Pastorate Pursuit?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by iasusxrist, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. iasusxrist

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    Primarily: Could anyone offer me wisdom, to help me know if I am chosen for that role?

    Secondarily: Do you have any advice for someone who is pursuing the role?

    Appreciated.
     
  2. Tom Bryant

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    My first question would be what are you doing right now in your church?

    My second is why are you pursuing a pastorate?
     
  3. DrRandyGrace

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    If you can be happy doing anything else, do that.
     
  4. iasusxrist

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    What am I doing now? Attending 4 services a week. Going out on saturdays sharing the Gospel (and trying to get more members to do it with us), and attending/helping in many events that arrive.
    Trying to make friends with other members in the church, to encourage them in right living.

    Is that the kind of answer you meant?

    Why am I pursuing? Well, I'm not - yet. Why am I considering it? Because I feel guilty (I do know very well that it's not a SIN to work a job and be an "average" christian, so to speak - don't take that the wrong way.) "not" spending more and more time in God's word and using that to help others . .
     
    #4 iasusxrist, Sep 17, 2009
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  5. Tom Bryant

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    Have you taught God's Word in a Bible Study class?

    I agree with Dr. Grace. If you can do anything else, do it. It is a calling that pursues us.

    What does your pastor say about your desire? Is he in agreement? He would know you best.

    Are you pursuing a systematic study of God's Word either in a college or on-line situation? Are you a student of the Word? Are you able to state clearly what you believe the Bible teaches and why you believe it?
     
  6. iasusxrist

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    I have not taught. I would like to start within a year or two. I want to do speaking classes. Even if I do not become a pastor - I can still teach.

    My pastor? He says the same as you, if I can be happy doing anything else, then do so. Beyond that, he said I am already doing many of the things a pastor does.

    Study, yes. But not in college etc. I have taken "one" college class on the holy spirit, not for credit - with the church. I will probably do one on ecclesiology soon. But I can neither afford college, nor do I, in my limited experience - think it is the most wise choice. I can learn more / better on my own time, with theology books etc.

    Can I state clearly what I believe? Some things, others not. My knowledge is lacking (yet "much" higher than the 'average' christian.. but none the less, very shallow.) I am working on it. :).. Assuming you meant, can I defend my position from scripture?

    As for the, if you can do anything else position - how do you come to that? It is, if a man desires the office of a bishop.. Not, his only desire (so to speak) is that of a bishop..?
     
  7. Crucified in Christ

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    Dear brother,
    I will tell you that the things that are doing are wonderful, but they are not evidence of a calling to preach; in fact, the things that you are doing are the responsibility of all Christians. Unfortunately, many within Christ's Body act as though studying, encouraging, exhorting, and caring are only the responsibility of a paid class of ministers.
    The advice to do any other profession is not quoted from the Bible, but is wise advice that ministers have handed down from at least the days of Spurgeon. The reason is this: God calls ministers...we do not call ourselves. Spurgeon stated that the weakness of pulpits throughout the church was evidence that many men were placed there by someone other than the Lord. I would hate to stand before God and give a reason that I paraded as one called to under-Shepherd His flock when all the while I had usurped the position. That is why this is good advice.

    I, personally, have not seen the Lord call someone in the way that you have stated. That is certainly not to say that He is not calling you...The Lord can call anyway He chooses. Have you considered, however, that your call may actually be as a Deacon or Sunday school teacher. If you were in my church, I would certainly encourage you to find more areas of service for a while and later reevaluate your gifts. Until you have at least some teaching experience, any discussion of a call is premature at best.

    You are in my prayers
     
  8. iasusxrist

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    Crucified,

    Thanks for the honest reply!

    Sunday school, no: I've considered similar things. That's a good idea.
    Deacon, no: I do not desire that role.

    "Unfortunately, many within Christ's Body act as though studying, encouraging, exhorting, and caring are only the responsibility of a paid class of ministers."

    I never asked my pastor, in what ways .. I assumed, and probably correctly: So, you are probably correct as well. Yes, I know it's the role of all christians. The difference in my mind was, that I wanted to do it "full-time." Perhaps that's not a good reason.

    " I would certainly encourage you to find more areas of service for a while and later reevaluate your gifts. "

    You are correct, I admit: it is premature. My thinking was that if I am going to pursue the role, then better that I start looking for a mate now and raising Godly children to show myself a good leader.
    But, I Should first, get teaching experience.

