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Discerning ministry call focus of new book

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) — Jason Allen believes there are 10 questions that will help a Christ-follower decide whether or not they are being called by God into the ministry.

In the book “Discerning Your Call to Ministry,” Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s president poses questions to help students, aspiring pastors, and even current ones, grasp whether ministry is for them. Within the 154-page work, Allen gleans from Scripture, church history, and his own personal experience as a former pastor and seminary president to offer a proper view of the pastorate, assisting readers in making an informed, confident decision about their service to God.

“The impetus of this book stems back to memories of confusion and a lack of direction as I was sensing God’s calling in my own life,” Allen said of the book that was released Tuesday (Sept. 6) by Moody Publishers.

“Now, years later as a seminary president,” he noted, “I daily receive correspondence from earnest men and women who are at a similar point as I once was. My desire is for them to read this book and obtain clarity, one way or the other, of their calling.”

The primary audience for the book includes any person sensing a call to pastoral ministry, Allen said. But it also can include those who are already serving in various capacities within the local church and may have incorrectly sensed such a call.

“Most Christians have an undeveloped, insufficiently-informed understanding of what it means to be called to the ministry,” Allen said.

“They are often in their own state of suspended animation, seeking certainty and assurance yet feeling ill-equipped to follow God’s call,” he said. “These are urgent and consequential deliberations. After all, what could be more unsettling than to embark on the ministry unsure if God is indeed leading you?”

Some of the questions Allen addresses in the book include the following:

— Do you desire the ministry?

— Does your character meet God’s expectations?

— Is your household in order?

— Has God gifted you to preach and teach His Word?

— Do you love the people of God?

— Are you passionate about the Gospel and Great Commission?

— Are you ready to defend the faith?

— Are you willing to surrender?

“God’s call is too noble, too consequential, and too glorious to be neglected,” Allen said. “Each person sensing a call to ministry must know for sure whether God has called them or not. My aim is to show them that they can.”

Allen noted, “I cannot be more pleased with the way Discerning Your Call to Ministry has turned out. It has been a privilege to partner with the Moody Publishing team to produce a book that, I pray, will assist Christ-followers who are grappling with the question of whether they are being called by God into the ministry.”

To purchase Discerning Your Call to Ministry through Moody Publishing, go to www.moodypublishers.com/books/bible-study-and-reference/discerning-your-call-to-ministry2/.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please see recommendations for Discerning Your Call to Ministry from various Southern Baptist leaders below:

Russell Moore

“One of the hardest questions I faced as a teenager was this one: how do I know if the call I feel to ministry is genuine,” said Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberties Commission. “I wish I had had this book. Jason Allen is an experienced, thoughtful guide on what it means to serve Christ’s church as pastors and teachers. This book will not only help young, would-be ministers to discern their calling, but will also equip pastors and church leaders to disciple the next generation.”

Thom Rainer

“How do I know if I’m called to ministry? And how do I know if I’m ready to serve in ministry?” Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, said.

“These are two of the common questions I am asked again and again,” he said. “Now I have the perfect response: read Jason Allen’s Discerning Your Call to Ministry. This book is thoroughly biblical. It is immensely practical. And it is incredibly helpful. It is now my number one recommendation to those who sense God’s call to ministry in their own lives.”

Paige Patterson

“Not every day does one hear the wisdom of the ages from one of the youngest seminary presidents in America.” Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said. “Discerning Your Call to Ministry is a crisp, phenomenally perceptive introduction to the ministry that ought to be read by every young man considering the ministry.

“I am especially thankful for Allen’s emphasis on the essential call of God to the ministry and for the importance of the pastor’s home,” he said. “Headed for the ministry? Drop by this book on your way.”

John MacArthur

“God’s call to full-time ministry is a concept few people understand or explain well,” said John MacArthur, pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif. “It’s not a mystical form of special revelation or an audible voice from heaven. And God doesn’t call men to pastoral ministry without gifting them for the task and sovereignly drawing their hearts to the work. Jason Allen skillfully outlines and explains the vital biblical principles for discerning whether a person is truly called to ministry. This helpful handbook answers scores of questions I hear from young men and potential seminary students all the time.”

R. Albert Mohler Jr.

“The Bible reveals both the glory and the burden of the call to ministry, and what we need is a faithful and pastoral presentation of the biblical vision of that call,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. “Thankfully, that is just what Jason Allen provides in this book. He clears away the confusion and faithfully sets out what the Bible reveals about what we rightly call the Gospel ministry. It is timely and timeless in its approach, and it will be especially helpful to those considering a call to the ministry.”

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  • T. Patrick Hudson