I don’t exatly know why, but soon after I came to Christ, I became convinced that I was called to be a pastor. I didn’t know anything about hearing God’s voice, I just knew that I knew, that’s what I was supposed to do with my life. Several years later, after my first two years of pastoring experience, I started to question my calling. “Did God really call me to be a pastor? I don’t remember hearing God’s voice. Maybe it’s just something I dreamed up for myself.”
For months I cried out to God, seeking to hear his voice. Over and over I told the Lord, “I need to hear from you. What is it that you have called me to do?” One evening during worship I clearly heard an internal voice that said, “You are my friend and I will speak to you. You didn’t choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit that remains.”
I immediately began to weep and knew that despite all the struggles and mistakes I had made, God WAS calling me to be a pastor.
You may recognize those words. They are almost exactly what Jesus said to his disciples in John 15:14-16. I had been reading through the gospel of John, but it wasn’t until the next day that I got to the 15th chapter. I was shocked when I read the same words that I had heard. And again, the Holy Spirit wispered to my heart, “See, that WAS my voice.”
Being a pastor is hard. John Wimber once said, “Volunteering to be a pastor is like volunteering to be stupid. You don’t want to be a pastor unless you KNOW that’s what God has called you to.” In order to persevere through all of the challenges that we face as a pastor, you have to know that you know that you know that this is what God has called you to. Then you know there’s no turning back, and God gives you the strength you need.
I would love to hear your story. What gives you the confidence that you are called to be a pastor or a leader or an intercessory, or whatever God has called you to?