Question for the pastors...

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by RLBosley, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. RLBosley

    RLBosley
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    How did you know that (Shepherding a congregation) was what God had prepared for you to do? Was there a sense of calling or desire on your part? What was it?

    I hear a lot about the 'call' to ministry, but I want to know how someone determines the 'call' is genuine and to what they are called exactly.
     
  2. JamesL

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    Is this thread limited to full-time pastors, or open to others in full-time ministry (such as missionaries, music ministers, etc)?

    Or maybe even open to others who are not in full-time ministry (such as some pastors, deacons, bible study leaders, etc)?
     
  3. PreachTony

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    JamesL raises a good point. Some of us are called into the ministry, even if we don't do it "full-time," as some account 'full-time' work, but we do not fit the qualifications to Pastor a church, so we can only work as evangelists or missionaries. Are we allowed into the discussion as well, or are we just limiting this one to Pastors only? Thanks.
     
  4. annsni

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  5. RLBosley

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    Sorry I wasn't very clear. I'd like to hear from anyone in ministry; bi-vo, pastor, music, missionary etc.
     
  6. RLBosley

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  7. PreachTony

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    I've mentioned on the boards here that I was saved at ten years of age. For several years I simply grew in the faith, through reading, prayer, study, meditation, and discussions with my elders, such as my grandfather, a Baptist minister of some 50 years.

    Around the time I turned 19 I began to realize the work that the Lord had set for me. I would, in essence, preach to myself at night, or in the car, or on a long walk through the woods. I spoke about it with my grandfather and with a close friend of mine who, at the time had been preaching for over ten years and had been pastoring a church for about four years. Both told me the same thing: "If you can get out of it, then you never had it to begin with."

    In the fall of my 19th year, the little church I went to fractured over doctrine. Some in the church were bent on pushing premillennialism in a church that had never been pre-mil to begin with. We were, by and large, amil with tendencies toward eclecticism in interpretation. Honestly, prior to this moment, eschatology had never been a big issue with us. We had always focused more on salvation and living for God.

    But the church splintered over the course of a couple months, with a Tuesday evening "All Member" meeting in early October marking the first time I ever stood up and, basically, "preached." I was so torn over certain of the church pushing eschatological issues ahead of salvation that I just couldn't contain it. (Even though I wasn't well-learned enough to understand the terms I've since used to described the issue.) Two weeks later, during our monthly 'Conference' meeting, the issue of premillennialism being taught was brought up for a vote and the issue "won" with a margin of just a few votes. That particular conference hosted more members than had even been to church in the last several months. My family took it as a sign that we were no longer welcome there, so we departed the church and began seeking another.

    We visited a handful of churches over the next two months, and eventually found our new church home in December of that year. Within a month of being in that church, under sound doctrine that was not suffering confusion, as in the last church, I again felt the pull of my calling. I once more spoke with my grandfather, who told me that he had known since the October meeting and was just waiting on me to announce it to the church. The next Sunday morning, while our church choir was busy singing, the Spirit came on me so strong that I couldn't hold back any longer.

    I stood and announced that God had called me to preach His word. That was 13 or so years ago now. I continue to visit other churches as I'm led, preaching whenever the opportunity is given. I've been blessed to help in some great services, and revivals, and all the glory is God's. I'm just trying to do what the Lord called me to do.

    Does that answer your question? It's really more of a narrative of a few months of my spiritual life...
     
  8. JamesL

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    Not long after I became a believer at age 28, I had a sense that God had called me to preach and teach.

    I had a yearning to preach the gospel (evangelism) just by virtue of the horror of knowing that I had been raised in church but had never heard the gospel clearly presented. I felt moved by my childhood experience, and felt called by God to preach from a pulpit.

    As for teaching, it seems I've always had a knack for it. I used to love taking a newbie apprentice and teaching him the electrical trade. Then felt God calling me to teach, though I knew I was woefully unprepared to teach the scriptures. I started buying books to learn doctrine, church history, etc, just so i would know the faith better.

    I've taken several spiritual gifts assessments. And every time, the first two listed were teaching and evangelism.

    Thus far, I have taught Sunday School in 3 churches, and bible study in 2 churches. I'm not certain that teaching is necessarily a spiritual gift. Like I mentioned, I've always loved to teach. But it has been confirmed over and over that He has called me to it.

    And thus far, I have not preached from a pulpit - but God has continually impressed upon me that he has called me to it. I've already preached a thousand sermons to the windshield of my car.

    In short, I'm certain that God impresses upon a man what he's called to do, then confirms it through other people.
     
  9. PreachTony

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    I remember those days of giving my car windshield what for preaching to it. I've also preached tot he pillow, the shower stall, and the dining room table.

    Like you, JamesL, I've taught several Sunday School classes (2 different churches) and I usually teach either the teens or adults in our yearly Vacation Bible School. To me, teaching is almost a natural offshoot of preaching. It's certainly a valuable knowledge base, as it requires study and commitment to put together a solid, coherent Sunday School lesson.

    God has blessed me to preach from the pulpit multiple times. I've had part in three funerals, which is incredibly difficult. My grandfather, who passed in October 2012, had asked me a couple years prior to have a part in his funeral. He told me that he wanted me to preach, if the Lord led that way. I'm thankful for that, as after he died I remembered those words and it helped free me up to preach Jesus.
     
  10. JamesL

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    I've had part in quite a few funerals as well. Not as a preacher, but as a vocalist. You're right, funerals can be tough. When my mother passed away in August 4 years ago, I sang "Save a place for me" by Matthew West, a cappella. Even though my mom and I pretty well hated each other for the first 35 years of my life, it was tough to make that final goodbye.

