5 Next Steps After Your Call to Ministry

Congratulations, you feel called into Ministry, now what?

I felt that call to ministry when I was 13 years old and now 23 years later I’ve been in full-time ministry and had the privilege for 7 years of directing Champions Centre College, the Leadership and Bible college in the Northwest of the USA. Because of this, I’ve found myself having many conversations over and over again with people about their calling, specifically with young men and women who feel called to be in full-time ministry.

The scene plays out like this, a young person has a God encounter where the Holy Spirit speaks to them or a prophetic word is given that calls them into the life of ministry. Then they come to their pastors and declare that they want to be a pastor or feel called to full-time ministry. So what is next for that young leader? Maybe you are that person feeling called to ministry and wondering what’s next, so here are what I would call the primary next steps once you feel called into ministry. (Also for Preachers, Check out the E-course on Preaching Essentials from Samuel Deuth)

1. Immerse Yourself into God’s Word
This cannot be overstated. All of your ministry must be based and founded upon the truth of the word of God. All life, wisdom, peace, hope, and grace flows out of God’s word. If you ever want to minister well, you must become immersed in God’s word. Later at bible college you can get more training on how to properly do an exegetical study of scripture, or how to lead an effective church, but first, you need to live in God’s word everyday and allow it begin to come alive in you. The habit of daily time spent in the Bible is a non-negotiable for those who feel called into ministry. Your first priority as a minister is to the word of God.

and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.
– Acts 6:4

2. Increase Your Time in His Presence
If you’re going to lead God’s people, you’ll need to be able to better hear and receive direction from the Holy Spirit. God reveals himself to those who are committed to closeness to him. I want to challenge you to spend more time in God’s presence for two main reasons. The first is purely for greater closeness with God. The Holy Spirit can do great things in a moment, but intimacy is developed through time. The second reason is for wisdom in how to lead His people. Years back in the beginning seasons of my calling God illuminated a few verses that challenged me to make sure I spent time in his presence to receive direction. Both wisdom and intimacy flows from time in His presence.

18 But which of them has stood in the council of the LORD to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word? 21 I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.
– Jeremiah 23:18, 21-22

3. Begin your Ministry today
This is another thing that people often miss. They feel called into ministry but then when you want them to begin to serve, they don’t always connect the dots. Often a young person will approach their calling as if it’s a career that you have to wait till you graduate college to begin. But in this calling, bible college should enhance what’s in your heart and expand what you’re already doing. So you feel called to ministry? great – now get to work, serve, take every opportunity to help and lead that you are given in your church.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
– 1 Timothy 4:12

4. Get Application-based Training
If you feel called to ministry work, I encourage you not to run off to a seminar or bible college that is based purely on academics if they don’t have internship opportunities. Too many people graduate seminaries with high academic standing but don’t have a clue in how to actually lead in ministry because the training wasn’t based in the local church that the degree is supposedly training you for. I recommend colleges that are based in thriving local churches that combine the theological training with hands-on internship experiences. There are several great colleges like this in America and overseas that I recommend. C3 Church InternshipHillsong CollegeWave Leadership College, and Life Church College.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
– 2 Timothy 2:15

5. Make serving people – primary
This is more of an ongoing step, but in our celebrity driven culture that we live in, we cannot make the call to ministry a call to personal popularity. The call to ministry is a call to serve. [ I also wrote about this in a blog called, Will the Real Pastors Please Stand Up ]

Ministry is not a call to popularity, it’s a call to sacrifice.

Now, for some, God will give a global platform, and some a national, some a statewide, others a citywide platform – but the size of the platform is God’s decisions, our job is just to be obedient and faithful with whatever he gives us. We have been given a great trust, a great opportunity when we’re called to pastor, shepherd or steward God’ people, so let’s make serving people our focus. Jesus, our primary example even said that he didn’t come to be served but to serve. I’ll end this section by highlighting a verse I came across recently that reminds us of the great privilege we have to be called to ministry.

I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift. ‭
– Numbers‬ ‭18‬:‭7‬

I want to end by saying, “go for it!” Run after the call that God has put on your life; you won’t be satisfied doing anything else. The world needs you to give a passionate and obedient yes to the call of God! Any questions about this area of your life feel free to contact me or leave a comment!


(Also for those called to full time ministry I’ve started something just for you called the Ministry Cohort. Check it out and join the conversations.)


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Showing 29 comments
  • Randi Tafoya-Ministry

    Thanks so much for your blog about this! I just said yes to God’s call and I’m so excited to see what is next. I’m believing for a mentor!

    • samueldeuth

      That’s incredible!! Nothing better than obediently following that Call!! The Holy Spirit will guide you as you take each obedient next step!!

      • emmanuel monday

        Thanks so much for this.. i know i have a calling, but still serving as a secretary under a man of God… I pray for God’ s leading

  • Stephen Pauley

    Thank you for your blog! I too feel the call and burden to obey His leading. My prayer is to whom, for whom, and where?
    I have sensed that our churches are dying and pulpits need men with authority in them again. Revival is in the works I believe!!

