Many Christian parents have pushed their children to be a pastor or preacher without really knowing from the Holy Spirit that it is God’s will. They assume that these ministries must be the highest calling. However, if that child is not truly called by God to fulfill such an assignment, he will struggle throughout life to fulfill his parents’ expectations. Meanwhile, he will never discover for himself God’s true plan for his life.
A parental “push” into the ministry is just as destructive as the father who will hear of nothing for his child but medical school or law school. How can anyone succeed when he or she is following the wrong voice?
When parents see their child’s future only through the eyes of their own ambitions, they set a course for trouble. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (NKJV). It is crucial that parents train up their child in the way he should go, not in the way they wish he would go.
A spouse can be guilty of the same mistake. Many men struggled with failure after failure in an area of ministry to which they were not called. Their wives were sure that working in the ministry was the only way their husbands could be honorable Christians. But in the end, these women succeeded only in frustrating the grace of God, and themselves.
On the other hand, a person can be discouraged from fulfilling the work God has for him or her by well-meaning Christians who are unable to picture that person in full-time ministry.
As young Christians, we knew we were called to the ministry where we function today. So we began to prepare ourselves in the best way we knew how through prayer and study of the Scriptures. One day we went to our pastor and told him that we believed we were called to be ministers of the Gospel. We will never forget his response: “Not everyone is called to be a minister.” He gave us no encouragement whatsoever. The truth was, we didn’t look like candidates for the ministry in most people’s eyes; nevertheless, we knew in our hearts that the divine call we sensed was real.
Several months later, God led us to another church where the pastor saw beyond appearances and helped us grow into the calling of God. Even there, however, we had to deal with people who thought they knew what we should do with our lives. One day a wonderful Christian businessman came to us with advice we didn’t need. He said, “The world doesn’t need another preacher. What it needs are more godly businessmen.” Then he tried to convince us to step into his idea for our lives.
If we will embrace the grace in which we are to walk and determine to be a wise steward over that grace, we will flourish in the direction God takes us. And as we walk in the grace God has deposited in us, we will be accompanied by a peaceful and satisfied soul.
When we are at peace in God’s grace, we are then able to distribute the grace within us to others as a faithful steward. This principle lies at the heart of true Christian fellowship. Fellowship is more than shaking hands and chatting, much more. It is becoming involved with people and the situations of life that they face.