How can I know if I am called to pastoral ministry?

 

God’s design for Church leadership is for each individual congregation to be led by a group of men designated as elders. 

Elder is the title for the leadership position, whereas overseer and pastor are terms used for the work of the leader. Evidence would indicate that the terms elder, overseer and pastor all refer to the same person/leader (I Peter 5:1-2; Titus 1:5,7; Ephesians 4:11). The fact that the title elder is primarily used in the plural form in the NT (e.g. Acts 14:5; Titus 1:5; James 5:14) indicates that the ruling body in each local church was a plurality of godly men identified as elders. Although women will minister in many ways related to the ministry of elders, Scripture forbids women from holding the office of elder in the local Church (I Timothy 2:11-13; 3:1-2, 4). I realize that this position is not widely held anymore, but I cannot be honest with the Scripture referenced and reach another conclusion.

How can one know if God has called him to this honorable work?

 The following considerations are important:

7 points about calling
:

  1. Desire to serve as an overseer (I Timothy 3:1)
  2. Qualification for eldership (I Timothy 3:1-6;Titus 1:5ff)
  3. Life experience in leadership (I Timothy 3:4-5)
  4. Demonstration of a shepherd’s heart (I Peter 5:1-4)
  5. Spiritual giftedness (I Timothy 4:14;Romans 12:3ff.)
  6. Capable of being a team member (plural leadership is God’s design– Acts 14:23; 20:17,28; I Tim.3:1ff; 5:17; Eph. 4:11; I Pet.5:1-4)
  7. Formal testing and recognition by spiritual leaders (Titus 1:5,9;Acts 14:23)

The qualifications listed in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1 along with the objective considerations above must be given authority over feelings, experiences and giftedness. On this account, it’s possible to disqualify oneself from fulfilling a call.

10 points on the role of pastors:

For a clearer understanding of the duties of pastoral leadership, consider the following:

  1. Training and appointing other leaders (II Tim. 2:2; Titus 1:5; Acts 14:23)
  2. Leadership, admonishment (I Thess. 5:12; Heb. 13:17)
  3. Ministering the Word (Titus 1:9; I Tim. 5:17; Heb. 13:7)
  4. Representation (Acts 20:17)
  5. Spiritual oversight (Heb. 13:17)
  6. Governing the believers (I Tim. 5:17)
  7. Equipping (Eph. 4:11-12)
  8. Spiritual restoration (Gal. 6:1-2)
  9. Refuting false doctrine (Titus 1:9)
  10. Guarding the flock (Acts 20:17, 28-31)


Steve Cornell

About Wisdomforlife

Just another field worker in God's field.
This entry was posted in Call to ministry, Calling, Church Leadership, Elders, Leadership, Pastors. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to How can I know if I am called to pastoral ministry?

  1. Kathy Logan says:

    I was called to the ministry, but according to these references, the fact that I am female, prohibits me to serve. Luckily, my denomination (Presbyterian) doesn’t limit God’s calling to those just of the male gender.

    • I realize that my view on this is not very popular and no offense is intended. I just have difficulty making an honest interpretation and application of I Timothy 2:11-13 and reaching another conclusion. How do you think this text should be understood?

      • Rose says:

        What about Gal 3:28 and the first chapter of Romans? (there are more…) Before i was formed in the womb He ordained me, this is before my gender/body was in existence. why should my calling and purpose change because my body is present? didn’t God declare the end from the beginning? what about Deborah and the daughters of Philip? does a prophetess not have authority?

  2. Tamera Brady says:

    I have a serious concern regarding a pastors gifts/qualifications.. When a long time (10yrs) member of the church looses a spouse (whom was close friends with this pastor)- is it required that the pastor do or be present at the funeral of this deceased man- or to go ahead and drive the 6 hour drive that he and his wife has planned for a vacation?
    Also- isnt it the responsibility (or even just a godly response) for this pastor to approach the widow and/or the children (which in this case the 9 yr old son who witnessed the accident of his father in front of his home)
    And at least hug them and say how sorry he is?
    I ask this because i (-as well as many members) were neauseas that this pastor didnt do. When asked by the devastated widow (who was in dire need of a shepherds loving hand and concern for she and her family.. Even a word of encouragemnt would have been soothing-reassuring)- His response was-” its just not my personality” …
    I am wondering if this church (not alot of deep spiritual growth ) isnt the one for she and her kids.? Should she leave her spiritual family and find another church to grow in and get the support a widow n her children need?
    Is she wrong in her thinking- or should this pastor be approached with his weak shepherding “traits”?
    Just looking for answers….

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