Where Is God Calling Me?
I have a calling to youth ministry. But 30 years ago – I had no idea!
I remember sitting in a marquee at a Christian music festival as a teenager, listening to a speaker talking about ‘Hearing God’s Call’. This was something I was wrestling with, so I figured that this talk was going to give me the answer. I wanted to know what God wanted me to do with my life and I didn’t want to make the ‘wrong choice’.
Unsurprisingly, I left the tent with great teaching ringing in my ears. But I was still no clearer about how to know exactly what God was calling me to. I was sure God’s calling was going to be as clear and as specific as many of the Old Testament leaders. He told Jonah clearly to go to a specific city, and preach a specific message of repentance. God told Noah to build an ark and gave him specific dimensions to work to. He told Moses to lead His people to the promised land.
More than 30 years later, I think I have finally figured out what God is calling me to. He wants me to be a loving son, a good neighbour, and a worshipper. He wants me to be kind and humble, a generous and righteous man, a forgiven saint, and follower of Jesus. I have realised that God is more interested in who I am becoming than what I do for a career.
However, I suspect that sometimes there can also be a specific calling to our lives too… But is this specific calling as specific as we think!? Frustrating, right?
Not only has God done work in clarifying who I am, He has also helped me know how I serve. I believe I am called to youth ministry in some form or another; to help equip others to become the person God has shaped them to be. This has undergirded my whole life and career choices and has led me to move across the world and live in 3 different countries. My calling led me to uproot my family and to be separated from extended family. It led me to place priority of this career over preferred salary or comfort.
Discovering God’s Calling
So how did I figure out this was God’s calling on my life, and not just a random choice? I have discovered that God thinks in a different and non-linear way, which seldom makes logical sense to us.
Let me share some of my story – There was a need for a Christian youth work presence in my area – and I felt stirred to respond. This led me to study Christian youth work. After graduating, the ministry organisation sent me back home to help establish a project. From this an underage nightclub was birthed, run entirely by volunteers under 25 with no funding. My role became to lead the team, develop strategy, empower people and lead the prayer room each Saturday.
What has emerged in life since is much the same. God’s calling is displayed when I am using my gifts, skills, and experiences. He made me with a unique personality and skillset, and has called me to use these. I am still doing similar things in teams today as I did with that nightclub 30 years ago.
Take a moment to pause and ask yourself: do you like encouraging others, discipling and revealing God to people? Do you enjoy watching young people flourish and helping them to reflect and learn when they fail? Are you passionate about opening the Bible and its meaning to fellow pilgrims? And are you willing to be an example in every aspect of life to those younger than you? These are some of the characteristics of a good youth minister, and God may be calling you if your personality and skills sound similar. Who you are (by God’s design) helps determine your calling.
A Fork In The Road
Someone much wiser than me said that maybe God is giving us choices, perhaps like a fork in the road. And in His amazing way, He will use the choices I make to fit within His call. I was worried that making the ‘wrong’ choice would preclude me from God’s will. Yet this friend showed me that maybe God was extending me the free will to choose, because God would use my gifts regardless.
If you are hoping for the booming voice in the sky, or an email from God@heaven.org, I sense that you might be disappointed. God wants to start by refining who you are and using that to impact other people for His kingdom. He will present choices and opportunities, and an assurance that He will use you whatever you decide. He has already created you with a unique set of passions, dreams, skills and personality – choices that line up with these are always a good place to start. And best of all, He has given us a guide, a counsellor, His very presence in the Holy Spirit.
Furthermore, we are not alone on a journey hoping to reach the right destination; we are travelling with a community of believers. And as believers following after God, we can be confident that he has called us to a specific purpose with a wider life calling.
How Does Reign Fit With My Calling?
Reign Ministries offers a theology degree, but also so much more. Our heart is to train you to be a disciple and lifelong learner of Jesus. We will help shape you and your life for this ministry, which we believe is even more important than any skills or youth ministry tricks we’ll impart. If you graduate with a degree from us but God is not more active and alive in you every day, we will have failed you.
Is God calling you to youth ministry? Maybe. Is He calling you to serve other people, to put Him first in everything, to love Him more every day, and to be a light to the world? Yes.
You and I haven’t met, but I am confident that this degree programme is one of the choices He has brought before you right now. Whether you choose to apply or not, He will use you in your journey.
Maybe you feel the nudge of God calling you into youth ministry? We would love to help you discover more about your calling. Why not request a prospectus below? Or, contact Sarah, our recruitment enabler!
Categories: Youth Ministry Degree Course
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