Are young pastors called by God or by men?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by michael-acts17:11, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. michael-acts17:11

    michael-acts17:11
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    Abraham was 75yrs old before God called him, Moses took 40yrs to train before God used him, Jesus waited 30yrs before starting His work, and yet we expect children to divine the will of God for their lives before college & before they have any life experience. I wonder how many would be "called" if we waited for God to speak to them in His own time without the high pressure calls to ministry from men.
    Throughout my childhood, I experienced the emotionally-ridden & guilt producing calls to ministry by well-intentioned pastors & youth leaders. I fear that too many young men feel a man-made desire which they are confusing with conviction. The infusion of immature, inexperienced leadership into our churches is producing spiritually immature laymen. It is as foolish to place a young Bible school graduate as the leader of a church as it is to place a young business school graduate as the CEO of a company. Life experience & the maturity of age must not be minimized in the pursuit of denominational expansion.
    Seminary graduates are seeking after the higher places of leadership in the church when they do not yet have the maturity to even lead a family.
     
    #1 michael-acts17:11, Oct 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2010
  2. StefanM

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    I agree with your sentiments. I submitted to an emotional pseudo-call and served in some churches. I now recognize that I did so to fulfill an emotional deficiency. I wish I had been better poised to discern the difference.
     
  3. Havensdad

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    Define "young." Jesus and the apostles probably ranged in age from 30 to 16 when He first started His ministry. Timothy was said to be young (1 Timothy 4:12). Some try to say he was around 40, but that would be absolutely ridiculous for him to be called a youth at 40, in a society whose average life span was 25 (about 1 out of 6 people lived to be older than 40).

    As a matter of fact, men are called as Pastors before they are born. Can't get younger than that!
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    You've got some pretty isolated exegesis right there.

    Outside of your Old Testament examples, and Jesus isn't ever a good example for being called to ministry, you have to reconcile the abundant New Testament evidence that all the disciples were young men (20s) and that many of the first pastors were young men (Timothy, Titus.)

    I experienced these too. I have had plenty of friends who have experienced them as well. My calling wasn't emotional but it was by God at age 7.

    One of the interesting things is that I've known a bunch of guys who said they were called by God to be pastors. Some of them are, some of them aren't. How they were called isn't nearly as important as whether or not they were called. Do you think God is limited in His ability to call someone?

    Completely disagree with this. 1 Timothy 4:12

    Now that's not a license to go crazy, look down to 1 Timothy 6:11-12. See how Paul a) calls Timothy the man of God, b) gives him affirmation about virtues to pursue as part of his calling, c) reminds Timothy of his baptismal confession, d) affirms his divine calling.

    So why are you objecting here? What has happened to get you to make this statement?
     
  5. Baptist Believer

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    Just want to add to the mix that I experienced God's calling to ministry at 19. It occurred over the course of about 16 months of intensive prayer, study and occasional fasting. No one other human being talked to me about it during that time and our church rarely ever talked about responding to a call to ministry.

    In fact, I was a talented computer science major in college and church ministry was about the last thing I wanted to do at the start of that period of seeking God. God had changed by desires by the end of that period, but I still don't have much respect for the "good 'ole boys club" I run into all the time among many "professional" ministers.
     
  6. Baptist Believer

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    Seminary graduates or not, the Jesus way to the "higher places of leadership" is to become the servant of all. When you are the servant of all, you wil have the humility, love and respect from/for others you need to lead effectively.
     
  7. rbell

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    When a young person experiences a calling experience, it may not have many, or all, of the blanks filled in.

    We as a church family try to help the young person and (hopefully) their family as they "flesh out" their calling:

    1. We don't operate on a guilt motivation, but a God one.
    2. We offer opportunities to serve, so that the person can see their spiritual gifts, passion, and abilities.
    3. We share with them as many avenues as we know that they can explore their calling: avenues such as short-term mission trips, internships, other ministry opportunities, etc.
    4. We stress that a call to ministry is not a "someday" thing, but a "right now" thing. Yes, there's preparation involved--but if God's calling you to do ministry, then let's do ministry!
    5. Did I mention mentoring, accountability? I should have.

    That approach, IMO, allows us to embrace and celebrate the calling in a younger person's life, without simply leaving them to blindly figure out what God wants them to do.
     
  8. Shortandy

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    There is no way to give an blanket statement that will cover every situation. As many have already pointed out the Bible gives us examples of men in their 20's serving.

