(This is a response I made to an item someone posted at talkjesus.com, encouraging women who hear God "calling them to ministry" to step out, get training, and go for it. While I understand what the writer was saying, at the same time I wanted to respond, because so many women (and men!) have been discouraged, thinking that because God apparently hasn't "called them to ministry" they are somehow inferior. Anyway, the following are my thoughts!)
Ministry is service. All believers are called to full-time serving - ergo, full time ministry! I realize you are referring to the "profession" of ministry... but I'd just like to suggest that if we offer ourselves to serve (which we are all called to do!) then God will provide for our needs.
It is possible that He might provide by putting one in a "paid position" in a church or para-church organization, or whatever ... but I'd just like to encourage everyone to serve wherever you are at any moment, keeping your eyes, ears, heart open to see what God is doing and how you can be part of that.
A mother at home, with "no income," for example, is definitely in full-time ministry, as she brings her children up to love and serve Jesus! In fact, she is just as much in "ministry" as is a woman who is a "pastor" of a "mega-church!" Same with a woman working at McDonalds flipping hamburgers, as she shows the love of Jesus to her fellow employees. And so on.
Women are often discouraged because it seems there are often so "few ministry opportunities" for women - and in some "Christian" groups, no "paid" positions at all! And yet, every woman (man, child...) who serves Jesus and others day in and day out, is in fact ministering!
This is not to discourage you from taking opportunities to develop and use the specific gifts (for example, teaching or preaching) God may have given you in those kinds of ministries, but if your gifts are in helps, hospitality, or any other kind of serving, remember that ALL the gifts are of great value, and all are needed and valued in God's kingdom, and in the church (the body of all believers, and specific gatherings of believers). Where two or three are gathered together! Even your little family gathered around the kitchen table!
God loves you and He has given you the PERFECT gift to match YOU! After all, He created you - and He has a purpose for you that is just as important in His eternal plans as His purpose for any other believer! So go forth and minister - who ever you are! Go forth and serve! Love God and love others, because He loves you!!!