| I need Godly Counsel|
I have been wrestling with something for quite some time and I need some godly wisdom. I am 25 years old. I believe in 2009 while on a missions internship to Ireland the Lord gave me a passion for ministry. I believe it was there I received my "calling" if you will. My desire is to be a vocational minister. I want my job to be a pastor. I am very involved at the church where I am a member. I am very close with the pastor. I have such a love for this church, the people there, and the people of this community. I would love to be apart of the pastoral team. I have been looked over for a couple open positions. I shared my passion for ministry and my church with my pastor and still am overlooked. Which is fine I am not angry or anything like that. The men that were hired are excellent ministers. But I am feeling a little lead on. Our conversations usually end with phrases like hang in there or your time is coming. I'm not looking for some position of authority. I mainly just would love to learn about ministry and prepare for maybe being a lead pastor some day. Here is my question. How long should I wait around for an opportunity at my local church before moving on and looking for another opportunity? I don't want this post to come across like I am some whiney punk kid who is saying he deserves a shot. Please hear my heart. I long to serve. I am not overwhelmed with talent. I just have this desire to give myself to a group of people. To pour my heart out and serve them as a shepherd. I just want to lead people into a relationship with Jesus. And I know I know I know. I don't have to be paid to be a minister. But that is what I want to be. When people dream of what they want to do for their career and they go and do it. People dream of becoming doctors and they do it. And so on with other occupations. This is what I dream of doing. I am doing what I can at my church now. Teach or preach when asked. Volunteer when able. Honestly I feel like if someone tells me I don't have to get paid to be a minister On more time I may lose it lol. But in all seriousness this is a heavy burden on my heart. Can someone please offer some wisdom. How long should I wait? Is there an issue with my view of things? Am I wrong for feeling like this? And prayers for direction and guidance are appreciated :)
| 2015/5/20 22:51||Profile|
| Re: I need Godly Counsel|
you said you were already serving at your church, so then your longing and dream of serving others is already a reality.
why would you leave? if your heart and desire is to serve then just continue to be open and faithful to Him by helping as you can. don't get caught up in titles its all about being a servant to others and submitting unto Him.
| 2015/5/20 23:12||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Re: |
I shared my passion for ministry and my church with my pastor and still am overlooked. Which is fine I am not angry or anything like that. The men that were hired are excellent ministers.
Spend your time well right now, spend your free time studying the bible, serve people more, grow and watch the pastors and learn how to love and serve people. To start to learn to be a servant is one of the greatest preparations for the ministry. Depending on the denomination you are involved in, you might need to go to Bible School or Seminary, perhaps tell your pastor in writing clearly or in person that you really feel called of the Lord and ask him his advice on you prepare more for that calling, what you can do. Ask him if extra schooling either a distance program or in person would help. Also he might know another church you could intern at or help find you more opportunities to serve in the congregation there.
Towards being full-time paid, I would encourage you to be willing to work another job which volunteering and then perhaps part-time work secular and then part-time ministry. Most people do not just go into full time ministering work for the Lord.
Also ask the Lord what your giftings are and if you feel you could serve in any other environment, like Gospel for Asia for missions work or some other para-church group.
Just thoughts for you young brother.
I wrote this tonight, not sure if it will encourage you:
Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord’s people there. - Romans 15:25
Have you ever observed a waiter serving people well? They are constantly looking to serve the people who they are taking care of. Their eyes are always looking to try and anticipate what the people would need next. To have a heart of a servant is to always look for ways to serve people without them even asking for the help. I remember at Bible College all students were encouraged to serve in various positions, it was a great feeling that we all were a part of taking care of the property where we were studying at. I remember leaving my time at the school and one thing I could say was that I learned to be a servant more. A pastor once was teaching that someone with a servants heart does not even need to be told what to do but they seek out and find what needs to be done and do it. That was a convicting thought to me because I was not always seeking to serve others or find things that needed to be done. When we consider ourselves and how we spend our time and actions we can be very self-centered in our activities. We need to consciously choose to deny self in every part of life to serve others and think of other needs then our own.
