by Shauna Price/ May 6, 2021
When I was a kid, I so desperately wanted to be called into ministry. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else but that. But how was I going to know that I was called? That was the question. Would God give me a vision or a dream? Would someone prophesy over me? Or could I just do ministry because, well, I wanted to?
These are all questions that kids in your area of ministry probably have as well. It’s helpful to know some of the ways that God calls the called from examples in Scripture. God calls people in some of the following ways:
1. God calls through the gifts of the Spirit. For instance, Paul and Barnabas were called because of the Holy Spirit leading someone to speak prophetically in their congregational worship time in Acts 13, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (vs. 2, NIV). God can still call kids through a prophetic word from someone in the Church! There is no doubt you have already seen this in your ministry to kids through the years. Paul also exhorts Timothy to hold on to the spiritual gift he received when he was prophesied over (1 Timothy 4:14).
2. God calls by dreams, visions, and His still, small voice. For instance, the Macedonian call Paul received in Acts was a vision (Acts 16:6-9). Jesus also spoke directly to Paul’s heart (Acts 23:11).
3. God calls by showing a need that no one else is filling. In the book of Acts, Stephen and six others were called to minister to those who needed food distribution, but it happened because it was a need no one else was taking care of. Stephen was commissioned by the Apostles and was able to be used mightily of the Lord. Not always, but often, when a believer sees a ministry need that no one else is filling, that very well could be God calling them to do just that. What needs do kids tell you about that they have a burden for? Maybe that’s God calling them to do something with that someday, or even to raise money through BGMC for that specific need.
I used to wonder if it was going to be one specific way that God was going to call me into ministry, but to be very honest, He’s used a smattering of each of these categories to confirm the call into ministry. How is He speaking to the kids you lead? Encourage them that God speaks—whether through others or directly to their hearts.
You might possibly have kids in your ministry that so desperately want to go into ministry but have yet to have a “call.” Reassure them that Jesus has a place for them in His kingdom, and He’ll lead their lives to do “good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10, NIV).