A Student’s First Conversation about Calling – Walter Norvell

September 5, 2017

A Student’s First Conversation about Calling

Are you thinking about the idea of becoming a pastor, bi-vocational minister, age-group minister, missionary or some other full-time vocational ministry? If you are having thoughts like these, you may be experiencing God’s call to ministry. That’s a wonderful thing, but probably a very serious idea to you. You should think about it and pray a lot for God’s leadership into ministry to become clearer to you.

You should also talk to someone about this idea. First of all, talk to your parents. Then you might want to talk to your pastor or an age-group minister with whom you are close. You might also talk with grandparents, a Christian teacher that you trust, or another significant Christian adult in your life. But, what do you say? How do you approach a subject like this that is also so new to you?

First of all, start your investigation of God’s call for your life with prayer. Ask God to guide you and to help you find someone who can listen and discuss the topic with you. Here are some statements and questions you could ask one or more of these significant adults in your life:

  • “Do you have a time we can talk? I think God is encouraging me to consider ministry.”
  • “What do you think ministry is all about? I have been thinking a lot about it lately.”
  • “Do you know someone who might tell me about what a life in ministry might look like?”
  • “What are some ways someone can do vocational ministry?”
  • “I would appreciate your prayers. I think God may be calling me into ministry?”
  • “You know me fairly well. If I told I am considering preparing to be a minister, what would you say?”
  • “Pastor, how did God lead you into ministry?”
  • “If I think God is leading me into ministry, who should I talk to first?”
  • To an age-group minister: “What steps did you take to become a youth minister (or children’s minister or preschool minister or adult minister)?”
  • “I am interested in vocational ministry. What book or blog should I read?”
  • “I think God may be leading me into ministry. What does this mean?”

God’s call to ministry is always a loving and kind call to us. We all feel unworthy and unprepared. In fact, that is a good thing to tell God as you pray about this. Pray that God will show you what next steps you are to take. Ask him to lead you to someone who will listen and help you sort this out.

Remember, James 1:5-6 (ESV) promises that God will grant wisdom to anyone who faithfully seeks it: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”

As you start to think about God calling you into a life of ministry, you are beginning a wonderful adventure that is going to stretch you. But that stretch will equip you in whatever work God calls you to do. Challenge is great but the blessing is matchless.


Walter Norvell wrote this article. He is an associate professor of Christian Ministries at Williams Baptist College where he disciples and trains young people for ministry. He also blogs about small groups at www.WalterNorvell.com.


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