Becoming a pastor

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by BroChris, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. BroChris

    BroChris
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    After much searching, prayer, and communication with many churches, I found the church that I feel that the Lord is leading me to pastor. I preached there yesterday morning and last night, and the church called me to be their pastor. We're very excited, and will be moving there next month.

    In the meantime, what advice would you give to me? I've never been a senior pastor before. How can I best use the next month to prepare for what is to come? Are there any books that I should read? Any specific Scriptures that you think I should study?
     
  2. SaggyWoman

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    I noticed you were currently (?) a residential care counselor. I would think a lot could transition over, especially with care and drama. (slight humor but a big dose of reality.) Consider taking some pastoral courses.
     
  3. BroChris

    BroChris
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    I guess I need to update my profile. I was a residential counselor up until this January. I quit in order to have time to look for a pastorate and finish up seminary, as well as take some additional counseling training (CPE). I graduated from seminary just a couple weeks ago, and finished CPE as well. I do want to continue training in counseling, possibly through NANC or CPE, as I think this will be invaluable to ministering to people.

    I definitely think what I learned at the boys' home will be applicable to pastoral ministry. Thanks for the reminder!
     
  4. Jkdbuck76

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    Congratulations BroChris,

    We all need to pray for you. Any congregation needs a new pastor to come in there and love on them and lovingly exhort them.

    For scriptural study, might I suggest John Chapter 21. You are going to have to feed a lot of lambs and sheep.
     
  5. Pastor David

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    Bro. Chris,

    I would simply recommend you spend the next month or so with your eyes fixed upon the Word, and your knees bent on the ground praying for God's divine supply for this most highest of callings.
     
  6. Jim1999

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    Brother Chris,

    Congratulations. First off, I would forget the title "senior" pastor and just consider being the undershepherd of that flock. As undershepherd, pay mind to who is the Shepherd and heed Him. This is only done on your knees before the Holy One.

    Second, rememer the flock. Without feed they starve and wither. Your primary duty is to feed them, and feed them well.

    Thirdly, the flock needs comfort if they are to remain a flock and feed well. Be ready to provide this comfort in whatever fashion you are able.

    If you concentrate on these things all else will fall into place, and then you can consider further academic training for ministry.

    If you neglect these things, all the training in the world won't help.

    Cheers, and God bless,

    Jim
     
  7. Tom Bryant

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    Praising the Lord with you. I remember the first meeting when someone asked me "What do you think, Pastor?" And it took me a minute to realize they were actually talking to me.

    I told our people when I became pastor that I was called to lead them in God's direction according to His Word, Feed them from God's Word and intercede for them to God. In order to do that you have to spend time with God and your people. The first months you are their undershepherd spend time with them visiting them in their homes and in other kinds of circumstances. Love them as the Great Shepherd loves his sheep.

    Keep your walk with the Lord alive and fervent. You can't lead people spiritually if you're not spending time with the Lord in prayer and Bible study.

    They will be imperfect. So forgive them and love them. You will not be the perfect pastor. You will make mistakes so admit and correct them.

    Communicate with them. It's an old saying but true, "Baptists are down on what they're not up to." If the church as a whole doesn't need to know something make certain your leadership within the church is kept current in information. Get them involved early and often. It's not a weakening of leadership, it is leadership.

    And this may be more important than anything: Love your wife and children. Long after you quit being their pastor, you will still be their husband and father. You lose your family, you lose your mininstry.

    Other pastors can be your best friends and source of encoutagement and wisdom. Get to know them. A bunch of good guys are here.

    Sorry about the lengthy epistle. But most of this I learned AFTER seminary.
     
  8. gb93433

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    Remember that you will always be your children's dad and your wife's husband. No amount of success in the pulpit will ever replace that.

    I am convinced that the pastor who lets God pastor him will be able to pastor the people but if he does not then he will not be a pastor to the people but rather just a program director. Also remember you are the leader. That means you take the lead by leading the way. You cannot preach them to the place where they should be but you must lead them there.

    Be careful to keep your language skills up by translating at least one verse each day. It also helps to have another pastor to do this with.
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    1. Spend time immersed in the pastoral epistles.
    2. Read John Piper's book Brothers, We are Not Professionals and The Supremacy of God in Preaching.
    3. Read Derek Prime/Alistair Begg's On Being a Pastor.

    There are a number of other good works on pastoral ministry to read and study, but the pastoral epistles are number one.
     
