Think You’re Not Called to Full Time Ministry?

Think You're Not Called to Full Time Ministry?

Do you think you’re too busy to pray? Feel like you don’t have time for anything more than a whispered prayer of desperation on your way to work?  No matter how busy or what your occupation, you are called to “Full Time Ministry” unto God, as this audio message by David Wilkerson so powerfully states.

Full Time Ministry

David Wilkerson



In this modern age, we are accustomed to seeing gadgets, groups, events and all kinds of titles that begin with a single “i” – iPod, iPad, iPhone, iTunes. Some friends of mine moved ahead of the trend and launched iQuestions years ago. Steve Jobs was a brilliant man who impacted each of our lives through technology. But did you know someone else impacted the world through the lower case “i” 2000 years ago?

John the disciple, when exiled to Patmos, became pastor of the church of “I, John,” or as we might term it today: iJohn. The upper case “I” (self focus) became small as John’s focus was solely prayer and worship unto God. His life, his agenda and his goals were not his focus; God was. With no church members, no fancy building, no full-time salary, no title and no luxury…there was John, pastor of the tiny, single-member church of iJohn.

“I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet…”
Revelation 1:9-10

What would John have had? Perhaps a little shack. A dirt floor. One kind of grain he had to ration, not knowing when the boat would ever come again. One change of clothes. Storms…that beat upon him as he shivered himself to sleep. Maybe he was allowed to have a copy of the law, the first five books of the Old Testament and some parchment.

By every measure of man’s judgment, John was a total failure, a waste. Today he would be asked by many, “Where is your faith? Aren’t you the one who wrote, ‘whatever you shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Ask and you shall receive that your joy may be full?’  John, why didn’t you ask God and believe Him to be delivered? Why would God put one of the most sanctified man of all times stranded on an island, nearly starving, exposed to the elements. John, where is your faith?”

The world today would say, “this man is finished.” But the first thing John did was start a church…all by himself. And he named it the church of “I, John.”

John made a deliberate decision. He concluded, “This may be where I remain. I have no congregation, but I have determined that I am going to be in the Spirit. I am not going to lose the fire of God. I’ve got time to get to know my Jesus better than I’ve ever known Him before.” So “I, John” started a church…of John and no one else.

On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit…

John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day. In other words, he started ministering to the Lord. He had church! John may be have been shut off from civilization, but the praise and worship from his church, the iJohn church, sounded to the Lord like a thousand tongues from a thousand nations!

When John was dumped on that island, he died to all his plans for ministry – all his measurements for success. He said, “I’m going to walk in the Spirit. I’m going to give myself to prayer and praise. I’m going to seek the face of God.” John was now in full time ministry. But not as we think of it today. John was in full time ministry unto the Lord. God had John all to Himself. What the devil meant to destroy God used for good!

John had no need for hype, or advertising. You see, on Patmos, you don’t need anyone to praise you. You don’t need slogans…or growth strategies…or fundraising…or numbers to boast about. You don’t need anyone to congratulate you – because you are reduced to a single focus: Jesus! That’s all you have on Patmos. And on Patmos, John said, “that’s all I need!”

Full Time Ministry Is…

Full time ministry is being reduced into total focus on Jesus in praise and worship because we are called to be priests unto the Lord.

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,  and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever!
Revelation 1:5-6

Full-time ministry is not being a pastor, an evangelist or church staff member. It has nothing to do with a diploma or being a graduate of a seminary. Full-time ministry is not having been ordained. There are pastors of churches who are full-time, paid ministers who are not full-time ministers unto the Lord. There are thousands of pastors who are called into full-time ministry but in the eyes of God, they aren’t in ministry at all because they aren’t ministering unto Him.

Full-time ministry has nothing to do with a paycheck, or whether or not someone has laid hands on you. Full-time ministry is ministry unto God – ministry to which we are each called.

When are you ready for full-time ministry?

  • When you no longer need human applause
  • You don’t need anyone to give you an assignment
  • You don’t need a plan
  • You don’t need an endorsement
  • You don’t need a building
  • You don’t need a congregation
  • You don’t need credentials
  • You are no longer looking for some great work to do
  • The only thing that fully satisfies your heart is your ministry of prayer and worship to the Lord. You are ready for full time ministry when you are satisfied with feeding Christ. You have given yourself completely to Him and you are focused on this one thing: my focus on this earth first of all is to be a minister unto Him.

We are each called to full-time ministry. We are called to come to God’s table and feed Him! We’re in full-time ministry when we give ourselves to prayer – when every waking hour Jesus is being ministered to. Whether we are on the subway or on the job, it is the quiet prayer that ministers unto Him.

There are some people in church congregations who have outgrown their pastor because they are in full-time ministry unto God but the pastor is not. They shut themselves in with God. They are men and women of prayer. Before they go to work they meet with the Lord. And throughout the day as they work, they pray. Before they go to bed, they meet with Him.

Picture John on Patmos. You see rocks…hear a few birds…see scattered shrubs and a few handmade shelters. You hear pounding surf. But what is it that you don’t see and you don’t hear? You don’t hear another voice. There is no other man or woman. The only voice was the voice of the Holy Spirit.

John says, “I was in the Spirit…” In other words, “I was wholly given to the Spirit.” As a result, God showed John the condition of the church. He showed him things to come – things even yet to take place. John is taken into Heaven. He sees the throne of God. The door of Heaven was open to him!

You have the same invitation and the same door that John was given:

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

John set his heart to seek God.

The Call Ignored

The call to come boldly and seek God’s face is being ignored today because everybody is busy. Most of us have time for internet, for Twitter, for Facebook, for television and movies, shopping and eating out, but we don’t have time to seek God.

God says, “if you seek me, I’ll show you things to come. I’ll show you the throne. I’ll show you mercy. I’ll show you grace. I’ll show you things you’ve never seen or heard because you’ve set your heart to seek me.”

In this message David Wilkerson says what is needed today are men and women who will:

  • impose a Patmos experience on themselves
  • will shut themselves up with God.
  • impose upon themselves an isolation from other voices.

What is needed are men and women who want to hear the voice of God only. When people begin to seek God with everything in them, and when Christ is the only focus, God speaks! You get your discernment back. God speaks to you about your family, your circumstances, your future.

To be in the church of iJohn means you don’t fall for the strategies of men. When God can find a man or woman:

  • who is willing to let everyone bypass him or her – and let them go their way
  • who can sit back and let them glory in what the world calls success.
  • Who can say none of this matters to me anymore…

…it’s a self-imposed exile. It doesn’t mean you don’t keep up your responsibilities. It means that you come out of this exile – the secret closet – shutting away the voices of men.

The only thing that matters is, “Jesus, I want my life to please you. When I go into my secret closet, I’m here to minister to you. I’m here for you. I am willing to wait on you. I want You to speak.”

It doesn’t mean you leave you job.  You can be a busy person and still have this Patmos exile where you have shut out everything that would hinder you from hearing the voice of the Lord.

Questions: Will you ignore the call today, or will you respond? What changes will you make in order to impose upon your life a Patmos experience of full time ministry unto God?



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One Response to “Think You’re Not Called to Full Time Ministry?”

  1. Reji Paul says:

    A superb message which answered my long term questions. God bless you for publishing this.

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