Would It Be Worth My Time?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by labaptist, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. labaptist

    labaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am 31 and have been divorced for about 2 years. I didn't want the divorce but my ex wife, who claims to be a Christian wouldn't reconcile no matter what I did. I have been miserable since then since I feel called to preach. I don't have to be a senior pastor but would like to do something in full time Christian service, whether it be as an Assistant Pastor, Evangelist, etc. My question is, would it be worth my while to go into debt to go to college and seminary for training when for so many (it seems) divorce is an automatic disqualifer or should I get a secular degree and get a theological one from a place like Andersonville?
     
  2. Crucified in Christ

    Crucified in Christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dear brother,
    Pray for God to lead you in such a decision. In my experience you will not just have difficulty getting a Senior Pastor job, but any full-time Christian job. I know of a music minister who is divorced and he has had an extremely difficult time (bi-vocationally). Remember that Scripture holds the "one-woman man" standard not only for Elders, but also for Deacons...in other words, this was an important principle for any position of leadership within the church. I will be interested in the advice others provide.
     
  3. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,134
    Likes Received:
    221
    Not all churches believe that one-man/one-woman only means Divorce.

    Many IFB are very strict, but several churches in groups such as the SBC will not make divorce an automatic disqualifer.

    There are many options to consider.

    Lets stay in touch.

    Salty
     
  4. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    We will be praying for you.

    What are you doing now in serving the Lord? Are you active in your local church? Serve God where you are trusting Him to widen your depth of ministry.

    It would also depend on why your wife divorced you. Your local church might understand best so serve Him there.
     
  5. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    First off, would Andersonville or Covington or one of those admit you with a divorce?

    Second, I would imagine you're going to have a hard time in an IFB situation having had a divorce, regardless of the circumstances. As someone who used to be IFB and still have many friends in the movement, you'd be dead in the water. (don't get me started.....)

    I simply don't know enough to counsel you. How long were you married? How long did you try to reconcile? What counseling did you go through? Was church discipline involved? If you and your pastor and home church can walk through this together, then and only then should you seek out a paid staff type ministry. Here the ordination of your home body would be paramount. Perhaps their "theology" won't let them. Who knows.

    Your instincts ask a good question. I wouldn't want to spin my wheels either. Yet, no matter what, you owe it to the Lord to get the best preparation you can get, no matter what. If you can afford it, if you can do a good RE program, I'd do it. But first, see what ministry avenues are available to you realistically. More opportunities are available for chaplains and counselors who have been divorced than for pastors/elders or evangelists.

    Will your pastor let you be mentored? Can you assist him and get your feet wet? Will your home church allow this? That will say a lot.
     
  6. labaptist

    labaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't really have a 'home church' anymore. The one my ex and I attended is her home church and the pastor (who counseled us to consider getting an annulment) wouldn't even accept my tithe. The one I have listed on my profile is what I would call my home church but it is 30 miles away from where I live and I don't have a car so I can only get there a few times a year. I have talked with my home church pastor (the same one who licensed me) and he doesn't believe that a divorced man should pastor but that anything else (evangelist, missionary,) would be an option and recommended I contact his alma mater.(Landmark Baptist College) The problem is, that I don't think I'd really qualify as an IFB anymore, mostly because of the KJV issue and the divorce. As of right now I am attending the PCUSA church my brother in law pastors (For what its worth he knows eveything that happened and doesn't think I'm disqualified) till I can find a good Southern Baptist church (which is hard in NW PA.)

    As for my ex, I tried everything I could think of to get her back. I sent her roses, jewelry, even $100 when my pay was like $215 a week but she would barely ever talk to me. There was no adultery or abuse on my part and if she were to call me tomorrow and said she made a mistake I would gladly take her back.

    I'm not saying I'm ready to be in ministry tomorrow or maybe even next year. I know I need to get active in a good church, It would just be nice to find some place that doesn't treat me like I have a big red 'D' on my chest.
     
  7. tinytim

    tinytim
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/tim2.jpg>

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    11,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    First of all, is God calling you... Answer THAT question, and all else will fall into place.

    IF God is calling you, then don't let anyone stop you.

    IF God is not calling you, then don't pursue it.

    Get into a good church, and let God show you...
     
  8. Crucified in Christ

    Crucified in Christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would piggyback Tom's post by inquiring as to why you feel that you are called into the ministry even though you are not currently serving in Christ's church? What evidence do you have of a call?
     
  9. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    Find a church and serve God there. If you're not serving God where you are, you won't serve Him because you go to an online seminary.
     
  10. rbell

    rbell
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    11,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    A ton of issues here that must be handled first...

    -get in a church: get settled and involved. I'm not sure a PCUSA is going to get you where you need to go. Theologically, think "polar opposite of a strict IFB." Bouncing around from denom to denom doesn't make you a viable candidate for minsitry positions.
    -begin to work on finances. I'm not a fan of going into debt for seminary expenses. You dig a hole it's hard to crawl out of. Save up.
    -meet with a pastor and get some good counseling. You've got a ton to work through.
     
  11. labaptist

    labaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the advice!
     
  12. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    Yeah I'll echo the get into a church thing.

    You need to go and find a strong, Bible believing church to be part of. Get plugged in and start fellowshipping with other Christians.

    Then, after some time, see if you can start teaching a small group or something lower key. After that see if others begin affirming your calling.

    Get some good accountability structures in place. Make sure you're giving well. Get your family squared away.

    Often we know we are called when others affirm that we are called.

    While divorce isn't an automatic disqualifier, from what you have shared I would be hestitant to recommend you for that process right now. Get some space between you and your former wife and begin doing the things of God. I usually say there needs to be about five years or more between a divorce and entrance to vocational ministry for a man called by God. If you are really called than God has something for you. But He does not call people into something when they have other things to mend first.

    There is some great advice in this thread from others. :)
     

Share This Page

Loading...