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What Does the Bible Say About..A Call to Preach?

If a woman says that God calls her to preach, can we say that she is wrong?


I don’t believe God “calls” anyone to preach any more than he might call somebody to be a chemist or a secretary. What we choose to do in our life may be based on a number of factors, such as interest and talent. It is not based on a direct call by God.

There is an old story some have attributed to Marshall Keeble. It seems that a man was resting from his work in the cotton field when he looked up in the sky. The clouds appeared to spell out the letters GPC. He interpreted this as a sign that he should “Go Preach Christ.” He gave up sharecropping and started preaching. Years later he died, not having made a single convert to Christ in all that time preaching. When he got to heaven he asked God why he had given him a sign to Go Preach Christ if he couldn’t convert anyone. God replied, “Those clouds didn’t mean Go Preach Christ. You were being so lazy I thought I should give you a sign to Go Pick Cotton.”

Whatever it may have been that would be interpreted by a woman as a call from God to preach may need to be reinterpreted. God would certainly not call a person to do something that he specifically prohibited. (For the scriptures about that prohibition, go to Topical List of Articles, S-Z and find the topic “women.” There are several answers there about women preaching.)

Even if she is not called to preach during the assembly of the church, that doesn’t mean she can not do God’s work. She may be able to teach unbelievers one-on-one. She may be a teacher at women’s gatherings. She may be a Christian counselor. There may be any number of other jobs she can devote her life to doing for God.