Head Confirmation: Discerning God's Call

Darrin Patrick » Church Church Leadership Calling

Getting Your Head in the Game

If you think ministry is all about the heart, then you better get your head in the game. Many people have surrendered to ministry “in general” without any clue as to which ministry “in particular” they are called to serve. A genuine call to ministry goes beyond desire and emotions into thoughtfulness and planning. In other words, discerning your call is as much about head confirmation as it is about heart confirmation. Head confirmation is an evaluation by the person who feels called to ministry as to what they are specifically called to do. Heart confirmation is more general and ethereal, whereas head confirmation is specific and practical. The heart confirmation rises up through your passions and cries out “I want to give my life to the church!” The head confirmation follows up on these passions and asks, “How specifically can I serve this church?

Discerning What You Are For

One of the common errors of those who surrender to ministry is to simply adopt the model of a church that they have experienced or idolized. A similar mistake is to blindly adopt the ministry philosophy and practice of a ministry hero. But thoughtful ministers of the gospel will think about their own ministry philosophy, style, and theological beliefs, as well as their unique gifts, abilities, and dreams for a ministry future. It’s easy as a servant of the gospel to simply define yourself by what you are against, but head confirmation demands that you discern what you are for. A minister of the gospel needs to be able to confidently say “God is confirming through my thoughts my specific ministry calling.”

External Call

A genuine call to ministry manifests itself not only in the thoughts and desires of the called person, but also in one’s gifts, abilities, and skills. This last aspect of confirmation fits into the category of the external call, because it is the one that is easily recognized by other people. In our final post, we will look at skill confirmation. As you discern God’s call on your life, ask yourself:

  • What am I for with my life and ministry?
  • What are my specific burdens for the church?
  • Has God given me specific convictions and thoughts about how I can best serve the church with my whole self, not just my heart?

To be continued.

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