Only the called of God see the ministry as a lifework for the Lord Jesus regardless of the pay, the appreciation, or the fruit. Only the called keep preaching when no church will employ them and the disgruntled from the last two churches are bad-mouthing them to pastor search committees.
You have to be called. That's all there is to it.
Let's do this into two sections. The first section: You know you are not called to this work when.... And the second, You know God called you into this work when...(log on next week for Part 2)
First: You know you are not called into the pastoral ministry when...
1) ... you cannot take the criticism, the antagonism, the animosity of the very people you came to minister to.
2) ...the church votes to fire you and you get angry, leave in a huff and quit preaching.
"Woe to me if I preach not the gospel," said Paul (I Corinthians 9:16).
3)...the lay leadership wants to add another Sunday morning service and a Christmas Eve service, and you rebel because it adds to your work load.
If you are looking for ways to do less and less in the ministry, that is a dead giveaway that you are not called.
4)...you do not love the people you're ministering to.
You find yourself criticizing them, making jokes about them to other pastors, and resenting every time the phone rings or a member drops by the office.
You were not called, friend.
If you are not called by God, there may be a few churches that will never know the difference. They do not ask much from a pastor and you don't have much to give, so it works out. But most churches will push you to your limit. If you do not love them and are not willing to give your all in serving them, please do yourself and the Kingdom of God a favor, friend, and go into another line of work.
Please join me next week for a discussion of those who ARE called.