Andrew Murray says, "Before we can know how to please our neighbour, self-denial must first exercise itself in our own personal life. It must rule the body. The holy fasting of Him who said, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Choosing to be a servant is not just something spiritual but it becomes very practical in our flesh. If we are going to be one who is able to be a servant spiritually we need to also put to death our desires of the body which themselves are selfish. Our Lord practiced such disciplines as fasting, long periods of prayer, and at times solitude. By such practices our Lord was able to gain the right focus from God to serve others. The Apostle Paul shares with the believers in Rome that he was going to Jerusalem, and we catch his heart, that he was going to be a servant. He has no ambitions and big plans or desires but simply wanted to go and find out how he could help. There is a rest and peace in Christian work when we simply are servants and have no big plans at times but to serve and do what is needed. Choose today to be a servant, look for opportunities to help serve. When we each as brothers and sisters look to wash each others feet we will see how arguments and disagreements will cease. Lower yourself today, bow the knee, grab a bowl of water and towel, serve one another.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2015/5/20 23:48||Profile|
| Re: I need Godly Counsel|
Joshua said: I'm not looking for some position of authority. I mainly just would love to learn about ministry and prepare for maybe being a lead pastor some day.
Hmm. This glares at me like a very ironic phrase. You don't want authority but you want to be 'lead' pastor. Note, you didn't say, 'I want to be the best church janitor on the planet'. Or like Brother Lawrence, 'To practice His presence, in all things'.
I understand your distinction...but that phrase...so tightly together...screams to me something underneath. Simply put, that you DO desire authority, yet you are trying to mask it in false humility. Be careful of this young brother.
Joshua said: Honestly I feel like if someone tells me I don't have to get paid to be a minister On more time I may lose it lol.
This is another cause for concern. Paul was a tent maker. He didn't 'lose it' instead Paul spread the Kingdom with insane integrity. I wish more ministers would go the way of Paul and be tent makers too.
Greg said: Depending on the denomination you are involved in, you might need to go to Bible School or Seminary, perhaps tell your pastor in writing clearly or in person that you really feel called of the Lord and ask him his advice on you prepare more for that calling, what you can do.
This is great advice. First, I'd like to add that you ask your current pastor to be your mentor. Most pastors are willing to mentor the next generation, they are rarely asked. So, it's generally met with excitement.
When it comes to credentials, I believe you are AG, they have an online education program. http://www.globaluniversity.edu/
Most AG churches require some form of formal biblical training. Even if you are anointed like John G Lake, Wigglesworth, or some other great saint, they'd still want to see that you've refined your biblical understanding and methodology.
Greg said: Towards being full-time paid, I would encourage you to be willing to work another job which volunteering and then perhaps part-time work secular and then part-time ministry. Most people do not just go into full time ministering work for the Lord.
Greg has walked this out. It's sound advice.
On some other notes:
1. Where is your wife in all this? Didn't you start a thread saying she opposed your desire to minister? Has this been resolved?
2. I'm passionately opposed to full time paid ministers. I'm not saying that ministers are bad people. I just think the entire *system* has a bit of errors and it's cause for great alarm in my spirit. I could go on a rant as to 'why' but there is hope. I think underground church networks and the house churches have renewed my hope. (Why spend $1 million on a building that is rarely used; I can't imagine a business being only open a few hours of the week, why is the church so limited? The building ties the body of Christ down with debt for many years and I've seen many churches lose their building since they financed it, instead of paying for it with cash. Then to only pay one minister who barely does actual work in the community?; Church buildings are the source of much of my frustration but the lack of community support is another point)
3. If you haven't noticed, the church is losing members left/right. The church market conditions are bad for new ministers to 'get paid' doing this. Church attendance is down and unemployed qualified ministers is up. If you want to truly get paid doing this, within this bad, imo, system, then create the position. Yes, create it. I'm strongly against starting your own church. I'm advocating that you evangelize and win souls for your church. Do things, like community outreaches, and reap the harvest of souls. Grow your church's membership and/or the area of church's membership. The mormon church is growing at a rapid pace, why? Because they are out on the streets. Same thing for JW (Jehovah Witnesses), they are putting people on the ground and reaching out.
