Saturday, September 17, 2016

Book Review: Discerning Your Call To Ministry by Jason K Allen

Paul told Timothy that those who desire to be an overseer is a noble task (1 Timothy 3:1). James said those who teach will be judged more strictly (James 3:1). The call to ministry is one that should be taken seriously but also one not to be taken lightly. Many feel they are called, but they are not qualified which has nothing to do with seminary, which with some churches that is the case. It has everything to do with what the Bible teaches in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.

Jason K Allen, the president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has written a book to help those who feel the call to ministry to help them determined if they are called or not based on the qualifications the Bible gives. Allen's book is titles, Discerning Your Call To Ministry. In the beginning of the book, Allen tells his readers that every Christian is called to minister and to ministry, but not all are called to the ministry. What he means is not all Christians are called to be pastors, shepherds, overseers, and elders. All are called to minister to one another and in ministry to glorify God in service to others.

The book contains 10 questions, which he separates into chapters, that everyone who feels the desire to go into the ministry should ask:

1. Do you desire the ministry?

2. Does your character meet God’s expectations?

3. Is your household in order?

4. Has God gifted you to teach and preach his Word?

5. Does your church affirm your calling?

6. Do you love the people of God?

7. Are you passionate about the Gospel and the Great Commission?

8. Are you engaged in fruitful ministry?

9. Are you ready to defend the faith?

10. Are you willing to surrender?

In each of these chapters, Allen goes back to 1 Timothy 3 and addresses why these questions are important to answer for those who feel God is leading them to the ministry. Allen gets to the point in each chapter without dragging the subject and speaks truth to those who desire to be in the ministry.

At the end of the book, Allen summarizes the questions and asks the reader on what he should do next. Allen knows that maybe those who read are sensing God is not leading them to ministry which is not a bad thing. He assures his readers who fall under this category that they are not second class citizens because they are not called. He also addresses those who could not answer all the questions accurately and those who feel they should not pursue ministry at this time.

When I was called to ministry, I was not given a book to help me discern if this is something I should really do or assist me in confirming my call to the ministry. I am delighted to recommend Discerning Your Call To Ministry to anyone who believes God is leading them in that direction. I think it would be wise for pastors and elders to have this book on hand and read along with someone who feels God is calling them.

Thanks Moody Publishers for letting me review this book.

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