God called you to serve and it’s not what you expected. Now, what?

God has called you to serve in ministry. It’s not what you envisioned, you have no clue where to begin and your heart is not “into it”. Now, what?

You have been chosen and called (1 Sam. 3:8). A few things that you’re sure of: you love God, you desire to serve Him and it’s an honor, but it’s not the place where you want to serve, not the ministry that you want, not the way you want it and not with that group. Well, It’s not what you want; it’s what He wants. The sooner you come to terms with this, the easier it is to take up your ministry and move forward. (Trust me, it is very hard to digest! Almost a year later and I am still struggling to accept that God wants me serving where I am.)

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 2:5

What can you do to make this transition easier? Below are my key takeaways of this experience:

  • Ask God for Confirmation (Isa. 7:11): Has God revealed something to you? Ask Him for a specific sign that only you and Him will know about. You want to be sure that it is He who wants you to proceed with that ministry, move churches, go on that mission trip etc.
  • Obey (Gen. 17:9): As soon as you receive confirmation, make your move. Don’t delay- remember we are on God’s time! We can get bogged down by fear, doubt, “tying up loose ends”, etc. It will never be the right time for you, but in faith make that uncomfortable move and pray. Pray at all times. He will sustain you, just as He did Joshua when he was called to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land ( Jos 1:6-7 ).
  • Be open to change (Deut. 10:16): Change is inevitable,  uncomfortable and each individual handles it differently. Especially, when it is related to a personal decision, such as whereyou worship, it can be very hard. You are leaving your “home” church, this is where you started a relationship with God, and your family-in-Christ is there. How can you ask me to leave all that behind? It hurts and it is hard, but being open to change is a must. It will happen often!
  • Adjust your attitude (Eph. 4:23):  God isn’t changing His plans for you. You are a child of God and you need to obey. It is a long and painful process, but it will be worth it. As hard as it is, do it for His honor and glory. You were made to serve  just like Jesus.
  • Do what you can (Jn 12:1-11): Give your best in all you do for the Lord and do it with a kind and loving attitude (Rom. 14:17-19). It isn’t easy! You can easily get distracted by the amount of work there is to accomplish, the lack of resources, the negative criticism and the difficult people you have to work with. It can become overwhelming to the point where you don’t want to serve anymore! Hang in there (you can do it!) and do what you can. Do what He has called you to do!

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Phillipians 4:13

  • Don’t be discouraged (Jos 1:6-7): You will be criticized. It is harder when it comes from another Christian because you assume that the individual is working as God intended us to, as “one” (1 Pet. 3:8). Don’t let it discourage you! Keep moving forward and do the best you can.
  • Pray,  fast and keep your eyes on Jesus: Do not take your eyes off of Jesus!  Man isn’t perfect and he will disappoint you daily. Lean on Jesus — pray (Matt. 26:41), fast (Isa. 58:6), and read your Bible daily (Jos. 1:8). Your strength lies in your relationship with Jesus! He will equip you (2 Tim. 3:16-17) so that you are able to move forward in His will.

Just like anything else we may pursue, there are challenges, opportunities, and setbacks in ministry. However, we have Jesus. Lean on Him for discernment and understanding so that you can fulfill God’s will for your life.

What have you learned working in ministry? Any tips you’d like to share? Please comment below.

God bless you and yours,