Read Called to the Ministry by Edmund P. Clowney Online

Title : Called to the Ministry
Author :
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ISBN : 9780875521442
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 90 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Called to the Ministry Reviews

  • Andre
    2018-12-01 23:49

    It seems like I am always currently reading this book and/or referencing it somehow!

  • Dan Mason
    2018-11-28 20:44

    This is a great little book on clarifying the nature of God's calling for all Christians and then, more specifically, those considering full time vocational ministry. It is scripture-saturated and immensely practical.

  • Timothy Butler
    2018-11-19 02:45

    I’d recommend Called to the Ministry to all Christians, not just those considering pastoral ministry. The book is in two parts, each of which is divided into two subsections. Below I’ll move through the first two subsections, which address Christians generally, and provide a summary of the argument of each. I'll then provide a few favorite quotes from the last two subsections.First, the Christian's work is a source of neither salvation nor identity. (A) We are tempted to work for salvation. That is true of those outside the Church. It is also true of those within it. For those within the Church, occupational proximity to the Church's mission may become a substitute for grace and faith, and work, which should be a joyful expression of love, may thus become a source of sorrow. Against this, we have God's call. He calls us by His name: “Salvation means that God writes his name on your head, your hand, your heart. He makes his name yours by making you his.” (p. 4.) And this call, which is announced in and accomplished by Christ's work, and not our own, is the means of salvation. So, as to work: "Don't [work] to save your soul. . . . A man cannot earn his salvation by preaching that salvation cannot be earned." (p. 5.) (B) We are also tempted to work for identity. The "horror of lost identity—namelessness—haunts" us. (p. 10.) What is that horror? It is "not that so many people do not know me; it is that no one knows me, for I do not know myself." (p. 10.) Before that horror, we cry: Who am I? What am I to do? "Both questions," we are told, "are answered in another: By what name does God call you?" (p. 10.) He calls us, we know, by His name. But that means His name is also our name. Thus, for every Christian, “to live is Christ.” (p. 11, quoting Phil. 1:21.) We are called to work, we are called to serve, but we are not our work or our service. We are in Him. That is who we are: "There is but one relation that can give identity to man, the relation to his Creator and Savior. God’s call . . . engages a man’s whole person in the service of his Lord. That call is to being as well as doing, to status as well as service." (p. 10.)Second, the Christian's work is the work of the cross, but he is sufficient for that work only because of the richness of God's grace.(A) We are called to the cross. As we embrace our identity—"to live is Christ"—we must follow Christ. We must live by His calculus, not our own: "The Christian . . . is not seeking fulfillment but expendability. He counts not his life dear to himself, for he holds it in trust for Christ." (pp. 14-15.) Of course, we cannot, as Christ did, "suffer in the place of others to bear their sins." (p. 17.) And yet we must "suffer for the sake of others, for all those who will form the church of Christ." (p. 17.) We must suffer as that is necessary to proclaiming "his terms of peace." (p. 18; see p. 25 ["The purpose of your life must be the purpose of Christ's death].) Accordingly, we must work—suffer, give of ourselves—"with a view to the purposes of the kingdom" (p. 20) as every calling is "a calling of service: service to Christ . . . service to men in Christ's name" (p. 21). (B) We are sufficient for the work of the cross only because of the richness of God's grace. Three simple points: (1) Our "sphere of action . . . is marked out by the gifts Christ has given" us. (p. 28; see p. 28 ["The measure of gift also determines the measure of ministry."].) Of course, we are to "stir up" the gifts we have received. (p. 30; see p. 30 ["It is quite possible to overestimate the gifts you have; it is quite impossible to over-supplicate the gifts you need."].) (2) We grow by ministering to others and receiving the ministry of others. (p. 32.) (3) "Seizing God-given opportunity counts for much in the fulfillment of" our callings. (p. 35.) This does not mean that we are to wait for all doors to open; we must fight within ourselves for a proper perspective of Kingdom work, and in the world as obstacles arise to block obedience. (p. 35). But the point is this: Within the circumstances God has given, look for the needs and the gifts.Quotes:"They do not go out with pious advice or moral instruction. They are heralds of the kingdom, proclaiming that eternal consequences rest upon the acceptance or rejection of their message." (p. 48.)"As directed immediately to God, service becomes worship; as directed to the church, service is a ministry of edification; as directed to the world, service implies mission." (p. 56.)"Martin Luther, like many ministers of the gospel, might have had a brilliant career in law, but the fire in his bones prevented it." (p. 80.)"If you yearn to serve Christ in the gospel ministry, that desire is surely a calling to prayer for the Spirit; likely it is also a foretaste and earnest of greater gifts in store." (p. 82.)"If you care nothing for men lost in sin you do not know the love of Christ or the joy of heaven when the lost are found." (p. 89.)"The question this is this: what has God put in your power to do in his service? What you can do you must do." (p. 89.)

