what qualifies a man for the pastorate


I originally wrote a version of this post over a year ago (for another website), when three close friends and I were actively seeking God about how we were supposed to respond to God’s call to the ministry.  This is something that I need to continually remind myself of, especially in this season of intentional preparation for ministry in the local church.

What ultimately qualifies someone for the pastorate?  Is it an MDiv?  Sound position papers on hot theological topics?  The ability to preach?  The respect of the congregation?  A strong desire?  Age and experience?  While all of these things are good, they are not ultimately what qualifies someone for the pastorate.  At the root, the question should be who, not what, qualifies a man for the pastorate.

It is God who qualifies a pastor.  When a man aspires to, qualifies, and takes up a pastoral office, it is not because of how holy or skilled he is.  Rather, like all of existence, it is about how big and glorious God is.  God chooses to use one of his sheep to shepherd the flock, ministering His Word through a sinful clump of dust.  God takes a God-hating individual, who is justly under His wrath and headed towards hell, and God makes this man a pastor. God puts a desire for eldership in this man’s heart and gives him sound thinking about God, His Word, the Church, and the world.  God sparks in this man an unquenchable passion for God and His people.  God puts a burning in this man’s heart to preach the Word, so that he can do no else.  God makes this man a true shepherd to his own wife and children, making their home a sanctuary of worship.  God opens up opportunities for this man to gain experience and training in the local church, and God places recognizable authority in him and keeps him humble.  God calls this man to the pulpit of a church to shepherd a particular body of believers.  God sustains this man in every trial of the ministry, laboring through him as a testimony of Christ’s servant leadership.  Pastoring is the work of God through fallen flesh, just like any God glorifying work.  God alone qualifies a man for the pastorate, and nothing else.  It is important for us to remember this and be humbled by it as we aspire to such an awesome and impossible task.

10 days left to enter the drawing for a free copy of Calvin’s Institutes!


One Response to “what qualifies a man for the pastorate”

  1. Jeff,
    A good word to be reminded of in such a poignant way. I agree totally. One thing which could be expanded on (among many worthy ones) is the fact God chooses us and uses other former heathen to confirm us as one worthy of being their examples on the way to being Christlike i.e.: “Christians.” They actually are choosing someone to be a model for their lives because Jesus said when one of us is mature, we will be like our teacher. That is why we must not set ourselves up as model Christians but point people to Jesus as the Teacher.
    Keep the faith, faint not, for we know we shall reap!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: