Issue #16: The Importance of Calling
I’ve had some rough weeks in pastoral ministry. I bet you have too. Ministry is difficult. Pastoral ministry is especially hard.
That’s why calling is so important. I am convinced that if a pastor doesn’t have a deep sense of the Lord’s calling to serve Him in ministry, he won’t make it the long haul. What else will keep you going during the hard seasons? It won’t be a love for preaching, study, or people. Those will wane. It won’t be your passion for the work of the Lord. That will ebb and flow. There will be days you feel like you can’t go on. The energy isn’t there. The desire has left. Joy isn’t present.
So, what will keep you in the ministry?
Alistair Begg told the story of what keeps him going. He said on Sunday nights, when he’s feeling like a failure and that he’s ready to quit the ministry, he begins walking slowly upstairs, shedding one article of clothing at a time, bemoaning his hard life, and telling his wife that he’s done with the ministry. “Honey, I am done. I am getting another job.” Begg says it’s then that my wife tells me, “Don’t do it, honey. Nobody else wants you.” “That’s just the encouragement I need to keep going” says Begg. Ha!
For everyone who is not Alistair Begg, we need a deep sense of calling. We must believe that God has placed a claim on our lives to preach the gospel and shepherd His people. That’s the only thing that will keep us going during the hard times.
I am not going to give an in-depth biblical defense of the pastor’s calling. But I will say that God called the prophets. Jesus called the disciples. And Paul said that if a man “aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task” (1st Timothy 3:1). The gift of aspiration and desire come from the Lord.
I’ve staked my ministry on this conviction. God’s call is what has kept me preaching and pastoring. My prayer is that you would sense a deep conviction that God has called you, and that when times get tough, you would have the confidence to stand upon the irrevocable calling of Christ.
I benefited greatly from coaching, and I think you can as well. If you’re interested in pastoral coaching, check out this information page on our website. Fill out the questionnaire and give us a call. We’d love to talk more about this opportunity with you.
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