Some people in the ministry either never were called, or they are hopelessly unfaithful. Why? Because God didn't plan any spiritual failures. Whetherwe are individual members of Christ, or we are called to be a ministry gift, He did not give some to be failures and some to succeed. No, He planned that all would succeed. Therefore, some ministers are either hopelessly unfaithful, or they never were called. You see, you have to apply yourself to the calling of God upon your life. Ministries don't happen anymore than marriages just happen. You have to work at a marriage. A. STUDY. Preparation time is never lost time. II Timothy 2:15, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. B. DEDICATE: Along with the call goes dedication. C. CONSECRATE: Along with the call goes consecration. D. SUBMIT TO THE WILL OF GOD: Along with the call goes sumbmission to the will of God. When you're first in the ministry, you don't start out on top. Even in climbing a ladder, nobody starts out on the top rung. They start on the bottom rung and climb up. You have to do that in ministry. And sometimes the first years of ministry are a great sacrifice. But if you know the call is there, you will stay in there not matter what it may cost you. You have to make this kind of a consecration to God: Go under or over, sink or swim, live or die, I'm staying with it because God called. Because you are going out by faith you know it's not going to wind up that way-but it will look that way sometimes. It will look as if you are going to do all of them-go under, sink, and die. But if you will stay faithful at those times when it looks as if you're going under, when it looks as if you're sinking, when it looks as if you're sinking, when it looks as if yo're dying-YOU WILL GO OVER BECAUSE GOD CALLED!! E. BE A PERSON OF INTEGRITY: Psalm 15:4, gives on of the characteristics of a spiritual pilgrim as, "He that swearth to his own hurt, and changeth not." People who have the call of God on their lives and who are also people of integrity, honest and sincere, will stay hooked. F. DEVELOP: Mature: Grow. Ministers are developed. Take time to develop the ministerial gift. Takes time for people to become equipped to do what God has for them to do. They must not only be equipped, they must mature. And usually, people start out in a different area of ministry from what God called the to. Take the time to wait and see what God wants you to do. Let God make you the minister He wants you to be. Don't say, "I choose this office." You cannot choose. Get some spiritual growth and development under your belt before you try to ascertain and advertise what office you are in. If God called you and set in a office, you won't have to advertise it, anyway. People will find out eventually. If they do not, it is not your place. Takr time to wait on God. Take time to fast and pray. Take time to find His perfect will for your life and ministry. G. DO NOT INTRUDE INTO THE WRONG OFFICE: I think the thing that hinders people in the ministry more than anything else is trying to stand in the wrong office. The tradgedy is that people live and die there and never know it. It can cost you the ministry and it can cost you your life! Holy things are holy. In the Old Testament if someone besides the High Priest intruded into the Holy of Holies, he fell dead instantly. He had intruded into the wrong office. It is dangerous to play with holy things. The calling of God is holy. The ministry of God is holy. H. DEVELOP CHARACTER: More is required of people who are separated unto an office. Set the right example always. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. Fill your p;lace with dignity. If you are called of God to stand in an office, that office demands respect. If you have respect for the office you are in, you will teach people to have respect for that office.