Are You Making This Mistake in Your Quest to Become a Pastor? Find Out Why Full-Time Ministry Might Not Be Your Calling!
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I meet a lot of people who romanticize full time ministry – (being a paid pastor) Some already have careers but feel like that their lives would count so much more if they were able to spend all of their time “Serving God.” Others have not yet started in their careers but are convinced that full time vocational ministry is where they belong.
Many Christians see full tvocational ministry as the ultimate way to serve God. But in my experience, there are often more people who want to be pastors than there are opportunities for them. I work with a network of 120 churches. When one of our churches needs a new pastor, they often receive 200 resumes from men who want the job. I actually think that many of you should stop trying to land a ministry position. Here are four reasons why:
1. Desire is not enough to be in full time vocational ministry.
You love God. Your life has been changed. You want to serve him with every moment of your time by being a pastor. But It takes much more than desire to be effective in vocational ministry. Consider this three-fold test of whether or not you should pursue vocational ministry – Desire, Affirmation, and Opportunity.
1 Timothy 3:1 shows that Desire is an important competent for church leadership in general. But desire alone won’t land you a paid ministry position. Wanting to impact people by being a pastor is only one component of what is needed.
How have you been affirmed that you are gifted for vocational ministry? Who has affirmed you? (Your mom isn’t enough) In what context have you been affirmed? An old Afghan Proverb says “If you think you’re leading and no one is following you, then you’re only taking a walk.” A lot of people who want to be pastors are taking a walk. Ministry Affirmation often comes by looking at who is following you already. But even Desire and Affirmation are not enough to be in vocational ministry.