Dave Harvey, Am I Called? Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012. 226 pp. $14.99
“I’m called to it.” “I feel God’s calling to go…” “It’s my calling in life.” We’ve all heard someone say something similar to this. Called may be one of the most overused words for Christians when they feel strongly about doing something whether pursuing a new job, city or even a spouse. Usually the term called is used for someone considering going into pastoral ministry. Every person pursuing the pastorate wants to feel God’s sense of calling to a church in their life. But have you ever slowed down to consider exactly what a calling looks like or what it truly means to be called.
In his book Am I Called?, Dave Harvey does just that. Harvey dissects what calling truly means and how an individual can truly know if God is calling them into pastoral ministry. Harvey begins by considering what calling means and who does the calling. Harvey points the reader to the One who calls reminding them that it is God who does that calling. When we often feel a calling on our lives, we need to take the time to see is this a God ordained, true calling in our lives. Harvey points out that God is not haphazard in whom He calls to the role of pastor/overseer to the church. In this, Harvey spends most of the book walking through 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1:5-9. Above all else, someone who is called is first called to God and this is seen in all areas of their life. “
Harvey walks through these passages looks at the areas of a person’s life that they should show Christ and ultimately show a calling to their life. Harvey considers if a person is Godly, how their home is, their ability to preach, ability to shepherd, passion for the lost and who around them affirms a calling in their life. All of these requirements are pulled from these two texts and Harvey wonderfully shows their importance in a called person’s life to the pastorate. Through these areas a person can truly see if they are called and a church and family/friends will see it as well. Many that often feel they are called to a church as pastor don’t go through these steps of considering the call and if those around them feel it as well. Sometimes a person can get caught up and feel a calling that may never be there. Sometimes a person can feel a calling out of a sense of deserving it. “To be a pastor is to be a self-acknowledged sinner representing a holy God. A pastor makes it his aim to pursue godliness because his life is a vessel of the message he is called to preach” (Loc 897).
As someone who has pursued seminary and patiently waiting their first calling, I can honestly recommend this book as a helpful resource to anyone wanting to be a pastor, considering a calling and in fact all pastors already serving in a church. This book will help any listening for a call, pursuing a call or one that has taken up a call to see if it is truly God ordained for them and it is also a helpful resource for current pastors as well to know how to better raise up and equip the next generation of pastors in churches. This is an area that many churches and pastors need help in when considering how they are raising up the current and next generation of pastors and what areas should be focused in. Often times churches today consider leadership methods and resources, history of grow and success in a person’s life in ministry and ability to reach the culture. But this book would be helpful for all churches and pastors to consider to point them back to Scripture and see exactly the areas that people need to grow in and the areas that hiring committees and teams should be looking at instead of the typical areas above.
If you’re someone sensing God’s calling on your life to serve in the church, pick up Am I Called? right now. And if you’re a pastor or someone who wants to help grow the next generation of pastors and help them to see a calling in their life, get it as well. I am thankful for Dave Harvey and this book. I hope it brings other people as much heartfelt joy and Godly challenge to read as it did for me.
This is an honest review written in exchange of a review copy of Am I Called? from Crossway publications.