Are you called?
Whether someone is considering full-time vocational ministry or a new role in your local church, assessing how we are called to serve God is necessary for every Christian. We don’t want to just do something because it’s easy or needed – we want to respond to God’s call! But how do you truly assess your calling to ministry with Spirit-guided wisdom?
When the elders at Living Hope Church are assessing someone’s call for a ministry role – whether it’s a potential elder, deacon, support staff, or ministry leader – we consider the “7 C’s of Calling.” Assessing these seven areas help us discern whether a person is the right fit. Will he or she be fruitful in that ministry role? So, whether you are part of a team making an evaluation about someone else’s calling – or making an assessment about your own calling in life – prayerfully consider these “7 C’s”:
- Character – Do you have a genuine faith, spiritual maturity, and a healthy family life? Whether a small, one-time commitment, or a long-term leadership role, goldy character is the foundation. If the weight of the task is more than the strength of your character, you will be crushed. Ask God to make you like Christ as you prepare for your calling.
- Confession – Do you have alignment in your understanding of essential biblical doctrine? If you consider working with a church ministry or Christian organization, there should be alignment in what you believe. You should share foundational convictions. Not only must you share the same convictions, those convictions must be weighted similarly. If something is a central issue for you, but only a peripheral issue for the ministry, it’s liable to create tension.
- Competence – Do you have the gifts, skills, and abilities to fulfill the responsibilities of the role? You might have Christlike character, and a strong biblical foundation, but you also must be able to get the job done. A big part of assessing our calling is matching our gifts and skills to the right opportunity. Test your gifts in smaller roles as the Lord grows you for what is next.
- Capacity – Do you have the time, energy, and desire to work hard and invest in the ministry? Assessing capacity means being careful not to overload yourself. It doesn’t matter how gifted you are if you don’t have the time and energy to get it done. Maybe it’s the right ministry, but not the right season. Or maybe you need to cut out another activity that is not right for you to make space for God’s calling.
- Chemistry – Do you have the interpersonal connection to communicate and collaborate with the others on the team? This may be one of the easiest areas to overlook, but if there isn’t healthy interpersonal relationships you could be setting yourself up for a season of difficulty. Sometimes people don’t get along because of issues of sin and selfishness – that always needs to be addressed – but keep in mind, assessing chemistry is not the same as assessing character. Developing healthy chemistry means paying attention to the emotional maturity, self-awareness, communication style, interpersonal skills, and personality types of everyone on the team.
- Culture – Do you embrace the ministry philosophy, leadership style, and other values and distinctives of the group? Defining the culture of a community might be hard to put into words, but – like being in a foreign country – a lack of cultural alignment is easy to see when you don’t fit! And unless you have a shared culture, or are willing to adapt to the culture, you’re probably not called to that ministry.
- Confirmation – Do the family, friends, and leaders who know you well affirm you for the opportunity? You may feel called to step into something new, but if no one else agrees – you should probably take another look! The input of others is invaluable when it comes to determining your calling. Look for others who know you well to commend your calling.
While all these considerations are important, don’t get frozen in the assessment. If you are wrestling with indecision – unless there is a clear reason not to – give it a try. There is much to be done for the Kingdom! Sometimes stepping into a new role or opportunity is the only way to know for sure if you are called. And have peace: there are few decisions in life that you can’t change later if needed. Be prayerful, be patient, be discerning, and step out in faith to fulfill your calling!
“See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”