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The Call to Ministry Paperback – October 1, 2013
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This book is awesome. Let me summarize why.
First & most importantly, this book frequently quotes Scripture to substantiate its claims. Therefore, we can trust that this book accurately reflects God's will when it comes to discerning the call to pastoral ministry. Also, this book includes quotes and insights from significant pastors and scholars which closely align with what Scripture teaches. In short, you get the Bible & some mini-sermons.
Second, this book is comprehensive. It covers virtually every major question someone could ask regarding the call to ministry. Whether you want to know what a calling is, whether you have been called, how you can verify such a calling, etc., it has it all.
Third, this book is well-organized. It is logically connected in a step-by-step sequence that takes the reader on a journey from beginning to end in discerning the call. Here's the outline:
What is a Calling?
The Internal Call
The External Call
A Call to What?
What is Vocational Ministry?
What Ministry Isn't
What Ministry Is
Are You Called?
Fourth, this book is concise. It's less than 150 pages, and many of those pages have only a few, important, large-font words and others have blank lines to write your thoughts in. It's great how they packed in so much relevant content in such few words.
Fifth, this book is interactive; that is, it's really a workbook. Many pages are devoted to writing your thoughts on significant questions regarding the call to ministry. For example, in the lesson based on 1 Timothy 3:1-7 which lists the qualifications for church pastors, the workbook guides through each qualification one by one with important questions, allowing you to write and assess whether you possess such qualities.
Sixth, this book is beautiful. It is aesthetically pleasing from cover to cover. The colors, the font styles and sizes, the spacing between words, everything looks great.
Seventh, because of all the above, the book is finally and ultimately, helpful. It helps you carefully discern if you have been called to be a church pastor. A humble, honest, and self-aware person should go through every page of this workbook to examine himself and see if he is truly called to ministry or not. This book will clear up many misconceptions, expose and challenge the true motivations of your heart, paint a picture of what ministry is all about and what it will look like as a vocation, and most importantly, whether you are called, whether God has specifically and clearly chosen you for the role of pastor.
This book teaches that the call to pastoral ministry should be decided with Biblical, prayerful, and communal thought. It teaches that there is both a subjective and an objective aspect to discerning this call. Above all, it teaches that God is the one who calls, and therefore we must submit ourselves to his will as written in Scripture regarding who should/shouldn't be a pastor.
As someone who has wrestled with years on whether I am called to vocational pastoral ministry, I found this book to be a most helpful guide on discerning the call. Are you called to ministry? Go through this book and find out!