Leading with joy starts with the foundation of Christ’s call into the ministry. When you know that the Sovereign ruler of the universe has called you into His kingdom work, a fair dose of terror but also of joy fills your heart. You love Him more, you love His Word more, you love His people more–and you also begin to hate the sin in your heart even more!
When aspiring into the ministry, one must look at the five C’s to examine that call:
Calling: Do you sense God calling you into the ministry? Why? Where did you sense this calling? Is this an unrelenting passion? What influences did you have in sensing this calling?
Paul had a passion to preach the Word to the Gentiles. Romans 15:18-20 says:
18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; 20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named,lest I build on someone else’s foundation.
His ambition, his passion, his calling fulled his joy! What about you?
Consecration/Cleansing: Are you working diligently to fight sin and all its effects? Are your spiritual disciplines in place?
Paul told the Roman church to set their mind on the things of the Spirit, not the flesh.
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:5-8).
The Christian in general, but the minister in particular must set their minds on the things of the Spirit. This intentionality fights the war against sin and anything that does not uplift Christ in thought, in word, or in deed.
Character: Are you the same at work, at home, and at a church? Do you have a ‘church’ facade and a home facade? The key words are integrity and consistency.
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
“Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord, and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free (Ephesians 6:5-8).
All of life is worship. As you sense that call to ministry, do you see that all of the Christian life is a ministry of worship before the Lord?
Communicate: Are you sharing your faith regularly? Are you being discipled by someone in the church? Are you discipling someone in the church? Have you shown an ability to teach and care for people whom seek to teach about the gospel?
“Go, and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) is not just for the apostles but for all Christians. Is this a reality for you? Do you expect this to change once you become ‘official’ in ministry? No! That should not be!
Confirmation: Would your wife, your work, and those around you confirm your calling into ministry? What would the leaders in your church say?
3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:3-7).
When it came to Timothy, the apostle Paul, Timothy’s grandmother and mother, and all the church leaders confirmed God’s call into Christ’s ministry–and how that calling and confirmation should stoke Timothy to lead with joy and not fear.
Look for upcoming videos on these topics and others.