Revisiting the Call

Recognizing the Call
It is undeniable that Pastoral Ministry is demanding, taxing and unpredictable. A pastor is expected to fulfill numerous roles; but if not careful, he/she might overlook what is most vital, fundamental and necessary.
When God calls a pastor, He calls him primarily to spend time with Him, preach, evangelize and manifest His love and compassion to mankind. Mark 3:14, 15 says, “Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons:” (italics supplied for emphasis). The secret and excitement to ministry is found in spending time getting to know Christ. The pastor who makes it his/her business in knowing Christ will have much to say of that daily encounter.

Recognizing that which Distracts from the Call
A pastor must recognize that while there is a building to be built or a church wing to be added, it is not his/her primary calling. The same could be argued for handling the church’s checkbook, counseling members and transporting members, etc. As necessary and important as these are, they may take away from the main role of the pastor and that his spiritual development and equipping of the members. I must admit that, looking back, I have ben guilty of doing too many things that others within the body would have been willing to do. At times, I failed to train and help members recognize their giftedness; and did not release them for usefulness in the various roles of the church.

Recognizing the need for a Daily Reminder of the Call
In Acts 6, it is said that when the church responsibility increased, the members sought out “seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom” to “appoint over this business.” This was done so that the apostles might give themselves “continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:3,4, NKJV). Could it be that pastors are dabbling in too many things and that the most important is being neglected? To the extent that we pastors are spiritual will be the extent that our churches will be spiritual. Chuck Swindle makes the point that a brain surgeon, a lawyer, a politician and a salesman can cheat and be immoral and still be successful at what he or she does, but not so for the pastor. He says, “You cannot do those things as a Christian or a minister and continue enjoying the Lord’s blessing” (Rise and Shine, p. 198). So it “boils down” to our time with God. I cannot overemphasize the need for quality time with God, for herein lies the secret and success of ministry. When first things are placed first, we as pastors will be effective in visiting and meeting the needs of members without being distracted. Also, we will not hide behind sermon preparation or unnecessary business. Pastoral ministry is first about getting to know God, so that we may get to know His people and lead them into a personal relationship with Him.