“The church has needed this book for a long time.” — Russell Moore
If you are considering the ministry, there are two mistakes to avoid. The first is taking up a calling that isn't yours. The second is neglecting one that is.
Discerning Your Call to Ministry will help you know the difference. A tool for seminary students, pastors-in-training, and even current pastors, it serves to confirm or prompt deep thought about the calling to ministry through 10 probing questions, including:
Pastoral dropout rates are high, and seminary admission rates are declining—signs that many of us don't quite know what we're signing ourselves up for. Author Jason Allen, a former pastor and the president of North America's fastest growing seminary, gives readers a better picture of the calling. Presenting a series of diagnostic questions informed by Scripture, church history, and his own experience, he helps those seeking ordination or ministry positions make confident decisions about their service to God, one way or the other.
On the shelves of bookstores and personal libraries are hundreds of books about ministering to people. What is not on the shelves of bookstores and personal libraries are books that explain and define a call to ministry. Now don't get me wrong, there are some titles out there that address this, but it is not the most popular concept. However, I believe it needs to be significantly addressed and brought to the forefront of minister's and potential minister's lives.
Jason Allen has provided a text that does that very thing. This brief book is clear and concise on what it means to be called to ministry and what to do about it. I would place this book in the hands of college students everywhere who are considering ministry, missions or some sort of vocational ministry work. In fact, even if the students are not considering it, but have been a part of some sort of ministry in college, I would ask them to read this brief title.
I cannot recommend this book enough and hope to see it in the hands of students in college and/or seminary.
Paul told Timothy that those who desire to be an overseer is a noble task (1 Timothy 3:1). James said those who teach will be judged more strictly (James 3:1). The call to ministry is one that should be taken seriously but also one not to be taken lightly. Many feel they are called, but they are not qualified which has nothing to do with seminary, which with some churches that is the case. It has everything to do with what the Bible teaches in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
Jason K Allen, the president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has written a book to help those who feel the call to ministry to help them determined if they are called or not based on the qualifications the Bible gives. Allen's book is titles, Discerning Your Call To Ministry. In the beginning of the book, Allen tells his readers that every Christian is called to minister and to ministry, but not all are called to the ministry. What he means is not all Christians are called to be pastors, shepherds, overseers, and elders. All are called to minister to one another and in ministry to glorify God in service to others.
The book contains 10 questions, which he separates into chapters, that everyone who feels the desire to go into the ministry should ask. In each of these chapters, Allen goes back to 1 Timothy 3 and addresses why these questions are important to answer for those who feel God is leading them to the ministry. Allen gets to the point in each chapter without dragging the subject and speaks truth to those who desire to be in the ministry.
At the end of the book, Allen summarizes the questions and asks the reader on what he should do next. Allen knows that maybe those who read are sensing God is not leading them to ministry which is not a bad thing. He assures his readers who fall under this category that they are not second class citizens because they are not called. He also addresses those who could not answer all the questions accurately and those who feel they should not pursue ministry at this time.
When I was called to ministry, I was not given a book to help me discern if this is something I should really do or assist me in confirming my call to the ministry. I am delighted to recommend Discerning Your Call To Ministry to anyone who believes God is leading them in that direction. I think it would be wise for pastors and elders to have this book on hand and read along with someone who feels God is calling them.
Jason Allen's Discerning Your Call to Ministry: How to Know for Sure and What to Do about It explores the primary ten questions that will help a Christ-follower decide whether or not they are being called by God into the ministry. Discerning Your Call to Ministry poses questions to help students, aspiring pastors, and even current ones, grasp whether ministry is for them. Within the brief 154 page book, Allen -- one of the youngest leaders in American theological education -- gleans from Scripture, church history, and his own personal experience as a former pastor and seminary president to offer a proper view of the pastorate, assisting readers in making an informed, confident decision about their service to God.
This book will become one of the key resources for helping those who are confused about their vocation to pastoral ministry. In clear, insightful language, Allen has given a real gift to the Church, one that I wish I'd had twenty-five years ago as a young theological student.