Thursday, July 07, 2011

Spurgeon on The Call

by CWK

I have asked myself, and have often been asked, “How do I know I am called to ministry?” 

Charles Spurgeon helped me immensely, and confirmed the general ideas I had about what constitutes a call. He says, “The first sign of a call is an intense, all-absorbing desire for the work.”[1] Spurgeon refers to this desire as a “fire in the bones,” and a “consecrated glow.” I have reflected on this, and I would describe my compulsion to teach as a consecrated glow. I believe I will spend most of my ministry in some teaching role. I cannot imagine doing anything else with my life! When I teach, “I feel God’s pleasure.” Spurgeon states that aptness to teach is a requirement of any ministerial candidate. This does not mean we will be recognized as the next Cicero after our first sermon. We can only discern our aptness to teach after trial and error, and a concerted effort. The best way to gage our aptness will be the responses of the people we minister to. “Considerable weight is to be given to the judgment of men and women who live near to God, and in most instances their verdict will no be a mistaken one.”[2] Later he adds, “When we stand to preach, our spirit will be judged of the assembly, and if it be condemned, or if as a general rule, the church is not edified, the conclusion may not be disputed that we are not sent of God.”[3]

[1] Charles Spurgeon, Lectures To My Students, 32.
[2] Ibid, 32.
[3] Ibid, 34. 

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