Episode 11: On Being “Called” to Ministry


Being “called” to ministry isn’t entirely personal, internal, and subjective. It involves both the individual and a church, an internal desire and external confirmation.

In this Pastors’ Talk episode, Jonathan asked Mark about common misconceptions of pastoral calling, how pastors can cultivate an environment where callings get tested, and the role of the church throughout. (Download on iTunes here.)

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Editor’s note: 

For more on this topic, consider the following resources:


– What does it mean that calling is both internal and external? (:30)

– Why would you slow a guy down who says, “I know I’m called to ministry”? (2:20)

– What do you say to someone who responds to your hesitation with, “But pastor, the Lord is leading me?” (5:00)

– What are some common errors churches make in discerning one’s sense of calling? (8:50)

– What’s a proper biblical understanding of calling in Scripture? How does it relate to vocation? (10:50)

– Who confirms a pastor? When you leave your church, are you still a pastor? (15:20)

– How does a man’s wife play into his calling as a pastor/elder? (16:40)

– How can a pastor cultivate a healthy environment to test young men and their calling to ministry? (19:05)

– Any general advice for those experiencing the call to ministry? (20:10)

– Is there a special calling for overseas missions? (23:50)

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Listen to the other episodes of Pastors’ Talk here.


Jonathan Leeman

Jonathan (@JonathanLeeman) edits the 9Marks series of books as well as the 9Marks Journal. He is also the author of several books on the church. Since his call to ministry, Jonathan has earned a master of divinity from Southern Seminary and a Ph.D. in Ecclesiology from the University of Wales. He lives with his wife and four daughters in Cheverly, Maryland, where he is an elder at Cheverly Baptist Church.

Mark Dever

​Mark Dever is the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D. C., and the President of 9Marks. You can find him on Twitter at @MarkDever.

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