“And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was” (Hebrews 5:4 New King James Version). 

The Apostle Paul says in 1 Timothy 3:1, “This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work” (New King James Version). He goes ahead to state the qualifications of a bishop, which is also the same as elder, pastor, or overseer. Nevertheless, this scripture does not mean that this office is attained through human ambition. It’s not talking about an ambitious desire because the office of a bishop at this time was not an easy one. John Wesley described it as “An excellent, but laborious, employment.”  The office of a bishop is a good work, not a title.

The scripture, 1 Timothy 3:1, refers to a Holy Spirit-inspired desire or aspiration, not what people can aspire to as any other secular position. God calls people into this office. The writer of Hebrews says, “And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was” (Hebrews 5:4 New King James Version). Therefore, God must call someone to the holy offices in His vineyard.

Today, ministry appeals to some people. They desire to serve in the vineyard of God either because they believe God is calling them or because some physical things they have seen they could enjoy attract them. Some people are even worried whether God is calling them or not. Others spend a long period in prayers asking God to call them to ministry!

Whereas God needs all hands to be on the deck for His work in the kingdom of God, it doesn’t mean that God will call everyone as an apostle, prophet, evangelist, or and pastor and teacher. These ministry offices are to equip other believers for the work of ministry. In other words, those God called as apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers and the other believers they equip for the work of ministry are all ministers or servants of God.

Talking about what Jesus did after He had ascended to heaven, Paul said, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ —  from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:11-16 New King James Version).

Every Christian is supposed to be a minister, serving in one area of ministry or the other through the gifts that God has given him/her as a member of the body of Christ. Romans 12:6-8 says, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness” (New King James Version).

God has already called all believers to serve in His kingdom. However, regarding the call as apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers, nobody can pray to God to call him. God determines those He calls to these offices. It is a waste of time to proceed on marathon prayer and fasting for God to call one.

Furthermore, it is also against the principle of God to be idle, doing nothing in the vineyard of God, and hope that God would call one to any of these ministry offices by praying to Him for a call just because one is in love with a particular ministry office. God doesn’t call idle people to ministry at this level. God calls those who are already busy serving in other areas in His kingdom. He calls them while they are serving Him at their duty posts. God rewards faithfulness. Luke 16:10a says he who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much. Also, Luke 19:17 says, “And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities’” (New King James Version). The servant who whose mina earned five minas was also given authority over five cities. 

God does not give assignments to those who are idle. He calls those who are engaged. Whether in the gospel ministry or other assignments God may call people to do, the principle remains the same. God doesn’t call idle or lazy people. In Exodus 3, while Moses was tending the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, God called him to go and deliver the Israelites. It took a while before he agreed to go on that assignment because he felt he wasn’t qualified.

Moses was not on the mountain praying to God to call him when God called him. Moses’ work as a shepherd must have contributed to building his character for the assignment God had for him. Moses wasn’t idle (Exodus 3).

When God called Gideon, he wasn’t having a prayer and fasting programme, as important as that is. When God called Gideon, he was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites who had oppressed the Israelites for seven years. Just like Moses, he complained that he wasn’t qualified to save Israel out of Midian’s hand. “‘But Lord,’ Gideon asked, ‘how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family’” (Judges 6:15 New International Version).

Gideon eventually obeyed God and He used him to save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Gideon was busy despite the unfavourable situation at that time. Even when he couldn’t thresh wheat on a threshing floor, which was the normal place, because of the Midianites, he threshed his wheat in a winepress. God saw something in Gideon and called him. The angel of the Lord described him as a mighty warrior or mighty man of valour.

In 1 Samuel 9, Saul was on his father’s errand to look for his missing donkeys when the Prophet Samuel first anointed him as king of Israel (1 Samuel 10:1). When he went on that mission, he didn’t know it was an appointment with destiny. Saul wasn’t sitting down at home idle. He was busy looking for the lost donkeys of his father.

Similarly, David was taking care of his father’s sheep when he was recalled and anointed king in his father’s house. God called him at his duty post to be king (1 Samuel 16:11-13). That work must have contributed to the building of his character ahead of the assignment God had for him. Some people are lazy, doing nothing, and are daydreaming that God will give them an international ministry! It will remain a pipe dream. God doesn’t call idle people to ministry.

In 1 Kings 19, when God called Elisha to ministry through the Prophet Elijah, Elisha was working on his farm. God had commanded Elijah to anoint Elisha as his successor (verse 16). Elisha was a hardworking farmer. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and was driving the twelfth pair when Elijah came to throw his mantle on him (verse 19). Elisha was the kind of person that God would call, not a lazy, idle person dreaming of being a global prophet and would not want his hands to be dirty.

The Prophet Amos was a shepherd and a dresser of sycomore trees before God called him to prophetic ministry. He was not an idle person desiring the office of a prophet because of people’s honour and material benefits! Amos said, “I was neither a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel’” (Amos 7:14-15 New International Version).

In Mark 6:3, many people in Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth referred to him as the carpenter. He, probably, learnt this trade from Joseph, His earthly father, before He began His ministry because, in Matthew 13:55, the people also referred to Jesus as the carpenter’s son.

Paul wasn’t idle before God called him to the ministry after his conversion on the way to Damascus. Paul was busy serving the devil thinking he was serving God! In 1 Timothy 1:13, he said, “Although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief” (New King James Version).

Talking about his previous way of life and his call, he said, “For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man,  nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus” (Galatians 1:13-17 New International Version).

Those who desire to have an international ministry should first be faithful in the local ministry God has given them! Those who dream of becoming bishops and Arch-bishops should first be faithful in the general ministry of soul-winning that God has given all believers! They should be faithful in the assignments their pastors have committed into their hands whether sweeping, cleaning the church environment and the restroom, welcoming visitors, or any other work in the kingdom of God. Those whom God will call to an independent ministry must first be faithful in the ministry where they are currently serving. Luke 16:12 says, “And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (New King James Version).

Whatever your level and area of service in the kingdom of God at the moment, be faithful. It is required that stewards or those who have been given a trust must prove faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2). If you’re faithful in little, God will commit much into your hand.

Philip was first a deacon – a table server. He, along with six others, was serving food to the widows (Acts 6:1-5). But later, he became an evangelist. “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. So there was great joy in that city” (Acts 8:4-8 New International Version). Also, Stephen, one of the seven deacons, became a preacher and was the first Christian martyr (Acts 6:8-15; 7:1-59).

Don’t do the work of God lazily or refuse to do it. Jeremiah 48:10a says “Cursed are those who refuse to do the Lord’s work” (New Living Translation).


If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to be a faithful steward. I shall not be lazy in doing the work of God. I shall fulfil my ministry in Jesus’ name.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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Email: cedarministryintl@yahoo.com,
Website: www.cedarministry.org