CALLED--CALLED TO BE A PASTOR

 

1. Is it in the Bible?

"CALLED" Yes.

"CALLED TO BE A PASTOR" No.

2. What do we believe it means?

God calls some people to the ministry. He calls some people to be pastors.

3. What does it really mean?

We believe and experience the idea that only a handful of people are "minister" in the church. This causes us to read the Bible in some odd ways!

One could read Ephesians chapter 4 and make it fit our experience--it goes something like this....

"1 ¶ I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.......
........ 11 And he gave..........some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"

(I don't read the Bible this way--do you? But experience teaches it this way!)

Experiential Bible teaching makes us skip the "uncomfortable" verses that say we are all called....

2 ¶ With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

 

Experience makes us emphasize small words that "fit" our preconceived notions. We ignore all the Bible states about these gifts of ministry being "in all" and the "calling" all have. these verses are for all believers, not just "some". The word "some" is highlighted (although it is a Greek word which actually means "amen"-!) by the eyes of experience.

 

If we dared to read Ephesians 4 with an open mind and heart (something which you may be surprised, very few "ministers" have ever done!) we would receive an incredible revelation.

We have a generous God.

Ephesians 4 says we are all called to serve God. He has placed these ministry gifts in all of us. God is in all of us and since ministry is God, operating thru us--ministry is in all of us. At the same time, we have different gifts. My gift is not the same as yours. they are meant to work together. (Have you ever seen ministry gifts working together?--not likely--when we say these gifts are "ruler ships"-!)

the categories of these ministry functions are:

1. those sent with the Gospel in small groups.

2. those who speak the Word God gives us.

3. those who witness the Gospel as individuals.

4. those who guide others within the church.

5. those who teach others within the church.

the mission of all these gifts, working together in all of us--is to spread the gospel ("edify the Body"--build up the Body--add new members--get people saved--)

the ministry gifts are a description of how Jesus operated His ministry.

Jesus worked with a small group of common people. They served others. they fed the poor--prayed for the sick--prayed for those who needed deliverance--visited the homeless and the needy. they encouraged others to minister with them. they operated under the authority of God the Father. the church in the Bible did the same--except that the risen Christ was now the Head of the Church.

the church in he Bible imitated Christ's ministry, much much better than we do. they did it imperfectly--which is to be expected from us imperfect humans. The church should not look so perfect--it should be not-pre-ordained. It should simply do the best it can to imitate Jesus, and seek Hid direction on a day-to-day basis.

This would be true new covenant ministry.

Ministry is something we all have--yet it is vital and important to God and His purposes. It should not be hindered or limited. But our experience calls for only "some" to be in ministry--only "some to be "called".