After talking with a dear friend about the lack of called men of God to fill the pulpits of churches I feel compelled to cover the subject. My friend serves as Director of Missions in the Baptist Convention and has a true servants heart.
Will we be able to worship the way we do now in ten years? On the surface the question directs the mind to political issues concerning separation of church and state. That is not the most dangerous quandary facing believers. The problem at hand comes from within the church, not the outside. The dilemma is a lack of men surrendering to the call of God to pastoral ministry.
When we speak of the call to pastoral ministry the need to clarify what that consists of is obvious in the current state of affairs concerning the church. Preachers are easily found. Preaching is a necessity! Pastors preach, but that is not the end of the burden for a pastor. Pastors have a heart for the people they preach to. A man called by God to the pastorate will want to see the people he sounds the trumpet before being transformed by the message. He will also be around to patiently wait for the transformation to take place.
Pastors called by God are not professional preachers. That is not meant to be critical of preachers who handle the pastorate in a professional manner. Carrying out pastoral duties in a professional fashion is admirable and good for the church. The point of the statement deals with the matter of choosing the pastorate as a career. Doing this always leads to catastrophe. If a person is serving as a pastor without the call of God the people are not more than numbers to add or subtract in the ledger. If the balance sheet doesn’t match expectations the pastor becomes discouraged. Then comes the noticeable despondency. Despondency is followed by tensions that lead to harsh words and abrupt actions.
Their are clear guidelines to protect the church against dangers associated with calling a preacher who is not called by God. The answers are found in scripture. Scripture is Gods word. God tells the church exactly what to look for in a man before calling him to serve as the under shepherd of the local flock. The church and the pastor share a burden. The burden is to seek Gods direction in calling and accepting the call to the pastorate in the local church.
We will look at the scriptural guidelines for measuring a preacher later. We will also lay out the responsibilities of the pastor in another post.
For today I ask all readers to join me in praying for God to send called men to the pastorate. This will accomplish great things. Churches will see an overwhelming decline in pastor turnover. Pulpits will no longer sit vacant for long periods of time. Church members will begin to heal from the effects of the civil war that takes place in too many churches and Real Discipleship will take place in the church.