Guidance needed

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Trotter, Jul 7, 2003.

  1. Trotter

    Trotter
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    Although I am pretty new here, I feel comfortable enough to ask for some ministrial advice (is "ministrial" a word?).

    I acepted the call to ministry about seven years or so ago. I say ministry, because at the time I didn't really know in what direction God wanted me to go. Anyway, to my shame, I did not move forward. A couple of other guys accepted the call about the same time as I did. One was a pharmacist, with a B.S., so he started his Masters degree part-time at night. The other quit his job, took out student loans, and started full-time Bible school. I, however, did nothing.

    I talked with my pastor at the time about my calling. He encouraged me to not get discouraged, and to try to get on day shift (he liked to use Wed. nights to let the young preachers "get their feet wet"). I did get day shift, but it came two weeks after our pastor resigned to take another church in a different state. Needless to say, I was devastated (I do not blame him...I believe he was following the will of God), and I was left without a mentor, and without direction. Our church went through three interims in just over three years, and only one of those was approachable (he was younger than the others). But, by the time I was familiar enough to try to approach him, he stepped down.

    Eventually, my family and I sought out another church. God led us to our present church, a much smaller church. We feel that this is where God wants us to be, but I am in the same fix as before. We have been at our church for almost four years. Our pastor does let me preach occasionally (about once a quarter), but I feel like a cross between a discarded shoe and a caged animal.

    I feel that I am called to be a pastor, not just an occasional preacher. I do not have a seminary education (although I am enrolled in corespondance Bible school). I have no outlet in which to find that which I feel I so desperately need, namely to preach and teach and get some exposure. I do not hold this against my pastor (he is a bit of a loner, in that he preaches against "yard sales, and bake sales, and car washes to uphold the churches finances", which is not that popular with many other pastors in our area).

    Anyway, to get to my point and my dilemma- I do not know how I should go about getting into/starting a/my ministry. Should I sit still and wait on my pastor to recommend me to some one, should I be searching out an opportunity, and if so, how? I am totally lost on the subject, and do not know where to turn, or who to ask. I am posting this because we are Baptists, of like faith and beliefs, and I do not think I am going to be bombarded by some of the mumbo-jumbo I see and hear elsewhere.

    Please, this is a serious request. I pray that some of you have been where I am, and can lend me your guidance.
     
  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    I believe that while you have some good experience, you need some quality formal training. I would not want a pastor without a good education.

    This practical ministerial (that's the word you were looking for :D ) training is invaluable. I do not know YOUR level of education right now, but I would wonder if there would not be a college/seminary that would give you training AND a small mission church that could help you gain first-hand experience (and a little $$).

    Feel free to pm me or to post a little more about yourself - your training, age, family etc so advice could be more personal. Hope this helps get it started! :cool:
     
  3. j_barner2000

    j_barner2000
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    I have surrendered to pastoral ministry a year ago this month. Fortunately (my wife and)I had experience in building a youth ministry in my (our)prior church. The pastor there told me he thought God had a special call placed upon my life but I was not good at public speaking, etc, had more excuses than Carters has liver pills. God had to beat me into subjection. Finally, I went to my current pastor and asked him to mentor me. I knew I was called out, but not sure what for. I have been interning (without pay) as the director of children's ministries, missions education, and all of the responsibilities which fall unto me. I am also taking classes through Seminary Extension. (www.seminaryextension.org) God has given me some definition in my calling and the seminary courses have provided needed credibility (which Dr. Bob will tell you, is very important to gain trust [​IMG] ) and even a better understanding of the Word of God. [​IMG] [​IMG] And I have preached and taught our adults weeknight Bible study. This is where the crowd is more knowledgeable than average and will analyze every word you say. I am now on the pulpet supply list at the Estrella Association office. That may be some of what God has in mind for you... But I have noticed in the Bible, that He often uses diferent methods to train each of us.

    I will pray for His direction in your life, and that He gives you the vision you need to pursue His purposes.
     
  4. GODzThunder

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    I tell you the truth that the answers to your questions and the guidance/mentoring you seek are what you usually find in a good Bible College. Correspondance, in my humbled opinion, is great for post graduate education but to start out with, that is to get your BA in theology, you should enroll in a good school where you can have experienced professors working with you. As for finding God's will in knowing where to go there is only one way to know God's will. (pray, study the word, and become fully active in some ministry) doing all this (I say one thing because you must do all three) will allow God to guide you to the place He wants you. God does not will the equipped, he equips the willing! Do not sit around waiting for God when there is ministry at every turn. Soul winning, street preaching, missions work, nursing home ministry, etc. Also remember this, if God has called you, a way will always be provided. [​IMG]
     
  5. Trotter

    Trotter
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    I do thank you all for your replies thus far, both here and in private.

    As to MY level of education, I am a high school grad with a little college under my belt. I am enrolled in, but have not started, corespondance school ( Andersonville Theological Seminary ). My level of Bible literacy is, IMNSHO, high (I have had the privilege to sit under some very kowledgable and gifted pastors, to have had access to great expository teaching by way of radio [Moody and Tennessee Temple], and am a voracious reader with rather good retention). My understanding of the doctrines of the Bible are solid (I may not use the technical term for most of them, but I can "put the cookies on the bottom shelf" for others). Although I am not a snot-slinging, Hell-and-brimstone, wild-eyed, shoutin' kind of preacher (I do tend to get passionate), I am able to get down into my message and bring across the centrality of the message.

    As to the other that Dr. Bob asked about...I am 35 years old. I was saved at 22, accepted the call at 28 (in between 22 and 28 I tried to outrun, outmanuever, outsmart, and outbargain God...I lost). I have been married to my wife for 16 and a half years (since a few months after high school). I have a daughter, who is now 15, starting to drive, and is the princess of the world ( :D ). I work for a...no, THE major soft drink bottler in the world (who believes that man does not need any time off, must work 10+ hours a day, and still show up with a GREAT attitude...Honestly, I really do like my job ;) ).

    As far as ministry at every turn, I have found that many have all the help we need (Thank You Very Much!), are really esoteric (we minister to Siberian heat stroke victims), or follow beliefs that I cannot agree to or abide. That is not to say that there are not ministries out there that would love what I have to offer, but they have not broke the surface as of yet.

    Please, do not take me as being pessimistic. I have, as they say, "been there and done that", and bear the scars to prove it. I am at an impasse as far as what I am trying to do, and how to best get there from here. I do thank you all (those who have posted, those who have written me personally, and those who have taken the time to read the lines that I have set forth). May God richly Bless and Keep you all!

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  6. TomVols

    TomVols
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    Trotter,
    I'm just up the road from you, btw.

    Your first step is thorough preparation. There are programs of study in Knoxville through Boyce Bible College and Southern Seminary that would serve you well. You need the formal ministry/theological education. Clear Creek Baptist Bible College is also an option for you. You will gain practical experience as well as theological training necessary for ministry. There is simply no alternative. I echo the comment that correspondence work is ok for post bachelor's or master's.

    I also will be glad to PM with you since you and I are both East Tennesseans.
     
  7. j_barner2000

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    Tom, as much as I respect and love you in the Lord, I need to disagree. I think that correspondance can be very good even for the seminary portion. The key is to get an experienced man or 2 or 3 to sit with you and help catalog the experience God has given you and see what is best in your personal position. A second important thing is to have a good Mentor who will be your yokemate and bring you along to your full readiness. Wherever you find one, at your church, another church, or a college, it is important to have someone who can comfort you and guide you.
     

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