Jesus told his disciples, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature." Because of this mandate, all Christians are called to preach. Not all Christians, however, are called to preach in the same way. Some become full-time ministers, others dedicate one or more years to missionary work involving preaching, and still others feel called to preach through their witness in daily life. Prayer and discernment can help you determine how you are called to preach.

Think about your talents. Preaching in public requires spiritual sensitivity, a deep understanding of the faith, and courage. If you have all these talents, God might be asking you to use them to spread his word. If you don’t have these skills but you think God is calling you to preach, try to develop them.

Pray. Ask God what he wants of you. Use Scripture to support your prayer. Read passages about the calls of different prophets or apostles. Discern whether God is asking you to spend your life or a few years fully dedicated to preaching.

Look at your surroundings. See if there is a great need for preaching. God works through the circumstances he places you in. If you have what it takes to be a preacher and constantly come in contact with people who need to be evangelized, God is probably calling you to preach to them.

Examine your heart and dispositions. God works through the soul and will not force you to do something you aren’t ready to do. If you think God is asking you to preach full-time through missionary work, you need the generosity to say yes and the willingness to sacrifice the other things you could be doing in order to dedicate one or more years to God. God has a plan for you, but he respects your freedom and wants you to choose it.

Preach through your life and example. Even if you have discerned that God is not calling you to dedicate yourself to full-time preaching, you are called as a Christian to preach. Living your faith, speaking openly about your faith and giving witness to your faith through charity are forms of preaching that all of us can do.