How to Count the Cost before entering the Ministry and avoid tears.

Today is a special day for me. I’ve only seen my family twice in two years due to the COVID lockdowns in 2020 & 2021. So today I’m travelling to see them and staying overnight. Sadly, I can’t stay any more than one night because I have to get back to work on a Sunday, such is the life of the church minister.

People don’t often realise that the minister just can’t take a Sunday off on the spur of the moment because we must often plan a year ahead and can’t have random time off. My preaching engagements for 2022 are about 80% booked already, and this is how most preachers have to work. It is unfortunate because I cannot be part of Sunday family events when they happen spontaneously. Because I have answered God’s call upon my life, this is the lifestyle I have adjusted to. Unfortunately, sometimes family or friends don’t really understand that the minister must plan way ahead and think you can just have a day off whenever you wish, sadly not the case. We ministers pay the price in answering God’s call upon our lives, so we need to count the cost before we enter the ministry.

How to Count the Cost.

When we answer God’s call upon our life, we need to carefully count the cost to our family as well. So, if you are reading this and you believe you have God’s call upon your life, you are standing at the precipice of decision-making to answer that call or go into another direction, so I hope that this article will be helpful to you.

Below are just a couple of tips to help you to ascertain if you really do want to answer God’s call upon your life or not. This is just a brief overdue, and I’m not going to explain each point; however, I may do this in a future article. The Bible says if a person builds a bridge, they must count the cost first. So, Jesus, while addressing the rich young ruler, was really asking him to count the cost, and we know the story the ruler did decide not to follow Jesus after all.

1. Be sure that the call upon your life is confirmed by others in church authority.

2. Spend a significant time in prayer and fasting if necessary to ensure that you have the mind of Christ in your situation.

3. Research the area of ministry that you wish to enter thoroughly. Understand fully what the expectations upon your life might be.

4. Draw yourself a timeline. When do you think that this call upon your life might begin? Does this fit into the commitments that you have for the next 12 months?

5. What financial implications will there be if you answer this call upon your life? Grab a people piece of paper and write them down so you can see them, pray over them, and reflect upon them.

6. What financial sacrifices are you willing to make and that of your family if you answer the call.

7. Are you and your family willing to move if the call upon your life requires?

8. Are you willing to move away from your extended family and friends if York also requires?

9. Are you willing to put in abeyance old ideas and take on new ways of being and living so you may be effective in your call?

10. How many years are you willing to attend a Bible college or university to be equipped for your call? And what sacrifices are you and your family willing to make so you are quick and embark upon the required training?

These are just 10 short questions, but I’m sure you will come up with more, and I hope that these will help you get started upon your quest to evaluate the cost to you. I am sure you will be making a sacrifice of some kind, and sadly, many people do not last long term in ministry because they have not previously counted the cost.

When I was in ministry in the USA, I have met quite a well-known woman minister, and we had coffee together. In our conversation, she said, “I often wondered why people romanticise ministry because it is far from romantic it is full of sacrifices, heartbreak, disappointment, and just darn hard work”. But, she continued on, “of course, there are rewards when you can see the fruits of your labour; however, it’s not often that you actually see that fruit because the people you help often move away, so, I don’t get the opportunity to journey with them throughout their lives. Still, it is a comfort to me that I will know how my ministry has affected others in the halls of eternity”.

You may be sorely disappointed if you are entering ministry to be liked or to receive accolades of thanks and welcome. Jesus said to carry your own cross, and indeed if you are called to the ministry, you will be bearing your cross. As Jesus pointed out, you will even be a sheep among wolves – are your shoulders broad enough for that?

Thank you for visiting me here; I hope this post was helpful. 

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Virtual hugs, I look forward to your visit to my next blog post xx 

 Paula Rose Parish💗

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📚Nothing Good about Grief: Path to recovery with Psalm 23 after COVID-19 & other losses. 

📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times

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