  • Olivia A Gates

    I am really thankful that I looked up your article. This gives sound advice with reasons that make sense! I feel much more prepared to speak to my pastor now, knowing that I’ll already be practicing some of those “next steps” before I ask him what I should do now.

  • Felicia Hall

    How do you accept the call?

    • samueldeuth

      Great question. If you feel the Holy Spirit calling and it’s been confirmed from the Pastors in your life, than the way you accept or respond to the call is through obedience. Nothing big flashy, just obey what he’s told you to do. And when you do, then he’ll give you the next step after that.

  • bernadette crosby

    Thank you got your very enlightening words. I was called to evengelism back in 2000. I attended a very well known Bible school. Though the years, several helps ministries have came into my life , even my ordination. buy here am I with the call once again before me very strongly. So I’m seeking the what’s next in my life. I have searched out opportunities to evangelize wherever I go, plus teaching evangelism within my church. But the what’s next had risen it’s head again. So I’m going back to basics of doing my first work again, commitment to day through searching the scripture, studying, emutsing myself to the call of evangelism and seeking his will and being obedient as He open opportunities unto his glory. I am surrounded unto His will, amen..Thank you for your enlightment, I so needed this direction. Sign: Stirred in the Holy Ghost.

    • samueldeuth

      So glad it was the encouragement you needed!! I love how the Holy Spirit works like that!!

  • Umar Philip

    Hmmmm…thank you so much Sir for this counsel. I am really encouraged. I have received the call of God but really confused of what next to do. The Church to serve and when to begin are my challenges right now. Where to serve has been a challenge because I have been staying within a university community where I am attending the university Chapel and of course they don’t recruit Pastors as we only have Chaplain and assistant. When to begin is a challenge because I am currently running my Master degree program in political science. I seems to loose interest in any other thing but the Word of God. Please Sir pray along with me.

    • samueldeuth

      So glad this was helpful… keep a passionate heart after knowing God and find a church where you can start serving people.

  • Pamela

    Thank God for your inputs. God has called me and the steps that you’re given it’s really helped me a lot just want to move forward to go to a theology school. A theology school near me in the Hampton roads area

    • samueldeuth


      Thanks for the comment and I’m so glad to hear this has provided some insight for you in your next steps. Keep going after Jesus passionately and serve His people will all you have!

  • Stella

    Wow, your article is just what I needed to read! Thanks for such great insights! Recently felt called again to the mission field. I am currently in the workplace and have some clients and to be honest am not that active at church except for 1 or 2 ministries I serve in over the weekends. Looking back I see times when the Lord has called me to do more but I have not, mainly due to a lack of courage and busyness a work. I however, love the word and evangelize whenever I can.
    My struggle is knowing whether I should immediately drop my work and go to Bible school or do I first go back ad start from the last point of my obedience?

    • samueldeuth

      Hey there! Great hearing from you! I think as for the next step, I’d say that you want to continue to find ways to serve and carry more “weight” of leadership, while you’re beginning plans to start Bible college. But, take the time to listen for the Holy Spirit and then make a bold move and take a step of faith!

  • Rosalind Porter

    Thank you for your post. It is very insightful and affirming!

  • Judy

    Thanks so much for the insight….i say yes! And pray for the next step to be revealed. God bless you Sir I had some burning questions and you provided the answers here…blessings

  • Lambi Kelvin

    God bless you sir.I love you so much. Thank you for the enlightenment

  • Chidi

    Thanks for your post. There fear of survival when one makes the decision to leave the secular job for full time ministry. Kindly enlighten me on how to cope without a paid job.

    • samueldeuth

      Yes. It takes great faith to step out into the unknown. The key to being able to “cope” with out a paid job really only comes if you feel like you have a word from God! That’s what has sustained me in the difficult times is knowing without a doubt that God has called me to do this. Don’t step out into itinerate ministry if you don’t have a word.

  • Emmanuel

    I am really blessed….am from Nigeria and I wish I could be receiving more of this enlightenment often…..I got the call many years back and went into a bible school after which I was persuaded to go to a secular school now as an architect I try to dodge the reality of serving in God’s vineyard but the more I get frustrated and even indebted… Now I have a very pressing urge to begin a campus fellowship and it is playing itself before my eyes I can’t even ignore it… I am already preparing to declare it to my Pastor and go for it as soon as possible…. Thanks sir I am blessed….

    • samueldeuth

      Emmanuel. Thanks for reaching out. Love hearing your heart and passion to respond in obedience to the call of God on your life!! Your nation needs all that God has put in you!

  • John

    God has blessed you sir! Thanks for the article, this is exactly what have been bothering me. But my question is..
    My heart presently is panting after having a sustainable business that can help in the area of finances. So taking up the ministerial task now seems too quick. What advice do you have for me sir?

  • Afolayan Michael

    Thanks Sir, I so much appreciate your encouraging words both personal and biblical, but how can I entered into full ministry as a family man and without any pay from anybody, except the little money my wife is earning from her place of work. Please I need urgent answer Sir

  • Lamont

    This was very helpful! God is leading me in a new direction and even though I run and fight! He laughs and said, Do My Will, child!

  • Ubong Nsini

    Thank you very much!…. I am blessed

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