More Practical Responses to the Most Common Requests from Young Seminarians: Knowing God’s Will, Finding Accountability, and Doing Evangelism

Today, I continue offering suggestions in response to some of the most common requests I get from seminarians. Perhaps they’ll help all of us a bit.

  1. “I don’t know how to determine God’s will.” These young leaders don’t want to make mistakes as they step out to follow God.


    • Before getting concerned about God’s unknown will, make sure you’re obedient to His revealed will. Disobedience won’t help you find God’s will.
    • Take advantage of every opportunity God gives you to serve through your local church. Actually doing ministry has a way of helping us know what God wants from us.
    • Invite others—beginning with your spouse, if you’re married—to help you determine your strengths, passions, weaknesses, and struggles—and you might get a better sense of God’s will.
    • Be faithful today, and trust God with tomorrow. If you’re not fully faithful today, why should God give you information about tomorrow?
  1. “Please ask me hard questions about my life.” Young leaders welcome the right person digging into their lives to help them walk in godliness, though they struggle finding a mentor.


    • Spend significant time and prayer looking for a mentor. Ask God to connect you with someone.
    • Invite someone to lunch, and simply ask for some time to ask questions about life. I’d avoid using the word “mentor” because so many people define the term differently. Just talk about learning from this person.
    • Don’t be discouraged if someone can only give you less than you’d like. Thirty minutes a week with the right person are better than no time with anybody—or perhaps worse, much time with the wrong
    • Give your mentor permission to ask you anything. Sometimes we still cover stuff up when we get to determine our own questions.
  1. “Tell me how you find time and space to do evangelism.” This one’s a hard one because we can easily get cocooned among believers.


    • Be sure to be praying daily for at least three non-believers. You won’t reach out to others until you’re burdened enough to remember them in prayer every day.
    • Use electronic means to reach out to family members and friends who aren’t Christ-followers. You don’t have to be living near someone to do evangelism.
    • Take advantage of daily opportunities to build friendships with non-believers. Get to know your barber or hairdresser, your banker, your convenience store clerk. Ask them how you might pray for them, and see where that conversation goes.
    • Do work outside of your office or home, if possible. You can build relationships in coffee shops, for example, that might lead to evangelism.

What other suggestions might you add?

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