4. God prepares us for the work we are called to. Paul was called but waited 14 years, y.e.a.r.s, before he was sent. (Gal. 2:1). Many times when God calls, there is a l.o.n.g. process of preparation, there are numerous examples throughout the scriptures.
5. I'm not trying to dissuade you from attempting this instead I'm trying to sober you up, so that you can indeed and truly count the cost of this (Jam. 3:1). Be blessed.
| 2015/5/21 2:19|
| Re: I need Godly Counsel|
Brother I have been in your shoes. To be frank I still sometimes get into your shoes or line of thinking. I received the gift to preach God's word when I was baptized in Holy Spirit. I have utilized every 1 or 2 or 5 or 10 minutes that I get to stand in the pulpit to my fullest ability. People have observed the gift in me. My desire yet is to be an ordinary brother in Christ and to help people in the opportunities I get, whether it is just 1 min or 45 minutes.
I once was very discouraged and asked God, God why do you give me so much light on your word but give me just 5 minutes to share them in Church? Is it not under-utilization of your gifts? Here is what he answered, 'No body lights a lamp and hides under a basket'. In other words if the light or gift given to me is from God then he will not hide it and keep it unfruitful. But the light as well will not complain about where it is put. Will the lamp complain when it is put in a dark room where there is no one? It will happily keep doing its job of producing light.
So brother as Greg advised, keep shining in the place where God has put you now. He will not hide you in a basket. Use this time to gain as much light as you can, you may not get time when you are married and put in God's work.
Before God uses a man he first prepares him. Do you know the time gap between David being anointed by Samuel and David becoming King? Was it not God's will for David to be king? Why did he not immediately remove Saul and put David in that place? He wanted to prepare David. It might have appeared to David's supporters that Saul is stopping God's will for David to be the King. Even when we read the story of David, we may think the same. But the truth is God was preparing David in those caves. He built his character. At the right time he made him the king.
So in short if God wanted David to be king then no one can stop. Same way if God clearly wants you to Sheppard his people then who can stop it? It might appear today that people are stopping you, but the truth is no one can stop you from fulfilling God's will in your life other than your own rebellion.
| 2015/5/21 3:29||Profile|
From Liverpool but now in West Sussex, England
| Re: I need Godly Counsel|
I remember Duncan Campbell from the Scottish revivals on the isles of Skye and Lewis that he was a trained minister going there. So I hope you get your dream of serving the Lord in this way.
It's easy to see your hearts great desire in this. And the desire to be a great minister can spur you on to further change inside your own heart and character if you let it.
The Lord desires to have the direction of your heart first before ministry. I would like to have been used to minister when younger but the Lord showed me he wants our hearts. That crippled me but it's been worth it.
I thought brother Greg has some really good advice to you.
Blessings in the Lord.
| 2015/5/21 3:57||Profile|
| Re: |
Joshua, I have been in your shoes, too., in large measure. From ages 25-47, either vast swaths of time or sporadic moments were spent in the loop you feel yourself in.
Mortify it. Spare yourself and your wife the frustration of an unrealized dream. If God calls you to paid ministry, He will do it in His time. But, it is error to resist the graces of God, to harbor and nurture emotions and desires that He is not growing in you.
Someone else was concerned at your admission of feeling at your limit of hearing those who say you do not have to be paid to do ministry. It struck me, too. I walked many, many miles of this for about as long as you have been alive. If I could go back to my younger self, I would tell me what I now say to you. Mortify this desire. It will do great harm to you.
God is sovereign in who He places in the body. The earnestness of your feeling and desire is not a qualifier for ministry. It does no good to plead with Him of how badly you want this. One day, should He not place you as you seek, you will either come to this realization or you will try to force something, or you will walk away sorrowful.