    I can't imagine how hard it is to conduct a funeral for someone you're close to.

    I believe even that is a calling from God, and He must prepare us to go through those times
     
  11. PreachTony

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    The first funeral I had part in was my great-grandmother. She passed in June 2007. That was actually a relatively easy funeral, as I knew her testimony and had seen from her life how much she loved the Lord.

    The third funeral was my grandfather's, and that was two years ago.

    It was the second funeral that was the hardest. It was my uncle (my great-grandmother from the first funeral, this was her son). I was asked to handle the graveside service there. The thing was, I had never heard a testimony from him. My grandmother, his sister, could only tell me when he was baptized. She could not recall a testimony from him.

    I prayed for help and the Lord pretty well took the service from there and I just tried my best to follow Him. It was not easy, though.
     
  12. annsni

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    I don't know if you know about him but Brian Croft is a pastor who has a great website and blog as well as a number of SUPER practical books for the pastor. His website is practicalshepherding.com He has a book on conducting funerals that is excellent and I can really highly recommend you pick it up. My husband has had to do numerous funerals for both the saved and the unsaved and some for those he didn't know well at all and it really guided him in what to do.

    Here is a link to his books: http://practicalshepherding.com/resources/books/
     
  13. PreachTony

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    Thanks, ann. I'll check it out.

    My grandfather was a big source of information for me on how to handle situations like that. He entered the ministry in the mid-1950s. He taught me a lot about how to handle situations in the church and amongst believers.
     
  14. annsni

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    That is awesome! I think a lot of young pastors especially don't always have that wisdom available to them so having a resource like this is fantastic. Brian really has helped us a LOT in so many areas. Like practically, just how do you do a hospital visitation? How long should you stay? It wasn't until my own daughter was in the hospital and we had people overstay their welcome that we realized that shorter is better. When we read his blog post on that we were like YEAH!!! THAT!!! LOL So now we know that when we visit someone in the hospital, we stay for about 10-15 minutes usually. We visit, we listen and we pray and leave. That's just one example of things no one tends to teach you!
     
  15. PreachTony

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    Every person has their own method of hospital visitation. I think a lot depends on how close a pastor is to the person in the hospital. For my church, the pastor is a long-time family friend, so when my grandfather was in the hospital it was common for the pastor to come there and stay for an hour or longer.

    Typically 10-20 minutes works well. There is no such thing as rest in the hospital, so working in 20 minute intervals seems a good method.
     
  16. Marooncat79

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    Yes, that is indeed awesome!!
     
  17. MontyHudspeth

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    How Do You Know If You Are Called to the Ministry?

    This thread looks to be exactly the thread that I was hoping to find when I signed up for BaptistBoard.com!!!

    Without reading any of the other posts I want to share with the learned men on this board just a portion of my heart.

    I am 50 years old and have been a Christian and follower of Christ for 7 years. I know that seems a little old to some, and like many I was put under the water (Baptized) at age 12. But without any recognition of my state as a sinner and with the motivation to please my parents.

    For some time I have felt a deep burning desire to Pastor. More than anything I want to see people become "new creations in Christ". I have a passion for spiritual transformation in myself and in others. I love the people of my local congregation. My Pastor is both a friend and a mentor. The people are an encouragement but also need encouraging. Everyone especially myself needs to feel and realize the presence of Christ in their lives. Whether that presence is best introduced from a classroom, a pulpit or an office is a matter for personal reflection.

    I believe God has provided me with a love for teaching and proclaiming His word. I love the whole process of preparing a lesson / sermon! The study, the drilling down into the history, the grammar, the syntax, the definition and overall understanding of a particular passage of Scripture fills me with great joy! In all honesty studying God's word or the many wonderfully written books of wise pastors of the past and present is all I desire for my "FREE TIME".

    I love seeing God work! I love seeing the fruit of the Holy Spirit alive in me and others. I love to dwell upon and discuss the wonderful and amazing Grace and Works of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

    My prayer daily is to ask God to reveal His character, glory and uniqueness to me. To open the eyes of my heart to His Glory in every portion of my waking life. To see Him in both the sunshine and the rain. I ask that he would give me understanding and wisdom of Scripture. That He would help me to discern the height, depth and width of His word. I pray that He would then provide opportunities for me to preach / teach His word to others. So that more people can understand the greatness of His Glory.

    My heart mourns for those who do not know Him. I grieve for those who claim the name of Christ but have no inclination to follow Him as Lord. At the same time, I realize my personal failings and complete reliance on Grace and consider that were He to ever allow temptation to enter my life, I would surely fail were it not for Grace. Knowing my weakness and the darkness of my own heart, I am lead out of compassion to help others seek the Grace which will lead to rest for their souls.

    As I write these few lines, I am completely overwhelmed with the needs of
    God's people to know love for one another which can only be realized by experiencing the tangible presence of Christ in the midst of the Church and within the heart of each individual. A daily walk with the Lord. My heart is filled with the immediacy and urgency of the message to the point that it has become a burning in my bones.

    I have made the decision to become a true Disciple of Christ. To teach others all that He has shown. (Matt. 28:20) I have counted the cost and considered the investment. I understand that to be an apprentice and Disciple of Christ simply does not "Happen" but is something that must be earnestly sought in prayer, faith and simple hard work. A person must decide with all determination to put aside all and follow. This is my desire.

    Now with all humility and heaviness of heart. Is there a calling on my life for the Ministry? If so, what is next?

    Blessings to you all

    Monty
     
  18. Jerome

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    http://www.toledoblade.com/Religion/2011/05/28/Author-took-haphazard-route-to-God.html

     

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