Don’t Become A Pastor Until….

Don’t become a pastor until….

…you’ve invited someone who doesn’t believe in Jesus to believe in Jesus.  That’s what pastors are for.  If you don’t do it in your daily life now, you’re not going to be better at it when some seminary or denomination says you’re ready to.

…you pray and worship when no one is listening.

…you can pray and worship without telling everyone you did.

…your knowledge of the Bible is as thorough as your questions about it.  The questions shouldn’t come from what you don’t know; they should come from what you do know.

…you’ve given up the dream of getting rich.  We print “In God We Trust” on the back of his leading competitor.

…you’ve given up the dream of being famous.  There should be a pretty distinct difference between a sermon and a selfie.

…you’ve given up the dream of being attractive.  If the dream comes true, you’re likely to embarrass the ministry.  If it doesn’t come true, but you keep hoping, you’re going to look ridiculous.preacher

…you’ve realized your wedding vows are more important than your ordination vows.

…you could competently do ministry without a formal theological education.  And once you don’t need it – go get it.

…you’ve learned how and when to say “I could be wrong” and “I’m sorry.”

…you can name the places that you’re broken with no more shame than if you were describing what you like about a painting.  Brokenness is something we need to accept about ourselves so that we can deal honestly with the problems it creates, rather than trying to hide it from everyone else until the problems become public.

…you have a stronger passion for releasing other people’s gifts than releasing your own.

…God’s call to ministry is louder than your desire to do ministry and other people’s affirmation of your ministry.

That said, I don’t know that I would have become a pastor 17 years ago if I was following my own list.

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5 thoughts on “Don’t Become A Pastor Until….

  1. This is well stated. As for the last thing you said (not sure if you’d followed you’re own list) I am grateful for God’s willingness and faithfulness to transform even us who lead … I think I would have insisted that I met all qualifications but time and history have a way of forming a mirror where, if you will truly look, you intentions and agendas become obvious and undeniable. This is true within the ministry and without. The sad thing is that if you wait to long to look, others will have already seen and damage will be imminent. Great post … thank you.

  2. . . . until you are ready to die. Bonhoeffer said, “When Christ calls, he bids us come and die.” The good news is that beyond every death–and there will be many–is a resurrection, for our God is one who delights in raising the dead.

    I love your last line. When I read it I said, “Me too!”

  3. Jim,
    This is so powerful – and the message can and should be received and taken to heart by every believer – I can sure apply it to my own life and career…wow…I have personally witnessed the power released when men of God take these principles to heart – and the destruction brought about when they are violated…. But most important, I want to aplly them to myself! Thanks, pastor! – tom

  4. We are a family of ministers for The Lord and what you state is true for each and every one who truly follows The Lord.

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