    :D
     
  9. Crucified in Christ

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    Brother,
    Let me say that your attitude speaks well for you. I have known of men who did not want to hear anything other than "Go for it!" The fact that you are truly considering the words of others speaks well to your honesty and sincerity in seeking your place of service to the Lord.
    I have to leave for a meeting right now, but I will finish this thought in a little while. Until I post again, Lord willing, God bless you and thank you for your love for our glorious Lord.
     
  10. Tom Butler

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    The Lord has called me to preach, although I do preach occasionally. Or speak from the pulpit, more accurately. I have, over the years, been eager to hear preachers relate their calls to the ministry. They are certainly diverse.

    Here is what Jeremiah said about preaching:

    Jeremiah 20
    Is this you, by any chance?
     
  11. iasusxrist

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    Is that not every Christian, Tom?
    But yes, it is.
     
  12. Crucified in Christ

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    Brother,
    Sunday School is a place where many pastors get their start...myself included. The pastoral experience gained can be enormous provided you are a faithful teacher. It will give you an opportunity to teach and minister, giving you a chance to help watch over an area of the church. Use such an opportunity to get involved in the lives of your students by organizing class socials, by visiting them in times of need, etc. Take it very seriously. If you do this, the experience would aid you in knowing if God has called you to this.
    Also, do not be so quick to disqualify the idea of serving as a deacon. There are Baptist churches that have faithful deacon ministries and it is a noble place to serve. I am curious as to why you are turned off to such a path. Have you been in a church with the proverbial Deacon administrative board? A Biblical deacon ministry would entail all of the things that you love doing. What do you think?
    I honestly believe that it is good to love serving the Lord, but a desire is frankly not enough. Will the desire still be there when you have been hurt by people you honestly love and trust? Many ministers on this board could tell you stories of times when we would have likely quit if it weren't for that call of God...the fire that Jeremiah spoke of. As the Apostle Paul stated: "Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel." Without that, people tend to burn out quickly.
    So this brings me back to my first point: what advice would I give you if you came to me? I would find somewhere for you to serve regularly- teaching a class. I would ask you to not only teach that class, but show a responsibility for it...a burden for your students. I truly believe that a person who is unwilling to serve in a setting of 20 people has no business serving 520.
    I would begin to meet with you regularly, probably once a month in order to discuss how things are going and to make sure that you are encouraged. I would encourage you to do any studying that you could and would seek assistance from the church if needed. If you had been faithful as a shepherd over your class for a while (12-18 months), and you were still interested in preaching, I would invite you to work with me as I prepare sermons so that you could see what is involved. I would also set a date for you to preach on a Sunday Night. If it went well, I would give you opportunities to preach and move to have you licensed.
    What I am trying to say is that I believe it is a long process, but the key is that you need a minister who can faithfully guide you and mentor you. Either way, I would still start in a Sunday School-like setting. If you continue to feel God's leading into ministry, then you have gained valuable experience. Anyway, I hope this helps and I wish you the very best.
     
  13. iasusxrist

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    "I am curious as to why you are turned off to such a path."

    In this church any way, the role seems very different from that of a pastor. And, I disagree with some doctrines. If I were to go "full-time," I'd want the freedom to preach calvinism. Not an option here. And on a different note, I want to be full-time.. not what the deacon does. Fairly small amount of time in what I have seen. Rarely teaches, usually leads worship.. picks a few hymns and then usually lets someone else sing them. Does a lot of Administration, i.e. BUSINESS meetings etc.

    "Will the desire still be there when you have been hurt by people you honestly love and trust?"

    It still is, my friend. Maybe I just haven't been harmed enough yet, but I guarantee that I will never stop preaching christ crucified.


    "So this brings me back to my first point: what advice would I give you if you came to me? I would find somewhere for you to serve regularly- teaching a class. "

    I don't think that's an option in this church.. Very small, sunday class is already being taught by others.. I didn't think of that earlier.

    hmmm.
     
    #13 iasusxrist, Sep 17, 2009
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  14. Trotter

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    If God is calling you toward the pastorate He will let you know it. There will be no maybe, maybe not. As others have said, if you can do anything else then do it, for to chase after the pastorate when you are not called of God is to bring condemnation upon your self and spiritual spiwreck upon any you happen to lead.
     
  15. iasusxrist

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    Now, Trotter. Let's be fair.
    My brethren, be not many masters know that we shall recieve the "greater" condemnation.
     
  16. Tom Butler

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    In Post #10 I wrote, "I have been called to preach...."

