I still remember that year like it was yesterday!
I had been born again and filled with the Holy Ghost for about 4 years. Though I went to church every Sunday, it wasn’t more than mere church attendance for me until mid-2002.
I had just finished my West African School Certificate Exam when suddenly, something began to well up inside me. I become passionate about sharing the word like never before. I couldn’t go a day without telling someone about God.
For the last few weeks I had before heading back home, the school fellowship became my place of abode even though I had never been there in all my 4 years of studying in that school.
Something just woke up in me and thankfully, I quickly knew that was God calling me into something higher and more significant than I was used to.
Though I was excited at the fact that God was calling me into the ministry, I was confused! I had no idea where to start. Being a perfectionist and a top of the class student all my life, I didn’t want to get involved with something I would fail in.
So I began to seek counsel from older ministers about what I should do about the call I was sensing. I spoke with several ministers and got several great pieces of advice from them but I have distilled that into just 5 for you today.
Here are my five top tips for what to do the moment you discover you are in for a ministry from God.
See Also: Why Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen
1) Pray Like It All Depends On Prayer
Dear minister, the best place to begin the pursuit of your calling from is the place of prayer. You need to understand that intensive, fervent prayer is not reserved for those called into a ministry of intercession only. You must pray like that is what the ministry is all about. And in case you haven’t figured it out yet, here are four reasons to do so.
A) Prayer brings clarity
There are too many ministers out there today with vague ideas of what they were really sent to do. Yet, one thing that differentiates between an effective minister and one that is not is clarity.
There is hardly anything that helps a minister gain clarity like prayer. As a matter of fact, the devil knows it so well and that is why he tries his best to stop the minister from praying. His first attack on the minister is to keep him too busy to pray.
Developing a regular prayer life is, therefore, the foundation for a ministry that would make a difference in the world of today. Like someone rightly said “… God talks to the man that cares ”
So if you care enough to spend quality time praying about the calling and those you have been sent to, God is more obligated to reveal finer details of the calling to you.
B) Prayer goes ahead to make things work
Have you ever tried to wash a burnt pot or stained piece of cloth without first soaking them in hot water or some detergent/stain remover? You know that is going to be one serious task to take on right?
Ministry without consistent prayer is just the same way.
One major benefit of praying like it all depends on prayer is that your intercession and declaration goes ahead of you to make things work for you in ministry.Sometimes, the difference between a struggling minister and one that just has the forces of life at his beck and call is the prayer investment they have made. Click To Tweet
David once said:
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. (Psalm 63:1-2)
Are you carrying out ministry in the most unfavorable conditions? Are you sent to the most unsupportive group of people? Do you want to see results in a dry and thirsty land? Then, heed David’s advice here and pray.
It is one thing to see great things in the sanctuary (place of prayer) but a totally different ball game to see it manifest in the natural. Prayer helps you see the power and the glory on the inside, and preconditions you to bring that glory forth in the natural.If you want to experience a supernatural kind of ministry where your results are not commensurate with your natural efforts, prayer is something you can't take for granted. Click To Tweet
Thought I teach ministers the importance of delegation in our School Of Ministry, prayer is one part of an effective ministry you can’t afford to delegate.The moment you stop praying like you ought to, you start struggling more than you should. Click To Tweet
C) Prayer stirs the anointing
For every ministry given, there is an accompanying anointing! This anointing is that special smearing of the Holy Ghost upon a minister’s life that makes ministry easy and causes the minister to see supernatural results.
While it is not true that a prayer-less Christian is a powerless Christian, there is something about prayer that stirs the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon your life and causes it to flow.
Asides from consistent prayers, most ministers would only carry potential power. They have this inherent ability of God to cause changes in the lives of their audience but it will almost never be functional. Prayer is the activator of the anointing for exploits.
Moreover, there are different levels of anointing too. And in my experience and that of my sons and daughters in the ministry, every significant increase in the anointing is associated with a time of intense devotion, consecration, and prayers.
D) Prayer changes lives!
The ultimate goal of every ministry is to lead people into transformation by the word of God. We want to take them from their current realities to the experience of the possibilities in Christ.
In most cases, this transformation often demands a change in character, attitude, perception, and indeed a complete metamorphosis of the individual involved. This kind of change takes time and that is where prayer comes in again.
This was what Paul was referring to when he told us about the Church in Galatia.
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you (Gal 4:19)
It is in the place of prayer that travailing takes place. It is in the place of prayer that Christ is formed in people. That’s where we mold people into shape in Christ Jesus.
So the minister who will not pray like this will be ineffective in the work that God has called him to. He may be working hard but may not see the kind of transformation he hopes for.
Prayer is not one of those things you choose to do or not to do. It is a key instrument for anyone that will excel in the business of changing lives.
2) Study to show yourself approved unto God …
Now that you are taking prayer steps to secure your place in ministry, the next thing you have to do is to give heed to the word of God. You must become a student of the word and submit to the ministry of the word if you will excel in ministry.
You have to be careful not to make the mistake many preachers make here. They study the word of God to preach and teach. And the result is often that they are sound in the preaching of the word but have little or no serious growth in their lives and ministries.
So I am referring to the word of God that you study and meditate on for your own self because that is what makes you a success in the kingdom of God. And until you are first successful as an individual, you can hardly help anyone else succeed. Paul put it clearly when he wrote to Timothy saying:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Tim 2:15)
Yes, there is the role of grace in ministry but note that he said it is your studying that earns you God’s approval! There is a seal of approval that a minister can only earn by studying the word. So the more you study, the better positioned you are to step up in your calling.
3) Start as soon as possible
Like most ministers who have gone ahead will tell you, the importance of preparation in ministry can never be overemphasized. There is nothing like being adequately prepared for the task ahead and avoiding common mistakes most ministers make.
However, there is a downside to this preparation consciousness where people decide to wait until they are “adequately prepared” for the ministry!
Now, don’t get me wrong here … There is a timing for every ministry and vision God gives. Once that timing is set, do not allow the need for preparation stop you from setting out.
While it is good to be prepared for ministry, the reality is that you can never be fully prepared for the ministry until you are in the ministry. There are lessons you will never learn until your sleeves are rolled up and you get to work.
So as far as it aligns with divine timing, don’t wait another day! Don’t try to figure everything out before you begin because the road is designed to get clearer as you move along.
There you have it …
Are you already in the ministry? What steps did you take the moment you discovered God’s calling upon your life?