Stewarding the Call of God

by Mark Entzminger/ September 6, 2018

The “Call of God” has been a phrase I’ve heard since I was a child. Whether it was during a camp service, from a missionary, or an elder in our church, I grew up knowing  God could speak to me and give me direction for my life.

In fact, that’s part of my story. God spoke to me as a young teenager, calling me into full-time ministry. My grandmother recalled when,  at 12 years of age, she knelt at her “altar” (a rock out in the pasture) and heard  God call her to minister to the children.

Over the past few years, however, the tables have turned. Now I’m a parent of two emerging young men who are both beginning to express God’s call on their life. Additionally, I’m now speaking at kids camps and wanting to help kids begin to discern His voice and know that He has a plan for each of them.

So, how do we steward the call of God? How do we help children confirm that God has spoken to them, and help them respond with wisdom beyond their years?

Is everyone called?

We must remember that everyone is “called.” If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19,20) applies to you. It is your “calling” to share the good news of Jesus Christ and “make disciples” with those around you.

This is often missed. All too often people think the  ”calling” is only for those who are involved in vocational ministry because that is how it is most frequently used. However, the greatest calling is to rescue those who are perishing—and it applies to us all! This does not require a paycheck for the work done, but rather a passion to introduce people to their Heavenly Father.

Every Christ-follower is called to share the gospel.


Can The “Call” be specific?

Absolutely! God speaks to people of all ages and gives them direction regarding their life. He leads people with general direction (become a missionary or church planter) and even specific direction (serve in Palau or plant your church in Cleveland).

Whether it’s God speaking directly to the individual, or the person seeing the incredible need and knowing they must act, the call comes in various forms.

For this article, however we are going to focus more on children who report hearing God speak to them and providing them with a direction for their life which we refer to as being “called.”

How do kids confirm the “call”?

This is where stewarding the call becomes a larger focus for parents and children’s leaders.

Let me start this segment by telling you something to avoid. Although you want to celebrate with the child in hearing God’s voice, I recommend not announcing this information all over social media.

The rapid spreading of what your child has shared with you will change how they process the next steps in life. In most cases their little minds and emotions are not yet ready for the pressure that will follow. Unfortunately, the way some people will respond make it seem as if the “seed” of God’s calling has already become a fully-rooted tree.

So what do you do?

Be patient! Often the journey between where they are and the fulfillment of that call can be several years or even decades. Placing undue pressure on them can create challenges, misunderstandings, and even resentment.

So to better confirm the call, I recommend the following rule of thumb: The bigger the call the more time you should take in asking God to confirm it through multiple sources.

For the balance of this article, we’ll assume the calling is to some form of vocational ministry. Here are some tips to help confirm the call.


1. Spiritual Leaders

When you do share this information to trusted spiritual leaders, what insights do they share? As you, the parent or children’s pastor, talk to God about it, does He give you a peace in your heart? Had you sensed that God was working in the child’s heart before he/she heard God speak?
Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” This is the crux of the matter for your child.

Seek insights from trusted spiritual leaders and ask for their continued prayers as you continue to explore what it means for God to speak to them.

2. Grow the Burden

As your children begin to hear stories about people God is calling them to minister to, do they show increasing interest? Do they want to learn about a specific area of the world? Are their prayers focused on helping these people?

As a parent or children’s leader, you may consider presenting information about the target ministry opportunity to help them begin to grow in that area and see how the Holy Spirit helps it grow in them.

The idea is not to force them into manufacturing the burden, but to discern whether or not their heart connects with specific people or needs around the world.

3. Involvement Now

Following their proclamation of God’s call, can you begin to help them get involved in ministry opportunities that would help them begin to explore this ministry?

If there is a call to missions: help them discover different cultures, spend time with people who are missionaries, organize missions fundraisers, make foods and play games from different countries.

If there is a call for vocational ministry: help them begin to serve in different ways in the church. Encourage them to find ways to help around the community, or discover ways to help local ministries.

Even though they may not be able to step into that role fully, perhaps they can become involved to some degree.

If their interest continues to grow, this may be a confirmation of God’s Call.

4. Teach About Timing

Help kids explore the “What’s Next?” question. In many instances children will hear God’s voice, graduate from high school, get an education that helps them fulfill God’s call, and then head off to pursue what God called them to.

But that doesn’t happen all the time. In some instances God will lead people through vocational work, the beginnings of family, or other pathways for several years before they see the plans of God come to pass in their life.

5. Stay Close to Jesus

Ephesians 2:10 says: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (NLT).

By celebrating God’s call on your child’s life, but stressing the importance of staying close to Jesus, you are setting up your child for a lifetime of fulfilling the good things He planned for that child to do.

In the end, stewarding the call of God in the lives of your children is more art than science. I hope these tips prove helpful for you to guide your child toward what God has for their future.