I know you have heard the phrase “Buyer, beware!” To those in ministry or are considering a “career” in ministry, I have a few things I have learned that I would like to pass on. I am not an expert on these issues, but I think these things can be helpful.
First, let me say that if you can do anything else then do it! I’m not saying to run from the call. If you are called and you’re doing something else, God will stay on your case. I fought it during my teenage years. When times got tough, I would look at myself in the mirror and say these words – “Remember the call!”
Second, remember that the people to whom you minister are just as human as you. You will disappoint them and they will disappoint you. If you don’t have patience going into ministry, you better develop it. Another thing to remember – God is patient with you, so pass that on to others.
Third, there is no perfect situation. The more a church tries to pass itself off as perfect, the more you should beware. My experience has been that it was easier to go into a situation where the church was honest about its problems than to go where they talked about how great they were. Pray it through and know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God wants you to be there.
Fourth, it is never worth it to make a move at the cost of losing your family. The devil is working overtime against you anyway. If your family is not on board, you are likely to affect a church and everyone in your household. If you are unmarried and the lady you are considering to be your wife doesn’t support your calling, you better find someone who does. Otherwise, you’re destroyed before you even start.
I have seen a lot of good people go into ministry either unprepared or not called. They don’t have the strength to endure the battle scars, so many quit.
Don’t be among the casualties! Beware! Go in with eyes wide open! Know that your enemy is not the people who come against you. Your enemy is the devil who wants to devour you. But remember, God is greater than your enemy!
7 thoughts on “Preacher, Beware!”
This is a very useful post that I hope is taken seriously. I’m a teacher of the Word who has not been called to full time ministry. I have had some ask why I don’t pastor a church and I tell them it is because I’m not called to pastor and I would kill them spiritually. I would be a went one and not a sent one.
Not everyone knows the difference, but we have to be obedient to the way God has wired us.
Hi Matthew I enjoyed this. A true call is very important. I am with Patrick some ask me that also. I have prayed often God would call me to preach but He has not. So I just try to answer the calls I get which are actually plenty.
Good post, Matthew. All good points. Funny thing, there have been so many times I’ve wanted to leave the pastorate – or maybe just this church – for a host of different reasons. Yet, God would always turn my heart and remind me of my calling. Ultimately, for the truly called, nothing else we can do will leave us fulfilled. Nothing else will satisfy our desire to be in the front line of this spiritual conflict. We are leaders, warriors, it’s in our DNA, even when we find ourselves discouraged. If there was anything else I could do, I’d consider it; but there’s nothing…woe unto me if I preach not the gospel!
Anthony, I remember looking myself in the mirror many days and saying two words – the call. Then I would walk out the door and do what needed to be done. My one pastorate was a difficult one. About 25 percent of the church had it out for me early on. I had to address a very tender issue which the rest commended me for addressing in the way I did. Sadly, people get hurt even when pastors do what is in the best interest of the church. I may have stayed and continued to push through had my marriage not crumbled and depleted my emotional energy. Still today, I fulfill some of my giftedness through being a hospice chaplain but it is not the same as being a pastor. Some say I’m done. I’ll let God make the final call.
Wow. Sounds like you and I would enjoy a blogger coffee day 🙂 Ever come through Chattanooga make sure you let me know.