It is a momentous thing for a man to feel that the Lord is calling him to gospel ministry. Michael A. Milton sets out to guide his readers through the various stages of responding to the Lord’s call. His work is full of practical advice, often drawn from Milton’s own experience.
A theology of calling is sketched out. Several chapters are devoted to choosing a seminary and the privileges and pitfalls of seminary life. Attention is given to the early phase of gospel service after training has been completed. Then there is the matter of persevering in the work over the long haul.
The work has some flaws. The present title is very much a product of American Presbyterianism. Talk of the role of denominations in recognising and training ministers and of ‘parish ministry’ will be alien to large swathes of evangelicalism in the UK and elsewhere. The author’s attempts at humour don’t translate well.
In explaining a theology of calling to the ministry Milton refers to Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles, but the material in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 on the appointment of elders/overseers barely gets a look in.
That said, anyone seeking to discern whether the Lord may be calling them to gospel ministry will benefit from Milton’s down-to-earth pastoral guidance.