By Ong Eng Boon
How does one in the first place have this desire to become a preacher of God’s words?
Because you have an unshakable “call” from God to help people know Jesus and grow in their relationship with Him and each other.
People always asked me why you give up your job to become a preacher? “becoming a preacher can carimakan ah?(can you earn a living by becoming a preacher?)” or “you got special calling from God?”
The preacher is called to a vocation
Those who seek to win God’s approval as preachers must recognize the nature of their calling. Christianity is a vocation or a calling.
“I, Therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to have a walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.” (Eph. 4:1)
“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ , who has abolished death and brought life immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:8-10)
Webster defines vocation as : “ a call, summons, or impulsion to perform a certain function or enter a certain career, especially a religious one.”
People are called to be Christian by the power of God through the gospel of Christ (2 Thess. 2:14). The call to become a Christian is not a direct, mysterious, irrepressible summons. It is rather an appeal to man’s intellect, his will, and his emotions by a message from God through men.
There are many areas of service for the Christian. The church, the sphere of service, is liken unto the human body. All members of the body do not have the same function, but all members of Christ’s body (the church Eph.1:22,23; Col. 1:18) have a vital function (1 Cor.12:14-17).
All Christians are called by the gospel into the Lord’s service. The members of Christ’s body were urged to “abound in the work of the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).
Since the Christian is called to serve the Lord, and since he is committed to this principle of service, the fundamental question then becomes: In what capacity can I best serve the Lord?
The “Call” to preach is the gospel call into Christian service. But how are we call to preach full time or becoming a preacher? Is there something that tell men receive a personal, or type of “inner call” to preach? The fundamental error of the opinion that God calls men to preach in a direct, miraculous way, is the same notion that God saves men in a direct miraculous way apart from means and human response.
The truth of the matter is, the truth of God, by which men are saved when they know and obey it (1 Tim. 2:4; 1 Pet. 1:22), reveals that God’s desire is for some men to become preachers and teachers. Paul instructed Timothy to “preach the word” (2 Tim. 4:1,2); he also urged Timothy to commit the word to faithful men, “who shall be able to teach other also.” (2 Tim. 2: 2).
The fact that 3 of the 27 New Testament epistles were written about preachers and preaching should convince us that God want some men to preach. Faithful, consecrated men who are willing to take up the challenge and prepare themselves and continuously improve their talents and abilities to serve in their capacity as a preacher.
Three (3) valuable suggestions to help one decide IF he should preach full time:
1) The clear knowledge that God wants some men to be His minister;
2) The people around you (elders, deacons and those who knows you well) are confident of your mental and physical fitness for the work;
3) Your own conscience which tells you that the responsibility is yours.
You have this unquenchable fire, burning passion in you that you want to preach this precious message of salvation to the whole world and no one (not even your wife, your girlfriend, your parents, your children or others whom you loved) can stop you from doing it!
“And if I say, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name, then there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with forbearing, and I cannot contain” (Jeremiah 20:9).
Preparing to Preach
A Preacher is defined as A herald or messenger; in the N.T., one who proclaims the gospel. His primary task is to :-
“To open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18)” by preaching the gospel, which is the power of God to save!
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Rom.1:16)
“Till I come, give attention to reading , to exhortation, to doctrine……give yourself entirely to them” (1 Tim. 4:13-15).
“Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49).
Then Jesus said to them, “ Come after Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17)
So his life pattern and work ethics have to be modeled after Jesus Christ or the apostles who came after Jesus
“For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:17).
Are you ready to take up the challenge to become a preacher of God’s word?