call:

1. Are You Godly?
2. How's Your Home?
3. Can You Preach?
4. Can You Shepherd?
5. Do You Love the Lost?
6. Who Agrees?

The answers to those questions are not easy so Dave works through each one in detail. He also points you to others he sees as more qualified than him on certain areas.

Dave Harvey is full of insight and should be considered a valuable source on leadership and church ministry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jude M St John on April 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
To blaze a trail is to spot or mark made a tree by painting or notching or by chipping away a piece of the bark to indicate a trail or boundary. A trail blazer, thus, is a person who marks a trail through a wilderness area for the benefit of others. This method of navigation is no Global Positioning System. Think more along the lines of Hansel and Gretel. In the writing of Am I Called? The Summons to Pastoral Ministry, author Dave Harvey has blazed a trail for those on the journey of determining if they have been called to pastoral ministry. Harvey begins by discussing the journey. He follows this by marking a trail to the desired destination. And as discussed, this is not a pinpoint precision process. Harvey uses `blazes' to help travelers to find their way through the wilderness which is embodied in the question, Am I called? The signposts the author leaves for pilgrims to find a path are presented as questions: Are you Godly?; How's your home?; Can you preach?; Can you shepherd?; Do you love the lost?; and Who agrees? Finally, Harvey finishes with some help for those who determine that indeed they are called but will be waiting a while before they see this summons come to fruition.

The Journey
Harvey begins by describing the journey by connecting the call to ministry with one's identity is Christ. The author states that the call to ministry always follows the call to Christ writing "the call for our salvation precedes and grounds all other callings" (36). Therefore, we must occupy ourselves with the Caller and with the gospel. He follows this with a discussion of the context of this call; the local church. "Let's face it. If you're called to pastoral ministry, you're being called to the local church." (57)

I received this book for review from Crossway.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ben House on February 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
Am I Called? The Summons to Pastoral Ministry by Dave Harvey is a study of the qualifications for being a pastor. This is a check-list that every candidate for the eldership or pastorate (the discussion of the difference, if any exists, is pending) needs to consider. I think this might be a really good first book to hand someone who feels called, or who is considering the ministry.

I have only one major complaint with this book. Several times, the author stated that the book is for the man considering the office of pastor. Some of us have long been in ministry. I was ordained to the office of elder (teaching elder) back in 1995. Sometimes, a person can wonder if he misunderstood the call. I found this book a really helpful re-examination of ministry. In other words, with seventeen years of labor, I still need this kind of review of the qualifications. One always hopes to be growing from minimal attainment of the 1 Timothy and Titus 1 qualifications to a greater and fuller attainment.

So, whether one is thinking of becoming a pastor or has been laboring in the trenches for a while, this book is quite helpful. The follow-up readings for pastoral candidates are listed at the end of the various chapters. This is, after all, the beginning book. As such, it is a fine work.
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