I was almost 20 years old when it came to me. I was not in church, youth group or doing any “holy” activity. I was sitting in my Jeep Cherokee outside of the garage where I worked, looking at a tall brick building with chipped paint and a flock of noisy seagulls arguing on the roof. I was terribly unhappy, but I didn’t have a clear picture of what to do. So I did nothing. For years. Until that summer morning where it came to me as clear as crystal: “Go do something.” That was it.
I thought maybe God wanted me to go do something in “ministry” but I didn’t know what that meant or where to begin. Here is the process I used to help guide my decision. Maybe it will help you too.
- I spoke with people who were wise and knew me well to help me identify what I was good at.
I heard a lot of different things, but the common theme was that I should be doing something helping people. It seemed that perhaps a career in the ministry was for me. As you listen to what the wise people in your life are telling you, make sure you are asking the question, “How will I bring God’s grace into this area of the world?” If you do this, you will always be doing God’s will.
- I used my common sense and began looking for colleges that could prepare me for ministry and fit my other needs as well. Your preparation may or may not include college, but it will certainly include learning. Whether it is an apprenticeship, an entry-level job or an internship, you will be learning. When looking for your place to prepare, be intentional about ensuring you have a network of Christians to help you integrate what you are learning with a Christian worldview. A church, a small group or a Christian college are all great ways to develop that network.
- I began to make my plans for how to go about preparing, and I prayed this prayer (and meant it with my whole heart):
God, I want to please you more than anything. I think these steps make sense for me. If you have different plans, I will follow them willingly. If this is the wrong step, make it plain to me in a way I will understand.
Your heavenly father will not reject your earnest prayer to follow his will. He loves you too much.
- I took the steps to begin my training and trusted God.
I can’t guarantee that the first draft of your plan is an inflexible roadmap going to where you will end up. It certainly wasn’t for me. Please remember that God is faithful and will not, under any circumstances, by any means, ever abandon you. He loves you too much. But don’t just wait. Go do something.
If you would like to have a conversation with Luke, feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and the two of you can chat about life, calling and different ways to prepare.