  • Shaun Lee
    2018-12-02 03:43

    I have no idea how did I ever forget to write a review after I had finished reading the book. I do know that I was so encouraged/inspired/stirred that I promptly bought the last 2 in stock copies off bookdepository as a standby gift to fellow ministers in training when the occasion arises for giving!So here's the review after reading a second time!I sense Professor Clowney's deep endearing passion for Christ and the lost. When he lists down the traits that a minister should have, I sense nothing of condescending judgmentalism. Instead I am compelled to examine my heart if I have a desire to seek a complete transformation and empowering by the Holy Spirit to love his sheep as much as Christ did.The first chapter may have been a bit difficult to plow through, but that is possibly due to the fact that the Clowney penned the book back in 1964, when the world was technologically very different from 2016. But when it comes to ministry and service, the principles he highlights from Scripture are timeless.Some books are filled with plenty of wisdom, with propositions that allude to Holy Scripture but without explicit mention of the verses. Be it the foreshadowing of Christ in the Old Testament (eg. Samson), gospel narratives (eg. of the disciples) or of Pauline instruction, Professor Clowney's expository descriptions capture not only my attention, but awake something in my Spirit that compels one to reflection and inspires one into action. There is no room for self-exaltation or pride as you receive an impartation of Clowney's love for God and for men, but one that calls us to a surrender of fleshy ego, and a taking on of a submissive servanthood.Perhaps more than in 1964, "believers" today are questioning the need for a faith community and the reason why they should attend church. "That place is full of hypocrites and scum, I'd rather read the bible, pray and minister on my own, whenever I want. The local pastors cannot hold a candle to the preachers or scholars on youtube, I'd rather have a spiritual buffet than the famine on the sunday morning," would perhaps the typical sentiment of the church-weary individual. And I fully resonate and understand. To this Clowney would remind us that the unique spiritual gifts that we have been free recipients of, naturally would lead to the humble and joyous obligation to serve Christ's church with. Only in the context of a community, can we possibly put into application that which we have meditated upon in private Scripture reading. When we submit ourselves to service, how can we Here are some excerpts from the book that I found especially spiritually-piercing (Heb. 4:12)."the calling of the cross is not a calling to destruction, abandonment and frustration. Christ went to the cross only when the Father's hour had come and when his public ministry was finished. Our calling, too, has purpose and sets a task to be fulfilled" (p15)."The distinction commonly made between secular pursuits and Christian service comes dangerous close to the distinction between what the Gentiles seeks and what the children of the kingdom seek. Christian calling cannot be secular. The man who hesitates between a money-making career and the ministry is not merely in doubt about his calling to the pastorate, he is questioning his commitment to Christ." (p20)"Measure your discipleship by the things you have time for." (p25)"God's sanctifying grace bring us to the realisation of our calling; ... [it] is the outworking of the measure of the gift of God's grace that that has been given to you; ... your sphere of action, your ministry in the service of Christ, is marked out by the gifts Christ has given you." (p28). "Good stewardship requires a man to 'stir up' the gift of God that is in him (2 Tim. 1:6), as Paul charged Timothy." (p30)"Within the church of Christ, the mutual ministry of gifts moves constantly to the pulse-beat of the life of the Spirit. The body grows through the organic interdependence of each part... that means that you cannot grow without ministering to others and receiving the ministry of others." (p32)Thank you Professor Clowney, I wish I had the chance to have heard you preach or teach in person, so that I could catch a bit of your passion and love for your beloved Jesus Christ.

  • Andrew Murch
    2018-11-17 23:57

    I picked up this book because I know Clowney as a great theological writer and teacher. I was very pleased with his brief analysis of this crucial subject of practical theology. As a teenager, I wrestled with my own calling to ministry. As a vocational pastor, I have walked this path with numerous people. Clowney's book is one I will recommend in the future. The primary reason is because of where he starts. I see a number of young people who experience growing affections for God and a hunger to see people come to know Him. From here, they jump to the conclusion that they must be called to the ministry. I think there are two things those in this spot need to hear: 1) You are certainly called to ministry, and 2)That may not mean what you think it means. Clowney begins his book by encouraging the reader that we are first called to Christ, and as we are called to Christ we are all called to the ministry. The later chapters discuss what a vocational call may include. The primary thing it includes is fruit. A person's call to ministry is discovered in community and affirmed through the fruit that results from them working out. This is a short and worthy read.

