Discerning a Calling (2) – Some big questions to ask yourself (updated)

How do we make big decisions? We’ve started by talking about decisions to go into paid Christian ministry as pastors, preachers, missionaries, church planters etc. But in fact, discernment is required for any major decision in life whether it’s a calling to some form of Christian ministry, to work/vocation, to move or to make major family decisions about marriage, children etc.Below are some questions that I think you’ll find helpful when making those sorts of decisions. The first priority is to think about how God is already at work in your life and through you to others. This will help you to think about how a change in circumstances will help or hinder that work of the Gospel.

 What do you feel you can achieve for God’s kingdom through full time Gospel work? -Think about what it is you would like to do, what skills, gifts etc. you have and how you could use them.

  1. Is this specific to (church location) or a generic call?
  2. What feedback have you had from other Christians involved in similar roles?
  3. Has anyone told you that you definitely shouldn’t pursue this? -What reasons did they give?
  4. Has anyone told you that you definitely should pursue this? What reasons did they give?
  5. How does this fit into your priorities/vision/calling as a family together?
  6. What sacrifices/cost will this involve? What will you have to give up?
  7. What sacrifices/costs are involved for others including your spouse/children, other dependents, church family?  Do you feel able to ask them to make those sacrifices?
  8. How do you think you will be blessed by doing this? In what ways do you believe you will experience God’s grace through this decision? (How do you think you will grow as a believer? How do you think God will provide for you?)
  9. What would you do if the church discerned that this was not the right call for you at this time?
  10. What would happen if the finances to provide for a role ran out after a couple of years?
  11. What do you think would be the view of the following people about you going into this type of work?
  • – Your wider family
  • – Your current employer
  • – Your neighbours
  1. What do you think God has taught you over the past 5 years? How have you grown as a Christian? In what ways has God encouraged and blessed you?
  2. In what ways has God used your current employment?
  3. What evidence do you believe that there is of fruitfulness in your current circumstances and looking back over the past 5- 10 years.
  4. What would most excite you about taking this step?
  5. What are you most afraid of looking forward
  6. Where do you think you will need additional training/preparation for this type of Christian service?
  7. What are you reading at the moment (Bible, Christian books, secular reading)?
  8. Which aspect of Christian doctrine do you find the most helpful and encouraging to you personally?
  9. Which aspect of Christian doctrine do you find the most challenging/struggle with?
  10. Are there any issues/challenges in your relationship (s) that are likely to be exacerbated by the pressure of a role and/or that could spill over and affect the role/church life?
  11. What areas of idolatry might such a move exasipate temptation towards
  12. Who are your role models for Christian ministry. What positive influence have they had one  your decision? In what ways might you be tempted to compare yourself against them.
  13. What is the state of your physical and mental health. May this create any obstacles and challenges to fruitful ministry