    I meant to write "I have NOT been called to preach..."

    Ask anybody who's ever heard me speak and they'll tell you "that guy was surely never called to preach, because he can't."
     
  17. BroChris

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    iasusxrist, I'm excited that you would even consider such a calling. As you quoted, "If anyone desires the position of overseer, he desires a noble task." It is a high calling, but it is also a low calling, being called to be the servant of the church.

    The passage (1 Tim 3) goes on to explain that having the desire to be a pastor is only half of it. A man must also meet the qualifications of the position. He does this, I think, not by examining himself and saying "yes, yes, I can do that," but rather by being examined over time by those in the church. So the advice to become a Sunday School teacher or a Deacon is good. It may be that being a Deacon at your church is not the kind of thing that would most prepare you for pastorate ministry, but I assure you that biblical deacons have much in common with pastors. The main difference is that pastors teach also.

    I also advise you to take it all slow. Get lots of input along the way. Analyze your own thoughts and feelings to see if they line up with Scripture. For example, you say you want to be full time. Where did this desire come from? Why rule out bi-vocational ministry? Paul wasn't a pastor, but I would make the comparison to him. He didn't draw an income in his ministry. But it was his passion, and he could not not be the minister that he was, despite all the circumstances that it entailed.

    Regarding the advice to do anything else, I heard this a lot as I trained to be a pastor as well. I think it is good advice, but needs an explanation. I love to do a lot of things. I could have been a great web designer. It was my top hobby for the last 14 years. I wasn't the best at it, but I loved doing it, and with a little work, I'm sure I could have brought in a decent income with it. And I probably would have been happy doing it, because I loved the work. But I knew that if I pursued that path, I would ultimately not have the lasting joy that I have in serving the church as I am now. I think the emphasis in the advice is "If you can do anything else, do it." Not that you are able to do something else, but in that if your soul can find true joy in doing anything else.

    This, I think, is why it's so important to take things slow and minister in the church in other ways first. It gives you a taste of what to expect and helps you to see if your heart is truly in it.

    I felt the call to pursue ministry when I was 17 years old. I'm now 28, and have been a pastor for 2 months now. I was actually urged to by some to speed things up a bit ("why are you serving in this role if you feel called to be a pastor?"), but I don't regret it at all. By serving the church in a variety of ways over the last 10 years, I came to understand what God was preparing me for, and became much more secure in my call.

    I hope this helps you to evaluate yourself and gives you some direction as to your next steps. Praise God for your willingness to consider such a high calling!
     
    #17 BroChris, Sep 18, 2009
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  18. Rhetorician

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    "Calvinism" Response

    Dear Brother,

    Just a couple of observations from and "old work horse!"

    1. To handle "Calvinism" without much training, teaching, or Bible knowledge is a dangerous think for a young man such as yourself.

    2. Please do not cast dispersions on the leaders of this particular church because they do not live up to your expectations. God has put you there for this time, you should support and submit to their leadership IMHO!

    3. If God has really called you, you will be humbled enough to serve wherever and however he deems fit for your "conformed to the image of Christ."

    4. Some of the best pastors and Christian workers I have know have not been "full time" as you say.

    Those are some observations, for what they are worth?! :smilewinkgrin:

    "That is all!"
     
    #18 Rhetorician, Sep 18, 2009
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  19. iasusxrist

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    I am willing to be 'part-time,' it's simply not my preference.

    Calvinism.. It is part of God's word, why would you specifically make a comment to this doctrine? How is sharing scripture dangerous? (Of course, I do not do this in my church. I mean it as a generality.)
    I do not know why you said this, but 'if' it was the mindset, Calvinism kills whever it goes.. (I've heard that before.) You cannot use experience to interpret scripture. What if Paul stopped preaching Grace, seeing that Romans were abusing it? (Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?)

    I may misunderstand the word dispersion, but as I understand it - you think I was attacking the deacon? I was not. I was stating what he does, and why I wouldn't want to do it. Never did I mean to imply it was bad.

    Thanks.
     
    #19 iasusxrist, Sep 18, 2009
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  20. Trotter

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    I am being fair. Masquerading as a called man of God is serious business, and the pastor of a congregation can easily lead that congregation astray if he is not in line with God. I have seen the devastation wreaked upon churches by this very situation.

    If you aren't sure you are being called, or don't know, then you are not, my friend. There is no mistaking it, nor is there any running from it.
     

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