Full-time under 30: Discerning His calling in every season
Rebecca Yong (Pastor Becky) // April 12, 2019, 12:42 am
When I was younger, I struggled with the idea of calling. “What does God really want me to do with this life of mine?” was what I always asked myself and God.
When I was wrestling with this question, going into full-time ministry was never on my mind. I believed that I was called to the marketplace instead. However, on my first-ever mission trip to Japan during my freshman year, I felt the prompting to be a missionary in this nation.
I hesitated. I was not prepared to become a missionary in a foreign land. In fact, I was so scared that I stopped praying for the salvation of the Japanese altogether to stop thinking about it.
Three years later at a missions conference in my church, an intercessor prayed for me after I felt the urge to respond to the altar call. I can’t remember what her exact prayer was, but a phrase she said stuck with me: “Lord, grant her legs that would walk in obedience with You.” That mental image seemed so funny that it made me laugh.
The next day, I accompanied my friend to a Festival of Praise (FOP) gathering, and the banner outside the auditorium read “God of the Nations”. I was reluctant to enter into the auditorium at first because I knew what the altar call was going to be about.
However, I ended up responding to the altar call to avail myself to do missions. It was then that the preacher said: “I want to challenge you to take it one step further. If God calls, would you avail yourself to full-time ministry?”
I suddenly felt this urge to respond to this call too – even though I felt that it was not for me. But the urge would not go away. Eventually, I responded.
As I was walking to the altar in tears, I remembered what the intercessor in my church had prayed for me: “Grant her legs that would walk in obedience with You.” I really believe that it was God confirming the call He had for me to go into missions and full-time ministry.
I obeyed the call when I was 23 years old and I have been in full-time ministry for over 23 years now.
No matter what your calling is, there will always be a confirmation from God and He will send signs to confirm it. But always remember that our lives are for His glory alone. So our calling may not be something we want to head into, but rather what God impressed upon us to do.
That clear calling given by God is probably what has kept me going for so long.
It really motivates me and I really trust that this is God’s best plan for me. I mostly enjoy what I do even in the difficult times, as I believe that something good will come out of it. It’s not easy to continue to serve in full-time ministry when you encounter difficulties if you’re not even sure that this is the right place that God has called you to.
In my early days of ministry, I worked as an assistant to pastors and handled mainly administrative matters. I knew in my heart that it was going to grow my skills, but I also knew that I was not particularly gifted in that area. However, I realised that this was for my spiritual formation. It was meant to build my character even as God started to entrust new ministries to me.
Since then, my portfolio has changed a lot. There have been a lot of twists and turns, but over time I noticed that God is always very clear when there is going to be a shift in seasons. He will speak very clearly; the prompting is very clear. I’ll enjoy what I’m doing at the moment until I feel uncomfortable. This is the point where I’ll seek God for His direction, and usually He’ll give me an idea of where to go next.
I’m currently serving as the campus pastor for both the youth and young adult ministries in my home church, Grace Assembly of God. Although God has called me to various places, my passion to reach out to the next generation has always remained.
I’ve been in this role for about 9 months now, and my work includes meeting up with students on every campus to see how best we can do life together as a community of believers as well as brainstorming with them on ways to reach out to their friends on campus. It’s truly incredible to see how hungry young people are once they catch the heart of God.
I help them to see their campus as the mission field that God has placed them in. At the heart of it, campus ministry is about reconciling students to Christ as a Christian community.
I truly want to see young people coming to know God, and to grow and be stronger in Him. The students are always sharing their ideas with me, and it’s always very encouraging to see ground-up initiatives. Their burden for winning souls accompanied by their genuine love for God simply compels them to reach out.
My advice for anyone who is looking to start a campus ministry is to start small. You can begin with something as easy as prayer. Be on the lookout for friends from the same church and school as you, or Christian classmates who have the same burden to come together to pray. Be creative about the ways that you might go about doing this ministry.
Learning to build friendships and to testify of God’s goodness to others always requires you to build a relationship first. Actively care about what is happening in people’s lives. These are natural platforms and opportunities for you to share with them the Gospel and the love of Jesus Christ.
It’s also important that we should not always let results – or the lack of it – determine whether we do something. The question we should be asking ourselves is: Does God want me to do it? If so, then I would continue to do what God wants me to do even though I may not see the results that I’m hoping or expecting to have.
Don’t get easily discouraged, but rather choose to see the goodness of God in your ministry and focus on the little that God has given you right now (maybe only 1-2 friends have shown up to your prayer meeting). Preserve that desire that God has placed in your heart.
For those of you considering full-time ministry, whether in the campus or otherwise, continue to walk with God daily as you explore your calling. Spend time in His presence to allow Him to speak to you, guide you and give you clarity.
Don’t be afraid to try new things too! While you’re young, it’s a wonderful life stage to explore something new. Step out and be daring, and allow Him to speak to you in those situations.