Called to Ministry

by D Skhosana
(South Africa, Pretoria)

My husband and I feel called into ministry. We feel that we need to establish a church and minister to the lost. After reading these posts I really have my doubts. I am not sure if I really want to go through all of this. It scares me to know that although I really feel strongly in my heart that this is what God wants for us but at the same time I realize that this is not any easy thing to do. I am terrified of the challenges that my husband and I would have to face. I want to serve God and other people but at the same time I know that my husband and I have to give up everything. I want to trust that God will work things out for us but I can't deny how terrified I really feel about this.

I suppose all we have to do is trust God.

What do you recommend we do?

Comments for Called to Ministry

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Additional thought
by: Casey Sabella

Church planting is definitely not for the faint of heart, having done it half a dozen times. It is most certainly a calling - something you are compelled to do with a faith that just won't quit.
If I had to do any of those plants over again however, I would take the time to develop a team first. Perhaps 15-20 individuals who will be in the yoke with you, giving their input, financial support and expertise before you launch. The team approach removes a great deal of the "me-against-the-world" focus that often creates many of the problems you fear. Hope this helps! - Casey Sabella, ministerstoolbox.com

Strong, Humble & realistic
by: Anonymous

I heartily agree with all that was said in the previous reply to you. I think having a healthy "fear" can keep you humble and not have unrealistic expectations as in: Fear God - and serve Him! Yes, it will be hard, but it will be worth it. I will only add to the previous advice of making your marriage and family a priority - make sure you take time to rest, as an individual, a couple and a family. Often we get depleted because we are always pouring into others. Take a vacation - a real time of rest, play and reflection.

By the way, I am one of the people who wrote with a problem. God is able! He is working out all things, nothing is too difficult for Him!

May God's blessing and encouragement be upon you, in Jesus' name, amen.

Be Bold with Humility
by: Daniel - Editor, PastorBurnout.com

I bristle a little bit at the comment made by Anonymous describing the stories on this site as "horror" stories. But I do agree with him/her that there are countless examples of ministries that are not fraught with frustration.

So let me make a suggestion to anyone considering entering pastoral ministry. If you are called by God to do so, enter the pastorate with boldness AND humility. Don't allow these stories to dissuade you, but do let them prepare you.

One of the most traveled paths toward discouragement is paved with unrealistic expectations. Nothing can fully prepare you for what you will experience as a pastor - nothing. But every new pastor needs to brace themselves for the simple fact that people in their congregations are sinful humans. And no amount of preaching will ever change that fact. People in the church are not all going to act like Jesus. In fact, you can assume that each and every one of them (including you) will at times act with complete selfishness.

So I encourage you to read the stories and forum posts on this site to prepare you for the potentials of ministry. Don't let them frighten you. But don't do the worst thing possible: assume that your experience will be completely different.

There is a reason that the following is my favorite description of pastoral ministry: Depending on the day, being a pastor is either the best thing I've ever hated or the worst thing I've ever loved.

Enter pastoral ministry boldly - but with humility.

Encouragement
by: Anonymous

Don't let the stories on this site discourage you. For every horror story there are 1000 stories of God's redemptive power at work. Fear is not from God unless it is a holy reverence for the call on you and your husband's lives.

Here are a few things that will help you on your journey. Never lose sight of Jesus and the reason that you began this journey. Make sure to practice spiritual disciplines. Too often when folks go into pastoral ministry they lose their prayer life and their first love. Get connected with others who are healthy in ministry: leaders who have integrity, love each other and can provide you with appropriate support, guidance and most of all friendship. Last but not least, make sure your marriage is on solid ground, that you're healthy in loving each other. Be purposeful of building in rituals that support putting your family first, before the church: God, family and then all other things. When the order of priorities is mixed up, chaos is the result. Go for it in Jesus Name.

Blessings.

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