5/16/2011 8:38 AM
According to the Bible, what determines whether or not someone should be / is a pastor?
Is it education? College Degrees? Age? Meeting demoninational standards? Popularity? Experience? Gender? :-)
What determines whether or not someone should be a pastor, elder or spiritual leader in God's Church has everything to do with the calling, choosing and anointing of God Himself!
How did the mainstream church's thinking get so twisted in this country? How do people rationalize what the Bible says verses the way we've 'institutionalized' God's church?
Jesus called His disciples.(And He still does.) He 'called' ordinary, uneducated people. Their credentials weren't from some name-dropping institution. Their credentials were that they had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Their credentials were that they had been personally called and then trained by Jesus Himself.
I'm not anti-education by any means. But I do believe that there is an over-focus on formal education and degrees, and because of that, the Church in America has clouded and even ignored the most important biblical aspect about church leadership; the fact that the most important thing we should be looking for, encouraging and raising up are people who clearly have the calling of God right in our own local churches.
We should be looking around inside our churches and see who is already doing the work of a pastor (without the title). I never made the decision to be a pastor. It felt more like I just woke up one day and realized that was who God made me. Our job as the church is to to look for what God is doing in our midst. Only He can make someone a pastor or church leader. The church's job is to acknowledge, encourage and become an active part in HIS work!
I have seen too many people who have degrees and titles to be pastors, but not seen the calling or heart of a pastor evident in them. And I have also seen many people who I know are indeed pastors, but have never been acknowledged or encouraged in any way by the Church.
Our system is backwards to me. The Church should be the fertile ground for many pastors to be acknowledged and raised up! There are some churches that are doing an amazing job with this, Christian Community Church is one that comes to mind immediately. They are doing an awesome job of seeing the calling of God on individual lives and then giving them training and encouragement to do what God has called them to do!
I can't wait to see our church raise up more pastors! We have raised up one and have several more that we see God has in the making! It's exciting and I know, in time, God is going to make our church fertile ground for raising up MANY pastors!
I personally believe that (besides the obvious), one of the most important tests that any pastor should be required (by law?) to take is an emotional intelligence (EI) test. Because of the intensity of full time ministry, one has to be very emotionally stable. I've seen too many 'pastors' lose it because of the fact that they were not secure and stable in this area. The spiritual warfare is so incredibly intense at times and our emotional well-being will be sifted like sand.
Also, a pastor has too much power and influence in the lives of others and if he or she is not emotionally stable, well, disaster can and will follow!
And that brings me back to the calling of God. There's no way I could have survived in ministry this long if it wasn't for God's calling on my life. There is no doubt in my mind that with His calling, He gives that person supernatural power to sustain them.
It is His supernatural power that I depend on every day in order to do what I do. I couldn't survive a day without it and I know most pastors would agree.
I think it's time for the Church as a whole to get back to making God the focus of everything they do. There's too much focus on making 'leaders' and superstar pastors in this country. There needs to be more focus on the calling and power of God, and not making it all about how great the leader should be. When it comes to the church, it doesn't all rise and fall on leadership. It all rises and falls on God doing what God's going to do. He can use anyone He chooses to use. A lowly shepherd (David), a murderer (Moses), fisherman (Peter), or a woman He meets at a well, or even someone like me!
I write this to encourage those who know (on some level) that they are called by God but are continuing to allow the voice of the enemy to convince them that they are not worthy. I used to use that excuse for years with God. Then, one day, He simply said: "I know you are not worthy! It's not about you. It's about what I am going to do through you despite your flaws and shortcomings."
It’s hard to argue with that. In truth, it’s hard to argue with God at all for very long. :-) So what is God calling you to do friend? Is it all about you, or is it all about what He can do through you? Don’t let the voice of the enemy drown out the voice of God! Activate your faith by saying yes to the call He has placed on your life!