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If you’ve just begun to consider whether you’ve been called to gospel ministry you may feel excited, confused or even overwhelmed. It can be tricky to know where to start!
In this valuable resource Trevor Archer and Paul Mallard draw on a wealth of ministry experience to give wise, biblical and practical advice to those considering full–time ministry. They offer twelve ‘markers’ to look for in a person called to ministry, and then suggest the next steps you could take on your journey towards full–time gospel ministry.
They affirm that there is no one–size–fits–all route into ministry and that God works uniquely in each person, while encouraging thoughtful and prayerful consideration of the diverse routes into ministry that are available.
This is a key tool for those considering full–time Christian ministry or those involved in those helping others discern ‘the call’.
I really love a canapé. In a canapé you get the taste of a whole meal in a single bite. You get the intensity and richness of the finest food without the prolonged need to masticate, ruminate and assimilate what you are eating. The Call by Paul Mallard and Trevor Archer is a sumptuous canapé of a book. In it they have distilled, concentrated and condensed many decades of pastoral wisdom and thinking about the subject of journeying towards pastoral ministry into 58 small pages of edifying, calorific and immensely helpful insight. As I read this book my overarching feeling was that I wished they had gotten around to writing it sooner, it would have helped me and many of my peers when we were thinking about both the criteria for and route into pastoral ministry and would have maybe saved us some tears. The twelve marks of workers with good gospel potential is inspiring and sobering in equal measure but is very helpful in laying out the foundational ingredients for those that by God’s grace will make it. The second half of the book is enlightening as to how to turn potential into a journey through training into pastoral ministry. They are very broad, realistic and clear in the options available and I love the way that the local church is integral to their thinking. It is certainly not an understatement to say that gospel workers who are equipped to train the saints for the work of ministry are the most valuable resource in the entire world. This being the case means that this book is a vital contribution and a must have volume in setting many more on the journey towards fulfilling that critical vocation. People should buy this book and get it into the hands of anybody showing promise, and also anyone responsible for spotting and seeing that promise realised in others.
This is a super little book on how to explore whether God is calling a person to full–time gospel ministry. Trevor Archer and Paul Mallard have done a great job. It would be the ﬁrst thing I would put in the hands of anyone asking if gospel work might be for them. In fact, I already have! The book charts a biblical route between the extremes of objectivity (a call to ministry is only about whether you are appropriately gifted) and subjectivity (it’s all about mystical inner feeling). It is full of warmth and deeply sensible. If you are wondering how to build up a picture of God’s guidance that relies not only on your own sense of calling but brings in wise clarity from other people and public recognition from the local church, this will tell you. An excellent checklist of 12 marks to look for in someone God is calling is worth the purchase price alone. The book slightly betrays its Free Church roots in places but there is nothing tribe–specific that anyone from another tradition wouldn’t also find helpful. It looks past the romance of ministry to the reality of real churches and real people seeking God’s will for their lives. It doesn’t expect perfection from future church leaders and is full of encouragement to be empowered by God’s grace and have a heart that is happy in him. A short, highly recommended read.
Do you wonder if you are called into full-time ministry (by which the book any form thereof)? Are you advising someone who is? Then this book is for you. It has an excellent combination of biblical principles and practical wisdom. At 59 pages it can be read in one sitting.
Total Price: £1.99