The role of being a pastor, and how one effectively lives out that calling has been heavy on my mind lately, and this is rightly so as I will be held to account by the God who called me as to how I served Him. Thankfully, I don’t approach this task in a vacuum: God has given me (and all of us who answer the call to pastoral ministry) numerous examples in the form of Godly men who have trained themselves in righteousness and do honor to the calling.(Not to mention the specific revelation of scripture.)
There are numerous resources for observing these men and learning from them, which I hope to take advantage of in the days to come. One of the more comprehensive is the Unashamed Workman blog, which is devoted to the task of God-centered, biblical pastoring. There are interviews, links to other fantastic blogs, sermons, audio, and a wealth of useful information dealing not only with the pulpit task, but also with the other duties of the ministry.
Here is one excellent, and convicting post I found there and read today.
Along with this post from Colin (the blog writer) today which is a useful set of questions for young pastors going into a new church.
Here’s my hope: that if you are called to pastoral ministry, you would begin right now preparing yourself for it. Let me amend that: that you would begin right now seriously preparing yourself for it. (1 Timothy 4:7) Take the time to study the skills of crafting a biblical sermon, read about the role of pastoring from men who have faithfully served for years, seek a high level of personal holiness (you will be held to a stricter account than others by God – it is right that you should start seeking to hold yourself to a different standard than even other christians around you.) We must not be lazy.If you are called to pastoral ministry, and you are reading this, consider it God’s invitation to you to begin, renew, or redouble your efforts to “…train yourself for Godliness…”. Do not walk away from reading this and continue to live as though your calling will kick in once you get to [insert xyz arbitrary time]. Right now is the time of your calling, and you will be held account to how you prepared yourself for it.
Here’s a quote (a prayer) from George Whitefield, one of the greatest preachers of history. May it be true of us!
“Yea…that we shall see the great Head of the Church once more . . . raise up unto Himself certain young men whom He may use in this glorious employ. And what manner of men will they be? Men mighty in the Scriptures, their lives dominated by a sense of the greatness, the majesty and holiness of God, and their minds and hearts aglow with the great truths of the doctrines of grace. They will be men who have learned what it is to die to self, to human aims and personal ambitions; men who are willing to be ‘fools for Christ’s sake’, who will bear reproach and falsehood, who will labor and suffer, and whose supreme desire will be, not to gain earth’s accolades, but to win the Master’s approbation when they appear before His awesome judgment seat. They will be men who will preach with broken hearts and tear-filled eyes, and upon whose ministries God will grant an extraordinary effusion of the Holy Spirit, and who will witness ‘signs and wonders following’ in the transformation of multitudes of human lives.”