We always praise God when iServe Africa apprentices head into the corporate market place as servant leaders or into school teaching committed to discipling or into medicine as a mission field or into godly marriages that picture Christ and his Church. One of the rediscoveries of the Reformers 500 years ago was that all these can be places of ‘full time Christian ministry’.
But be also praise God when some decide to devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4). There is a huge need for godly Bible teachers, a huge need for gospel-hearted pastors for God’s flock, a huge need for kingdom-minded quality workers in the harvest field. So it’s exciting when we receive a letter like the one below from a young man who has decided to head towards a life ministering the gospel of Jesus. But even more encouraging than his desire to go into pastoral ministry is the heart that you see below – the heart we all need – that turns from self to Christ, lives in the light of eternity, prays Your kingdom come, Your will be done.
The prayer of a Christian going to pastoral ministry
I am the son of a small poor village, the son of separated parents trying to make ends meet and have a better future. I am a graduate from a good university and with good grades. But I don’t see myself pursuing my career unless as a means to serve Jesus better with the gifts he has given me.
I believe God has given me, as a member of his church, teaching gifts. I have had the privilege of extensive training that has helped me get a better understanding of his Word, know Jesus more, be clear in my understanding of the Gospel and enjoy serving his people with the Gospel. I know now that I am more than a son of a farmer; I am one of the sons of God, born to him by faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus.
I’m not sure how the near future may turn out for me. Who knows, I might live long and serve Jesus for a long time. Praise God if he grants this. On the other hand I might not have a long life or a successful ministry for that matter. I know I can expect suffering and that actually that suffering may give me more joy in the hope of God’s glory and delight in knowing Jesus who will one day bring the perfect world. That life of joy in suffering might be a good testimony for others. Praise God if that happens.
Whatever my life may turn out to be I know one thing for sure: this I am convinced of, that Jesus has won me eternal salvation and no one should trade this for anything else. I will live for him now, use that which he has given me to serve him, teach others about him as I seek to know and walk with him myself.
I may seem to be talking like a man of great faith yet that is not really the case; it is just that I have found that when you live under the instruction of God’s Word and see his amazing eternal promises, see what Jesus has achieved, then you will want more than anything his reign and to live for him now in this world ahead of the glorious new creation where he will reign forever. A man who believes this truth, the truth of God’s Word, will have the resolution to live in service to this King, want to know Him more and serve Him with his life according to the portion of their gift from our King to His church.
I want to be this kind of man who hears, believes and responds to the amazing call of our king, Jesus. May the Lord be glorified with this one life and bring fruit for his work through the gospel. And may the joy of serving King Jesus not fade no matter how the near future turns out to be. May the hope of God’s eternal glory always remain in front of me when the enemy of my soul tempts me with earthly temporal and vain pleasures or scares me with earthly pain and even death.
This is my prayer.
Resources on finding your life work:
- What if you don’t know your life work? (Matt Perman)
- How do I know if preaching is for me? (Christopher Ash)
- How can I tell if I’m called to pastoral ministry (Kevin DeYoung)
- More emphasis on the call or less? (Watumishi wa Neno)