a puritan's blog

O God, stamp eternity on my eyeballs…

Practical inquiries which may test a call to the ministry

This excerpt is from the Founders Journal, Issue 78, Fall 2009:

Basil Manly, Jr.

(The following questions are not only helpful to determine the validity of a Call to the ministry but also to assert some qualifications for a minister of the Gospel.  On the other hand, these could very well be used to test whether or not one is truly born-again, regenerated to life by the Holy Spirit!)

1. Do you habitually entertain and cherish the conviction that you are not your own; but, as dead with Christ, are bound to live unto yourself, but inform Him who died for you, and rose again?

2. Do you feel willing to serve Him in whatsoever employment you can most glorify His name? (sweeping floors, nursery worker, and the like come to mind)

3. Do you watch for opportunities of doing good, and avail yourselves of those that offer, in the Sunday school, in the prayer meeting and by the wayside?

4. Do you sincerely desire to make it the business of your life to labor for souls? Is the desire habitually, disinterested, and prompted by love to Jesus, and compassion for the impenitent?

5. Do you find that other employments seem comparatively uninviting, and this delightful, apart from any considerations of worldly ease or emolument?

6. Does your impression of duty with regard to the ministry grow stronger, at such times when you are most favored with nearness to GOD, and when you most distinctly realize eternal things?

7. Is your willingness to engage in such service with a clear and cordial renunciation of self-seeking, and a simple reliance on Him whose grace is promised to be sufficient?

8. Is it joined with a humble estimate of your own powers, and with a willingness to use all necessary and suitable means for the improvement of those powers?

9. Is it a desire for this work, not as a temporary resort, as a refuge for indolence, or an avenue to fame, but as a lifetime of labor, in prosperity or adversity, in evil report and in good report, that GOD may be honored and sinners saved?

If you answered “Yes” to all these then your Call may be of the one who Calls.  Go forth and labor in the harvest…

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