Called, ordained or spiritually challenged?

This is one of the first things you need to deal with when considering to launch a new church. It’s also a tough question because of the confusion of the meaning of certain terms. One of the questions we ask ourselves is, can I start a church if I’m not ordained? The answer is you can but you shouldn’t. Although the laws are different form state to state, the basic rule of thumb is that a clergy is anyone with the care of souls. Basically, in most states, by starting a church you become clergy. Ordination doesn’t even enter into it except as a way for the state to say that according to your beliefs you are supposed to be clergy. Pretty vague I know. The question is, are you called and ordained to start a church?

There seems to be some confusion between these two terms. We think of a calling as something received from within us and ordination as something received from without. Many would classify a calling as being from God and ordination from a person or organization. This is more what we have created than what actually is. The truth is, to be called and to be ordained mean exactly the same thing. People can give you a position but God gives you a mission. People can really only acknowledge the calling/ordination on your life. Sadly, many are appointed by people when no calling exists. Now that we have the calling/ordination thing cleared up there is another question. Are you?

That is a question that can really only be answered by God but here are a few of my thoughts ob the topic to help you with that internal struggle.

  1. Can you do anything else and still be satisfied? You may think that’s a weird question but hear me out. Starting a church is extremely hard. If you can do anything else, save yourself the pain and do it. But if you truly know that you will never be able to rest unless you fulfill that call, if your heart races at the thought of reaching people and if you are willing to sacrifice everything for that call then you are a on you way.
  2. Do people follow you? Do you motivate them? When you share the vision you have for the church do people want to sign on? These are just a few of many clues you are heading in the right direction. If you lack the ability to cast a compelling vision it is a good sign that you are not called to start a church. At least not yet.
  3. Do you even have a vision? When you go to bed at night, do you dream about the church? When you are alone do you envision what the church could be? Have you ever been told that you talk about the church to much? Without vision the person will perish. Of course sometimes vision can be a confusing term as well. To make it simpler just think of vision as the goal you are driven to achieve. If you are not driven by some purpose, please refer to #1.

    These are just some of my thoughts on the topic and I hope that it helps you in some way. I would also love to hear your thoughts. On your mark, get set, go launch.