    I don't think the issue is one of age as it is one of maturity. Our culture is one that keeps people younger longer. We try to keep them single and dependent on mom and dad much longer in our culture than they did in Biblical times. We don't bat an eyelash at the guy that is 27, still living at home, still being claimed on his parents taxes; the guy that took 10 years to get a 4 year degree.
     
  9. Jim1999

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    Good post, shortandy.

    I started to pastor a small church at 18. Then at 22 I was chaplain on the battlefield of Korea. Nothing like war to teach one how to minister.

    My training was a lifetime of church school and Bible study followed by 3 years in Bible College with the British Baptist Union.

    Did God or man call? Both. My church training was with the Church of England, I then joined the Plymouth Brethren, but when I "wanted" to enter ministry, I joined the Baptist Union..In Canada, I joined the military and then all chaplains were Anglican. Once out of the military I went to a Baptist seminary and started pastoring a church my first year.

    So, called by God or man? I believe both still exist. God doesn't make mistakes, but we sure do.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  10. Crucified in Christ

    Crucified in Christ
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    I understand what you are saying and sympathize with it to a point. The mark of leadership in God's plan is spiritual maturity...certainly this is not governed by age. Still, maturity is generally tied to age.
    I, too, have seen young men come out of the seminary- ill prepared to lead a church, yet were quickly called. Occasionally, such churches have had experienced people to help the Pastor while he matured on the job (admittedly not the Biblical plan). Just as often, I have seen train wrecks, with huge problems ensuing.
    Ideally, Seminary students would graduate not only with degree, but would have put many years in, during their education, working in churches- as children's ministers, youth pastors, associate pastor, volunteer, whatever. This would help the maturity factor. I also believe that some time in the trenches would help to weed out those that are not fit for service long before they invest so much time and money into a seminary education. Just my 2 cents.
     
  11. Tater77

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    My calling came at age 31. But for me, my life experiences has led me to a certain area of ministry. Mainly apologetics and teaching.

    If we follow the example of Christ and the Apostles, then we have a teacher / disciple model. Mark and John may have been young, but they had the best teacher EVER for about 3 years. Young men entering ministry should be "under" a more experienced leader for a little while before taking on the mantle of Pastor.
     
  12. Jim1999

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    quote: Young men entering ministry should be "under" a more experienced leader for a little while before taking on the mantle of Pastor.
    -----------------------------------------------

    This was not always possible in my day. Many of us pastored churches as students. Maybe we had so much on the table in those days we stuck firmly to ministry and not into all the trappings of modernity.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  13. Pastor Kyle

    Pastor Kyle
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    It sounds to me that the main problem is not the "calling" of young men, but the young men then becoming Pastor's.
    I myself was called into the ministry at 20 years old. One of the things that kept me from answering my call sooner was the fact that My Father, 2 Uncles, and grandfather were all Pastor's, and I was afraid that people would just assume that I was entering the ministry because of them.
    I took my first "Senior" Pastorate 6 years after my calling, only after serving for 6 years at 2 different churches as an Associate Minister, under the direction of 2 seasoned Pastor's.
    But yet there are still times that I feel inadequate to lead a church, even one of only 50 or 60 people. For that I have other Pastor's I turn to for advice, and of course not trying to leave out Prayer and Reading of the Word of God.
     
  14. Tater77

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    So true Jim, so true.

    My only "thing" is that leading a Church is more than being a good preacher. Your also a manager most of time. I just don't feel that a guy in his early twenties has any real experience on that end.
     
  15. Jim1999

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    One can come under the wings of a senior member, not become a dictator, stick to the word and pray. We managed and churches grew.

    My seminary was a preacher's college after the fashion of C. H. Spurgeon, led by pastors, and local church oriented. Maybe I should add, for emphasis, not a dictatorship. We allowed other officers, deacons, to do their jobs.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  16. tonyhipps

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    I believe they are called by God not Man. I believe all men who accept Jesus as there savior are called to preach (not pastor), but few ever do.
     
    #16 tonyhipps, Oct 16, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2010
  17. michael-acts17:11

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    If by "preach" you mean to proclaim the gospel to the lost as Philip did, then yes, I agree with you. If you mean we are called to lecture to the redeemed several times per week, then I disagree. Church leadership should preach(proclaim) the gospel to the lost & equip the saints to defend the Faith & spread the Word.
     
  18. ReformedBaptist

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    I am 37 and still young. And if the Lord ever sends me to pastor another Church I pray to God I am more mature by then than I was when I was first sent. lol
     

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