  10. TomVols

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    Pastor Larry just gave you a trillion dollars worth of advice/counsel there. I'd also read "Preaching and Preachers" by Martyn Lloyd Jones, "If I Were Starting My Ministry All Over Again" by John Drescher, "Practical Wisdom for Pastors" by Curtis Thomas, "Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrom" by Kent Hughes, "Planning Your Preaching: A Step-by-Step Guide for Developing a One-Year Preaching Calendar" by Stephen Rummage, and "Sheperding God's Flock" by Jay Adams.

    Most of these are short reads and tackle some of the major areas you'll need to tackle.
     
  11. TomVols

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    Advice?
    1. Keep up your devotional life.
    2. Guard your study time and block off enough to get the job done.
    3. Have about 3 or 4 funeral sermons ready to go at any time. Too many pastors blow a week's worth of sermon preparation by not being ready to preach the Word at a funeral.
    4. Plan to stay forever at your church. If you think you'll be there 20 years from now you'll approach your ministry differently than if you think you'll be gone 20 months from now. If God moves you, fine...you've hopefully left them better off than you found them.
    5. Remember there may be a big difference in the church that you want them to be and the church they really are. God didn't grow you overnight and He often doesn't do His churches that way.
    6. Serve by leading and lead by serving. Read that over and over again....slowly. When you think you know what that means, read it again, because you probably haven't.
    7. Love your people. Really love them. Especially your critics, because you're going to have them. And sometimes they're right.
    8. Resist the weekly urge to resign.
    9. Be patient. God has been building His people for thousands of years. You're part of that process. So don't try to bail after a year or two.
    10. Do something fun regularly. You will need the stress-coping mechanism.
     
  12. j_barner2000

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    and find out who the goats are and watch them carefully. these are the guys who will bad mouth you to the congregation and community while pretending to be your biggest defender and supporter. I have recently found out (after 2 years of this going on) that mine is the pres/chairman of the trustee board.
     
  13. DrRandyGrace

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    Don't just study the Word to get a message. Study the Word to feed your soul and let the messages flow from your walk with the Lord.
     
  14. Jkdbuck76

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    Yes. And I am willing to bet my salary that when he does, he starts his sentences out like this "Nobody love j_barner2000 more than I do, but...."

    There will always be one or two that want to stir the pot.

    But to OP, you stay true to God's Word and He'll take care of you.....of course you realize He let James die and let Peter escape..... :laugh:
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    I wouldn't worry too much about the "goats." Even looking at them that way will damage your pastoral love for them. That kind of negatively will be fairly easily seen.

    Study and preach the word, and love people, and let your life do your talking for you. If the criticisms are not believable because you have spent time loving people and letting them see your life, then those who spread them will not be able to succeed.
     
  16. BroChris

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    Thank you all for your advice and encouragement! Having met the people in the church a few times now, I'm able to start praying for them by name.I'm greatly looking forward to starting this new stage of my life. But I can't help but be very nervous at the same time. As much as I've been preparing for this step, I feel so inadequate. I'm no wiser, no more compassionate, no more equipped than the people that I'll be serving. More than anything, I expect to be challenged to grow by them! I'm reminded of the proverb..."as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."
     
  17. j_barner2000

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    Thanks Pastor Larry.... I once sat under a pastor (he was also larry, at Calvary Baptist of Mikado) who God used to speak wisdom and correction into my life many times... Once again God used a pastor Larry to speak wisdom into my my life. I am working on reconciliation with the particular couple I mentioned. We will grow and become more mature through these ecperiences.
     
  18. Revmitchell

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    yes ! Amen
     
  19. SBCPreacher

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    Yes, this is good stuff!
     
  20. sag38

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    The other day in study I was reading J.Vernon McGee's commentary on the 2nd Pslam. Anyway, he stated that when he first became a pastor he worried about the tares. "The servants (speaking of the parable in Mat 13:24-39) wanted to go in and pull up the tares. When I entered the ministry that is what I wanted to do. I was the best puller-upper of tares you've ever seen. But I soon found out that we're not called to pull up tares. I sure found out the hard way! That is the reason I don't truy to straightn out anybody else. I'm having enough trouble with Venon McGee, so I don't worry about the others. He will take coare of them. But what He said was that the wheat is growing, the rares are growing, they are both growing together, and He will do the separating. He will take care of that."
     

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