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Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Martin, Jul 5, 2007.
How do you know, how did you know, that God had called you to be a pastor and not something else?
In my case, as I look back 20/20, God led me to the pastorate through a series of circumstances. I really didn't see it coming. I wanted to be a car mechanic and then an electrical engineer like my brother.
But God had other plans for me. I soon went off to bible school as a teenager and then from there a short time in the pastorate, then off again to college and seminary. And I so happy that I am in the ministry. Despite the heartaches at times, I wouldn't give it up for any other profession. But God...
I was already on staff at a church as a music minister. I kind of toyed with the idea of pastoring, but never really gave it much thought.
I was going through Experiencing God the first time, and got really close to God; close enough to hear His calling, to know His leading. When I began to tell folks about God calling me, leading me to preach, they began to confirm to me that this was indeed God's calling.
I was wondering what God would do with my music, and now I am the Pastor/Worship Leader at our church. God really does know what He's doing!
For me, i was probably the least likely of candidates in my opinion. I was a new believer of less than a year and was teaching a Bible study on my first mission trip; and it occured to me that this is something i can do.
I didn't "surrender" to the ministry from a church standpoint for another couple of years because at the time i was in college and a lot of other guys i knew were pursuing the same future and i wanted to make sure i wasn't just following the crowd.
Now, i can't imagine doing anything else. In fact, when i was preparing for the ministry, i also had the thought in the back of my mind that there was nothing else i can imagine me doing other than serving in the ministry.
Having been a stuttering idiot all my life I don't think I was expecting to be called to preach/teach.
When talking to strangers I would stutter a lot - principal told me when registering for my senior year that I was too dumb to take chemistry so I took shop and drivers ed :thumbs:
Spent time in the Navy and met a charismatic that befriended me but never got me to church after the first time, but it made me wonder where God was headed with me. Returned to midwest/got married/fathered a kid/wife took said kid to church/figured I oughta go to/preacher showed some interest in me.
Along all this way I knew I was a believer but had never figured out the church thing so wasn't a prize for the Lord to begin to work with. Through some teaching from the Word, it just seemed right to pray about being a preacher, finally one night alone in my pickup I told Him I would head His direction if He would have me. Told the wife over the phone we were going to Bible college and the silence was fairly long.
Off to Bible college etc. - my Bible entrance exam score was the lowest in the history of the school - the rest is not very interesting history :laugh:
It's an exciting history to hear of one more who dared to follow God's leadership to preach His Word! Praise God!
i guess i'm a little like you in that i would have been the picture of the least likely candidate to be a pastor.
I had a head injury as an infant that required me to be in speech therapy during most of my primary school years.
Later on when given the opportunity to speak in public...it was pathetic at best.
Add to that the fact that i came from a pretty much unchurched background, i had no idea what a pastor did other than preach and visit people in the hospital.
But God has been a good God (not that i hever doubted Him on that) :godisgood: and He has brought me a long way by His grace alone.
As with TCGreek, it's easy for me to use 20/20 hindsight and see how God worked.
I was raised in a good, Bible believing church, and from a young age was surrounded by good teaching from retired seminary professors. As a teenager, I did the rebellion thing, and I ran fast and ran hard away from God.
I became a mechanic, among other things. I've never failed at anything that I've tried to do. God blessed me with a good mind, and through all my rebellion, he blessed me by letting me keep the knowledge that I learned.
So, when he dragged me kicking and screaming into a position of ministry, my Scriptural knowledge, combined with my real world experiences, I said, "OK, God, I'm ready", and as soon as he turned loose, I bolted. Then, I surrendered and said, "I'm ready, send someone else." But, God doesn't quit, when he has plans.
I was put into a position to minister at the race track when I raced. Rules require quiet time in respect for the community on Sundays, so we would hold church services, and I was put into contact with those who wanted to learn there. An employee under me at a management job was Muslim, and because of my lifestyle, it led him to ask questions, and he later renounced Islam.
I was put into a lot of positions to minister. Then, when he called me to preach, I did some preaching, and was being considered for a pastorate in the bush. But, I shattered my leg in an accident, and you can't go to physical therapy three times per week when the nearest hospital is a 24 hour flight away, so I was "stuck" here.
This is another case of hindsight being 20/20. I didn't know what God's plans were at this time, but by this time, I had surrendered my life completely to him, and I knew that he had plans. I just didn't know what they were.
By being "stuck" here, when the pastor at the church where I was preaching was struck suddenly ill and had to leave town the next day, I was able to step in and preach. I got a lot of experience, and got to teach a lot of people.
What are God's plans for the future? I don't know. I'll see when they get here.
But, I knew from a young age that this is what God wanted me to do, I just didn't acquiesce to his demands until I was older. Now that I have, he has blessed me in many ways, including breaking my leg. I have had so many blessings come through that event.
Thanks for sharing. You know, after reading what you wrote, I came to the conclusion that God has a way of getting our attention, even with a broken leg.
I began feeling that God may be calling me to pastor at about 16 years old. I ran from it for a couple years. When I was about 17 my pastor at the time asked me one day out of the blue (he had no clue I had been struggling with it) asked me if I ever thought the Lord might want me to pastor. That was the last thing I wanted to hear. About a year later our church had an interim pastor that asked me basically the same thing again having no clue I was struggling with such things. Finally in the spring of 1995 my Father had a stroke and eventually died. Through all of those events the Lord finally had my attention and I surrendered to his will in July 1995.
How do you not know? Even when I tried to refuse it, the call was there.
Circumstances and my own bull-headedness, along with down-right refusals on my part, have kept me from the pastorate. While it has been hard to not forge ahead on my own, I know it is God's timing and not my own. One day I will be a pastor, but only if He puts me there.
Some days it seems like it will never happen, though. My current circumstances seem to have walled that door shut, but I know God has ways of closing you in so that He can take you through a whole new door. I think part of this is to get me where I need to be in Him, which I'm not as far as considering being a pastor is concerned. things are changing, but it will take some time to get my heart softened back up like it once was.
Great question! Having been a Pastor, I can only say that I knew that God called me. I know that probably does not help you. I just knew. God speaks to people in different ways I suppose.
I thought I was called to be a minister [probably a pastor in time], but I kept wanting more and more 'confirmation' of that, and no matter how much confirmation (and there was some) it did not please a skeptic like me. So I began questioning whether anyone has such a 'call,' and concluded that people do (or try to do) what they are inclined, no matter if the sources of that inclination can be identified or not. So I ain't a pastor, and am virtually certain I never will be.