Not everyone called to minister is called to pastor. Pastoring is a unique calling that has nothing to do with ego or ambition, politics or power, social elevation or status. Pastoring is often, in the short term, thankless and tedious work. Pastors are often underpaid and underappreciated, overworked and overstressed. A pastor's phone is always ringing. A pastor's calendar is always full. Every day is a work day for a pastor. Pastors who are surprised or burdened by this reality would be well advised to rethink their calling.
Not everyone called to minister is called to pastor. Pastoring is a unique calling that has nothing to do with ego or ambition, politics or power, social elevation or status. Pastoring is often, in the short term, thankless and tedious work. Pastors are often underpaid and underappreciated, overworked and overstressed. Like a doctor or a fireman, a pastor is always on call. And, while a pastor may be blessed with a competent preaching staff, most church goers will feel comforted only by the pastor himself. A pastor's phone is always ringing. A pastor's calendar is always full. Every day is a work day for a pastor. Pastors who are surprised or burdened by this reality would be well advised to rethink their calling. It is not a calling for the meek. For the mean-spirited. For the petty. Not a calling for the impatient. or the immoral. Or the weak-willed. The intemperate. The pastorate is not a stepping stone to political office. It is not a cushy job opportunity for those unsuccessful in the corporate world. The pastorate is a commitment, an enhancement and elevation of our commitment to ministry. The confidence of my call to pastor is based on three basic principles: (1) my call is a clear call to be a pastor, (2) my call is to be a people and ministry builder, and (3) my call comes with a commitment.
God has called me to be a pastor. This is a unique characteristic in ministry today. Many pastors are mixing their call as pastor with the call of an evangelist. They are willing to be away from their flock weeks at a time for road trips, seminars, private vacations away from their wives and families, revivals and preaching engagements. So often, I've heard of pastors routinely being "out of town." Oh, the pastor's out of town. God has imprinted on my heart the desire to lead His people and to feed the flock assigned to me. This means I am committed to and focused on the people of God. I want to know them. I want them to know me and to know I will be there for them. Jesus used the imagery of a shepherd tending the sheep. The shepherd was just as concerned about the one who went astray as he was for the ninety and nine who were with him. My focus will be on the entire flock, not flying around the country exciting other congregations through revivals or other activities. The struggles in society today that impact the congregation need to be addressed by a person called to lead and feed God's people. This is my call.
I am a people and ministry builder. The church is made up of all
types of people. Many are recovering from various issues and all
are struggling with sin. God has anointed me to preach good
tidings to his people and deliverance. I've had the opportunity to
counsel men and women from various walks of life who have found
themselves in prison. Through this experience, I discovered that
change and strength comes by meeting people right where they are
and making a commitment to be real with them and share my life
and my God with them. After doing this, the sharing of God's
Word becomes instrumental.
The Word brings conviction and change. God has given me life experiences to help bind up the broken-hearted and set the captives free. Many people feel unworthy of God's love and gift of redemption through Jesus Christ. My life and testimony is often shared with those who feel this way. This is done to show them if God can take me from the gutter of life that he can take anyone out of the gutter and use them to His glory. I use my life experience but, more important than that, my life. I use The Word of God and sound biblical counseling.
An important part of the church is a strong family unit. I believe in undergirding the family unit. The church should have ministries to strengthen parenting skills, support families, and educate children. I am committed to building strong families through teaching, counseling, and interaction with families. If the family is strong, the ministries of the church will be strong.
There is a group that is absent from most churches. This group is our young adults who range from nineteen to thirty-five years of age. I am committed to reclaiming this group for the Lord. This can only happen by addressing their spiritual, social, career, and family needs. The ministries of the church will become stronger by bringing this group back. The continued absence from the church of this group means the future of the church is questionable because if they are not in the church who will take over from the group moving the church now?
My call comes with a commitment. I realize this might be strange to even mention but I feel my word, my family and my life belong to God. This means what I do or don't do causes some impact. My commitment is to live according to God's Word before His people. This means I will never do anything thing to embarrass God or His Church. I am a committed family man. I have been married to Christine since May 20, 1967. I made a commitment before God on the day we were married and I plan to keep that commitment. God has called me to preach and pastor. I told Him that I would be faithful to Him and His Church so I would come before His people with that commitment.