  • Derek Hale
    2018-11-18 02:00

    I would give this a 4 1/2 star rating if Goodreads allowed 1/2 star ratings. Dr. Clowney's book is slight (a skosh over 90 pages) but chock full of pithy insights about what it means to be "called to the ministry." But it isn't a book just for church officers. In fact, Dr. Clowney spends the first part establishing the case that all Christians are called to "the ministry"--ministry to their brothers and sisters in Christ, spouses, their children, their neighbors, to the world. He works out from that foundation to establish the special calling that exists for church officers.The language is a bit dated--at one point, Dr. Clowney uses the phrase "moppet friends." And some of the examples are outdated. But that is to be expected from a book that was first published in 1964. The fact that it is still the standard on the subject speaks either to the dearth of books on the topic or to the excellence of Dr. Clowney's book. In my opinion, the latter is the case here.

  • Drew
    2018-12-08 00:48

    The best book on this subject that I've read to date. Unlike most books about entering the ministry, this one doesn't beat you down and make you feel not only incapable of the ministry, but also unredeemed. Rather, in typical Clowney fashion, we are pointed to God's redemptive call through Jesus Christ to all believers and told how that call applies to the calling of minister. Clowney draws out how this call is a highly personal call, and one that is of service. I would recommend this book to anyone considering entering into pastoral ministry.

  • Corey
    2018-12-06 19:51

    This is an excellent brief intro of the calling of Christians to ministry. Clowney's little treatise is a great example of biblical fidelity to a topical subject. He lays out and builds a convincing argument from Scripture about the calling to ministry. It will help those clarify the issue of "calling" who find it vague and confusing. I'm grateful for lucid thinkers like Clowney. This would make a great book to give to men in the church who are being recognized as leaders.

  • Eddie Mercado
    2018-12-11 20:43

    Good, short read on the call to ministry by Clowney. It starts off with the general Christian call but then progressively moves to the specific call of a Pastor. I plan on reading it several times do to its short length, but don't underestimate it! This book will challenge any men who aspire to pastor Christ's church.

  • Cray Allred
    2018-12-13 21:06

    Clowney's first point: all Christians are called to ministry. He went through universal and unique calls and giftings for God's people. The more direct look at pastoring was a really great admonishment, but wasn't extremely practical.

  • Wade
    2018-12-03 03:59

    This is a solid book about being called to pastoral ministry. This would be helpful to anyone who is involved in church leadership, but is most specifically written for people who are called to pastoral and pulpit ministry.

  • M. J.
    2018-11-23 01:43

    Though somewhat dated (first published 1968), still a very helpful book to start gaining a broad understanding of the calling of every follower of Jesus as well as discerning the more specific call to vocational or ordained ministry.

  • mpsiple
    2018-12-04 02:53

    Helped me rethink what I knew about "calling" and vocation. Much more could be said (the book is under 100 pages), but what he says is great. The first section on every Christian's call to serve God and his church is excellent.

  • Robert Smith
    2018-12-12 00:59

    This book from the first time that I read to the times I have re-read it, is a great reminder of what ministry is all about and what ministry requires. It helps to read it when you are questioning whether or not you are called to the ministry. Reading this book encourages me to keep pressing on.

  • Peter Stonecipher
    2018-12-15 20:04

    Clowney distinguishes general calling from a vocational calling to full-time ministry. He mainly underscores the great weight of responsibility ministry entails.

  • Tommy Park
    2018-12-17 20:57

    A great book to read for ALL Christians.

  • Jacob
    2018-11-29 02:00

    Very helpful.

  • Steven Wedgeworth
    2018-11-21 22:57

    Needs so much more. I still give this out, but for advanced discussions about pastoral calling I am left unsatisfied.

  • Chris Land
    2018-11-23 01:59

    This will be a great book for anyone called to be a Minister in the church.

  • Brett
    2018-12-11 23:58

  • Andy Smith
    2018-12-08 03:38

    Fantastic book, not only on the calling of a minister, but on the calling of all Christians.

  • Rylan McQuade
    2018-11-19 20:06

    Great words of advice.

  • Tim
    2018-11-23 01:39

    I really enjoyed this short book on God's call to the ministry. Full of great teaching, advice, and encouragement. I know I'll come back to it many times in the future.

  • Isaac Barton
    2018-11-21 19:47

    In which Clowney tackles pastoral "calling" in Princess Bride fashion: "You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means."

  • Jacob Aitken
    2018-11-22 20:58

    More of a mini primer for Clowney's view on Biblical Theology than anything else. But well-written and reasonably fun to read.

  • Don Gale
    2018-12-04 19:56

    I was pleasantly surprised by this book. For some reason, I wasn't expecting much. Great book, not only for would be pastors, but all Christians. We are all, after all, called to ministry.