Are You Sure God Really Called You Into the Ministry?

Article Index

Did God send you to preach or did you simply show up?
Did God send you to preach or did you simply show up? (Lightstock)

Today there are many people in the independent Evangelical and Pentecostal movements who start churches merely because they feel led to do so.

If there were a way to statistically track the outcomes of these self-ordained pastors, my educated guess, based on years of experience, is that most of these churches and/or ministries fail to last more than a few years.

In our American culture, we glorify independence and self-determination. These values are great when it comes to our entrepreneurial spirit, which is why our nation will probably always take the lead in creativity and wealth creation and our economy will continue to rebound in spite of what the federal government does to us. But when it comes to functioning properly in the body of Christ, these values can be harmful.

Unfortunately, the way many of our brothers and sisters have "called themselves" to start churches or launch ministries mimics Hollywood movies more than biblical protocol! I am thinking of movies that depict independent fundamentalist evangelicals like The Apostle (staring Robert Duvall) and Elmer Gantry (staring Burt Lancaster). The former highlights a man who baptizes himself and calls himself an apostle, while the latter features a man who conducts tent crusades without any ministerial training or affiliation to a church, association, or denomination.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

A telling scene in Elmer Gantry involves a group of pastors and a newspaper reporter asking evangelist Elmer Gantry and a lady evangelist a simple question: Who trained and ordained you? Their response: "God" did.

These movies demonstrate that even secularists understand there is something wrong with this way of doing ministry. It is as ridiculous as sending yourself to Afghanistan to fight Islamic terrorists without the covering, protection, training or the strategy of the U.S. military. I have had experiences in my own church in which a person left the church without proper training, communication or protocol with plans to start a church in their home. My primary question to people such as these is "Who sent you?"

I tell our church members that when they meet a minister or pastor for the first time, the number one question they should ask is "Who sent you?" or "Who do you submit to?" If the minister or pastor says "God" then run from them as fast as you can. Many have started local churches for the same reason some entrepreneurs start their own small businesses instead of working for a larger company: they simply don't want to submit to anyone else or have someone over them telling them what to do.

Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.


Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!

Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. Enroll in the FREE Mini-Course to experience Dr. Rutland's training for yourself and then enroll for the full training that will change your life and ministry.

FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.

NICL Training offered in FL, TX and GA - Learn everything you wish someone had taught you about business and ministry before you finished seminary. Gain the knowledge that will help propel your life and ministry to the next level as you implement practical lessons from Dr. Rutland's training. Training Dates and Details.

The NICL Online is a brand new option for those church and ministry leaders who cannot attend the in-person training. Now, you can receive all 60-hours of Dr. Rutland's training from the comfort of your home or ministry for a full year. Learn more about NICL Online.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders