How Do You Know If You Are Called to Preach?

The following has been one of the key confirming signs in my sense of call to the pastorate, and it’s one of the most important things I say to aspiring pastors and preachers.  But Spurgeon says it way better than I do:

“If a man be truly called of God to the ministry, I will defy him to withhold himself from it.  A man who has really within him the inspiration of the Holy Ghost calling him to preach cannot help it.  He must preach.  As fire within the bones, so will that influence be until it blazes forth.  Friends may check him, foes criticize him, despisers sneer at him, the man is indomitable; he must preach if he has the call of heaven.  All earth might forsake him; but he would preach to the barren mountaintops.  If he has the call of heaven, if he has no congregation, he would preach to the rippling waterfalls, and let the brooks hear his voice.  He could not be silent.  He would become a voice crying in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” I no more believe it possible to stop ministers, than to stop the stars of heaven.  I think it no more possible to make a man cease from preaching, if he is really called, than to stop some mighty cataract, by seeking, with an infant’s cup, to drink its waters.  The man has been moved of heaven, who shall stop him?  He has been touched of God, who shall impede him?  With an eagle’s wing he must fly; who shall chain him to the earth?  With seraph’s voice he must speak, who shall stop his lips?  Is not his word like a fire within me?  Must I not speak if God has placed it there?  And when a man does speak as the Spirit gives him utterance, he will feel a holy joy akin to heaven; and when it is over he wishes to be at his work again, and longs to be once more preaching.… Let the sun stop shining, and we will preach in darkness.  Let the waves stop their ebb and flow, and still our voice shall preach the gospel.  Let the world stop its revolutions, let the planets stay their motion; we will still preach the gospel.  Until the fiery center of this earth shall burst through the thick ribs of her brazen mountains, we shall still preach the gospel; till the universal conflagration shall dissolve the earth, and matter shall be swept away, these lips, or the lips of some others called of God, shall still thunder forth the voice of Jehovah.  We cannot help it.  “Necessity is laid upon us, woe is unto us if we preach not the gospel.”

—from a sermon entitled “Preach the Gospel,” on 1 Cor. 9:16

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5 thoughts on “How Do You Know If You Are Called to Preach?”

  1. For the past five years I have been having this great urge to preach the gospel. My family tell me that I sound like a preacher when I am praying also. The passion is getting so great I do not know where to go and what to do

  2. Ihave been told by many that they think that Iam a precher,I can not see it.I work in the healthcare industry for over 20yrs.I have had clients ask me what church do I pastor or I get are you a preacher,my answer is always no.But I do feel sometimes that the holy sprit is in me.Sometimes I get this feeling to minster to certin clients,the feeling can become overwelming sometimes,it will be just for that person or persons,Once I follow his order that person or persons always tell me thank you ,sometimes the person would say to me you dont even know me but you saying things to me like you really know me and my prayer. Something just comes over me.When I go to my barber,he is a patstor for over forty yrs.,he has know me since I was a kid,the she shop is always filled with pastors ,decons,laymans,etc.I always get asked if I am a pastor,or I would get from some of them that I am preacher and just dont know it yet,they have told me they can see it in me,WHAT IS THIS IT????/

  3. I had a dream that I was behind the pulpit at my church and I was about to preach/teach a message. I pray early in the morning and end up preaching a message by the time my prayer is ended and it is time for me to get ready for work. I have been told by someone who I have confidence in as a sister in the body of Christ, that I have been called. I am not sure if I should tell my pastor or really what I should do other than ask God to direct me. I do believe I am called – I’m just having a little problem getting started.

    One of the reasons that I feel strongly that God has called me, and I hope this helps somebody, is that I do often have a desire to preach. Messages come to me when I read the word and also when I am not reading it. Whatever I do for God, I want to do it to the best of my ability. If I do it the best I know how I believe God will take up the slack. I want to represent Him well

  4. Your message concerning preaching was very informative.I have been battling with this subject for the last 7 years.I’ve had countless people ask me was I a preacher.I had a minister point me out in his congregation and said I don’t know who you are,but god has a calling on your life.A stranger walked up to me on my job and said are you still running from your calling.By the way I am a born again believer filled with the Holy Spirit,baptized into his name for the last 31 yrs.

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