Am I called to be a minister?

Am I called to be a minister? What about the title of Minister? We live in a time where you can send some money to an online ordination website, and they will make you instantly licensed or ordained. You can do this yourself.

We also live in a time where many churches and denominations allow you to be a minister only after you have studied years at a seminary.

Some say that we should reject all ministry titles. But, is that what Jesus meant in Matthew 23:8-11?

Jesus wrote,

Matthew 23:8-11  “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.  The greatest among you will be your servant. (Diakonos)

Did Jesus himself reject the spiritual leadership titles? Instead, Jesus himself was called “Rabbi.”

Peter calls him Rabbi (Mark 9:5). Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” (John 1:49) Even Judas called him Rabbi but eventually betrayed him (Matthew 26:25). All the disciples called him Rabbi. (John 4:31)

A rich young ruler addressed Jesus as “Teacher.” (Luke 18:18)A blind man called him Rabbi (Mark 10:51).  A Scribe called him “teacher” and said he would follow him (Matthew 8:19). Certain scribes and Pharisees called him Teacher and wanted to see a sign from him (Matthew 12:38).  Tax Collectors called him “Teacher” (Luke 3:12). A Lawyer asked the teacher about eternal life (Luke 11:45).

Be Careful with Titles

Jesus was called Rabbi, but he told his disciples to not be called “Rabbi.” Why? What was the downside of religious leader titles in those days?  What was Jesus seeking to say about titles? In Matthew 23, Jesus addresses the leadership culture that was present in Judea.

Matthew 23:5-7    “Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;  they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;  they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’

The fact is that with any “title,” there could be a real problem. The early church did not make “Rabbi” or “Teacher” a Christian leadership office. The role of “teacher” was mentioned. Instead, the early church instituted the Deacons in Acts 6. From the word Diakonos, which means servant. Christian Leaders are servant leaders first.

This issue gets at the heart of leadership because the key to leadership is your heart! Is your heart as a brother or sister? Is your heart of a servant? Are you a minister? Do you see yourself, and do you call yourself that? When people see you, they see you and call you a servant because they know that you are.

Jesus wanted his disciples to think of leadership as a servant, unlike the Pharisees and scribes who put themselves over the people. Instead, they were to understand that leadership is servant leadership. Look back at Matthew 23:11 again.

Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.  The greatest among you will be your servant. (Diakonos)

The Greek word used in Matthew 23:11 is “Diakonos,” which means servant, minister, deacon.

Early Christianity did not go down the trail of calling their leaders, Rabbis. Instead, the early church settled on the office of Diakonos or Minister.

  • Ministers as servants
  • Ministers who do not elevate themselves
  • Ministers who sincerely walk with God
  • Ministers who are not hungry for honor but point to Jesus!

The Apostle Paul put it this way,

2 Corinthians 3:5-6 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.  He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant

What does that mean for Christian Leaders Alliance?

Our passion is for every called leader trained at Christian Leaders Institute and commissioned as a Commended, Licensed, or Ordained leader through Christian Leaders Alliance!

Some takeaways:

1. If you are called into ministry, will you humble yourself to get appropriate ministry training? Are you dedicated and motivated to complete ministry training suitable for your calling? Many want to be called “Pastor” who like the title but are not willing to humble themselves to learn and grow.

2.  Have you shown that you are a servant to others? Have you helped others? Would others recommend you as a minister? At Christian Leaders Alliance, we are taking this seriously.

At Christian Leaders Alliance, we have three minister categories with different levels of endorsement.

Commended Minister – This non-clergy minister category is for those called into a specific ministry role. This designation ordinarily fits volunteer or bi-vocational Christian leaders.

Endorsement: One Required

Licensed Minister – This clergy category is ideal for those called into ministry and want to go deeper in their studies and their ministry impact. In addition, the Licensed Minister role is ordinarily suitable for part-time Christian leaders.

Endorsements: Two Required

Ordained Minister – This clergy category is for Christian leaders who want to go even deeper in their training and impact. More college-level courses are required.

Endorsements: Three Required

The first deacons or ministers in Acts 6 were selected and endorsed by the disciples. Barnabas and others supported Paul. Paul endorsed Phoebe. Throughout the history of the church, endorsements were vital ingredients for the commissioning of new leaders.

What do endorsements do?

Endorsements are a witness to you and to others about how you are perceived. Endorsements tell of your reputation.

Caution Side 

We have seen at Christian leaders many who completed ministry training but could not even get one endorsement. Someone should not be considered a Christian leader if not even one person will endorse them.

Blessing Side

On the other hand, we have seen how God has used ministry training with endorsements to launch someone into ministry effectiveness.

It is powerful to see a commissioning prayer for a commended, licensed, or ordained leader! It changes those who pray and the one prayed for.

If you ask yourself the question, Am I called to be a minister?  Christian Leaders Alliance recommends you begin your journey of discovery. If you ask yourself that question, this could be the Holy Spirit prompting you to consider ministry.  What should you do?

Step One – Get a Study Account at Christian Leaders Institute

Set up an account at Christian Leaders Institute and complete the Christian Leaders Getting Started Class. This free class will help you discover whether ministry is right for you.

Step Two – Discern Your Calling

Discern whether God is calling you to be a minister and what that means for you. Then, find the study program and minister credential program that fits your calling and gifts.

Am I called to be a minister? This question has been asked for 2,000 years now by active Christians just like you!

SUGGESTED LINKS

Christian Leaders College – Are you interested in a low-cost college degree when you can transfer to many accredited college programs. Check out this option with Ohio Christian University

Christian Leaders Network – Christian Leaders Institute invites you to join a network of ministry leaders and CLI students

Find out more about the Christian Wedding Officiant Role

Are you interested in Life Coach Minister Training?

The Christian Matchmaker Program may fit you!

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Henry Reyenga
Author: Henry Reyenga

Henry Reyenga is president of Christian Leaders Institute and Christian Leaders Alliance.