God does not want you to have a heart for ministry and people. He wants you to have a heart for only Him. Would you be frustrated and disappointed in Him if He fills you with Himself but puts you in an isolated circumstance where you are 180 degrees from anything you desire? If there is a little bit if "yes" even, you have much formation in Christ ahead of you.
I want to you to pray over this little essay that has been shared here many times before.
OTHERS CAN, YOU CANNOT
"If God has called you to be really like Jesus in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility, and put on you such demands of obedience, that He will not allow you to follow other Christians, and in many ways He will seem to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.
"Other Christians and ministers who seem very religious and useful may push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans, but you cannot do it; and if you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.
"Others may brag on themselves, on their work, on their success, on their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin it, he will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.
"Others will be allowed to succeed in making money, or having a legacy left to them, or in having luxuries. But it is likely God will keep you poor, because He wants you to have something better than gold, and this is a helpless dependence on Him, that He may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury.
"The Lord will let others be honoured, and put forward, and keep you hid away in obscurity, because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade.
"He will let others be great, but keep you small. He will let others do a work for Him, and get the credit for it, but He will make you work and toil on without knowing how much you are doing: and then to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work you have done, and this will make your reward ten times greater when Jesus comes. The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch over you, with a jealous love, and will rebuke you for little words and feelings or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem distressed over. So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign God, and has a right to do as He pleases with His own, and He will not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealings with you.
"He will take you at your word; and if you absolutely sell yourself to be His slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous love, and let other people say and do many things that you cannot do or say. Settle it forever, that you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, and that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes in ways that He does not deal with others. Now when you are so possessed with the living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of Heaven."
| 2015/5/21 8:32||Profile|
| Re: |
Thank you all for your words. I did write some of the things in my original post out of frustration and I hope I didn't give off the wrong impression. I am not trying to hide behind any false humility or just seeking a position or pay check. But some things said have really encouraged me and challenged me to correct some errors in my way of thinking. Thank you all again
| 2015/5/21 9:17||Profile|
| Re: |
I scanned the other responses and would like to say a few things. It will be hard to improve upon what Greg already shared but will only add to it if that is possible.
You say you are 25 YO. That is quite young. You may be brilliant, know the LORD but you still have a LOT to learn about life, about people and how God works in all this mix. At 25 you may think you have all the answers that bedevil mankind - surprise! it ain't so. Learn to appreciate the mundane, the routine, the ordinary - look for its beauty - see how God works in it, using it. Learn to wait, to wait and wait some more. Youth is known for their impatence...you must learn God's timing does not match our own. It takes a long time to learn to surrender to HIS timing. Just resting and knowing..and waiting.
We have had in our congregation a gifted young man who let it be known that he felt called to formal ministry. And he, too, was passed over. Before too long he left, taking a few families with him. He was there for a while when they suddenly up and left for a distant state. He went to seminary, got his credentials to preach... Today, our people look with askance, horror at what he has become. We suspect his gifting was natural ability, not one rooted in a walk with the LORD.
My understanding. And again I say wait and listen and learn. If you have been baptised you have been called to minister in the insignificant, out of the limelight, serving others with no recognition. You may find this far more satisfactory then ever imagined. For one thing there will be no competition or challenge for position.
| 2015/5/26 15:06||Profile|
| Re: I need Godly Counsel|
I can see your willingness to serve in the ministry, and praise God for your zeal to be used of the Lord.
There was some excellent advice given by others.
Remember this brother that all promotion in ministry comes from the Lord. "For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south." (Psalm 75:6).
Brother, God exalts all those that humble themselves. Just be faithful at whatever God has you doing at this time.
Spend time with the Lord, not seeking after ministry, but seeking to know Him better.
As you follow the Lord faithfully and serve others, the Body of Christ will see the gifts and ministry that God has called you to.
"A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men." (Proverbs 18:16).
God does not look at natural talents in His selection and calling of men, but the Lord is looking at the heart.
God picked David out through the prophet, although it appeared that his brothers were much more qualified than he was.
David spent his time ministering to the Lord and being faithful, and this is the man that God chose to be king.
| 2015/5/26 15:30||Profile|