Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Pastor

The Apostle Paul said..."Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God".

What a testimony from a true Pastor, and it seems that Peter and Timothy were from the same mould. I hear all the time from many differing sources that many people want to become pastors or leaders, not least from a close source down in Manchester who preached on the calling of a pastor and the true pastoral heart last week.

At our previous church, eldership was seen as a job for a fixed term (4 years), yet if anyone thinks of the term pastor with the thought of having authority to lord it over, or in terms of days off, pensions, manse, car, book allowance, salary etc, then they are not called.
You cannot become a pastor, you cannot train at college to be a pastor, you are either called or you are not. It is strange that we think of 'becoming' a pastor, if it is a calling then you are a pastor from conversion, to the church you are a gift from Christ. I have a close friend who is putting away all thoughts of becoming a pastor, yet it is clear he already is a pastor, at present to the people on the edges of society.
A simple acid test seems to be this - 'do you entertain thoughts of being a pastor one day'? Chances are you are not called then, you either are one or you are not, if pastor is a gift then we have no say in either being or not being one.

4 comments:

dinsy said...

I don't think I understand what you are saying here Dave. It sounds like "no one can recognise their own calling to be a pastor - someone else has to tell them" which I don't think you mean. Can you clarify?

Dave said...

As pastor is a gift from Christ to the church (eph 4:11) then a pastor can no more become a pastor than he can not be one, you are a pastor (under shepherd) from birth.

My experience was that I never had a desire to be a vicar or minister, but there was a clear moment when it began to dawn that Christ had called me to shepherd His flock, a call I avoided and screwed up for years.

I still do not seek to be a pastor consciously, but people do regard me in that way, I do not think anyone else has to tell them, but often that can be the way. I think I knew my calling, other people confirmed it.

The article was my discomfort that some people train to be 'pastors' when they were never called and given to that calling.

dinsy said...

Thanks for the clarification Dave. I missed this bit in the original article - "if it is a calling then you are a pastor from conversion".

I think this is where my confusion arose and I'm not sure I agree. It implies that God always gives all gifts He is going to give someone at the moment of their conversion and does not add to them later.

Maybe we could cover this in housegroup as we are looking at gifts at the moment?

Dave said...

It implies that God always gives all gifts He is going to give someone at the moment of their conversion and does not add to them later.

This would be good to do at housegroup, just to clarify my position, I believe an 'under shepherd' is called before the foundation of the earth as in Jeremiah and Paul. That I think applies to all the grace gifts in Eph 4:11.
In effect Pastoral ministry for me began during infinity and not at college!!

 

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