A High Calling

October 14, 2012

A High Calling

                  The call to the ministry is the highest calling there is.  If a man leaves the ministry for any other type of work he has to take a step down.  Ephesians 4:11-12 says “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;   for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”  In Philippians 3:14 the Apostle Paul called it “the high calling of God.”  A pastor is deserving of respect, but that doesn’t mean that he is superior to those around him.

Since it is a high calling, the qualifications are high.  No one should attempt to serve in the pastorate if he doesn’t feel the calling of God.  In I Timothy 1:12 the Apostle Paul said “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.”

A pastor also needs a good education.  If he doesn’t like to read and study it’s hard to believe that he is called to the ministry.  Some ask if it’s absolutely necessary that a pastor have a high school education.  That depends on where he is going to serve.  If he is serving a congregation where few, if any, have a high school education, then he might qualify without it.  In the day in which we live it’s doubtful that anyone will find a congregation where that is the case.  All are handicapped without a high school education.  Not only does he need a high school education, he also needs a college and seminary education.  In some cases, a man can serve without finishing his seminary training, but it’s always to his advantage if he does.  If he hasn’t, he should take advantage of every opportunity he has to take additional seminary courses.  It is his education that qualifies him, not his diploma.

Another requirement of a servant of the Lord is that he should have a good measure of self discipline.  That’s what the word “temperance” means in II Peter 1:6.  Most often a pastor doesn’t have someone telling him what to do every day.  Without self discipline, it’s easy to neglect completing every day’s responsibilities.  He needs to be disciplined in the use of his time.   A man who can’t get to church a few minuets before the service starts, shows a lack of self discipline.  A pastor needs to discipline the use of his time in the preparation of messages and Bible studies and in visitation.  He also needs self discipline in his personal life.  That includes keeping himself clean and well dressed as well as his appetites.  The same can be said in regard to his wife.  Some men meet the qualifications for the ministry, but unfortunately their wives are a hindrance to them and may even disqualify them.

The servant of the Lord should have a love for people.  He is called to serve others and not to be served.  There are times when he needs to sacrifice of his time and money to serve those who have a need.

A man of God must have integrity.  He needs to have high moral standards.  Many look to him for advice when they need to make decisions.  He needs the wisdom of God to give them good advice.  It is devastating when a pastor is guilty of immorality. Unbelievers take it as an excuse for rejecting Christianity.  Believers are left defeated and discouraged

If one feels that God is calling him into the ministry he should talk to his pastor.  He should ask his pastor if he thinks that he has the qualifications for the ministry.  If his pastor thinks that he is qualified, it’s almost certain that he will encourage and help him.

When possible, Christians and churches should give support, as needed, and encouragement to Bible college and seminary students.  If he is a man with a family, he has to make a lot of sacrifices.  It’s hard for him to work, study, and take time for his family.  Some men are able to complete their seminary training because their wives are working.

It is unfortunate that there is a great lack of servants of God.  Jesus said “The harvest is plenteous, but the labourers are few.  Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38).  We need to obey the command of Christ and pray that he would send labourers into his harvest field.  There is a great need of more missionaries as well as pastors.  In the book of James we read “Ye have not because ye ask not” (James 4:2).

 

Our E-mail address is rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

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