So You Want to Be a Pastor?

I’m going to sound a little harsh in this post, so please bear with me.  Seekers and born-again a-like need to be discerning when choosing a church body to attend or join.

I understand because for years, it was the desire of my heart to serve the LORD as a M.Div carrying, denominationally ordained official pastor.  It never happened, and after a trip to Seattle that ended in 2009, the LORD made it clear to me that wasn’t the path He had for me.  To say the least, I was disappointed.

Now after a year,  I happened on some versus in Ezekial. First of all, really quickly, what is a pastor?  Today a pastor is a catch-all term for the leader, teacher, and most often than not chief administrator of the church organization.  But in the strict definition of a pastor, a pastor is simply a shepherd.  He leads the sheep who do not know any better.  He or she takes care of them and loves them.  When they wander off, the shepherd goes after them.  He searches high and low relentlessly for the lost sheep.

Just as there are good and bad people.  There are good and bad pastors.  Yes, bad pastors with positions in card carrying churches all across the world.  Here is what GOD had to say to these pastors in Ezekial:

Ezekial 34:

Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 45 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. 6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.

A good pastors really loves the people in his/her church.  It’s best if the pastor is a person of means and is self-supporting.  That way he does not feed on the flock itself.  I can’t say I’ve ever joined a church where the pastor really knew me by name and cared for me in a genuine relationship.  There have been great pastors that taught me many things from the Bible, but that didn’t really help me at those times.  I really needed someone to care and understand me.

That brings me to my last points.  Well, some pastors might say, the church is too large for me to care for everyone.  Then perhaps your ministry is too large.  It’s been said often that a pastor is not the dictator of the church but simply one of the elders with the responsibility of feeding the flock with GOD’s word (able to teach).  I don’t know the situations church bodies are in around the world, but from my experience that model would have worked better in the churches I attended before.  I’ve also been to churches where pastors were ordained but they did not have families or did not prove to rule their families well.  Disqualified, in my book, your book, everyone’s Bible.  The man of the house is the ‘little pastor’ behind Christ.  The family unit is foundational.  If your own household is not loved, ruled well, directed, provided for you have not reached the point to pastor a church.  And to those who grew up in harsh, tough, family environments such as myself,  I’ve had to re-learn how to rule my kids in a loving, gentle yet firm and effective way.  Chinese parents often yell, guilt, intimidate, demean, and withhold from their kids in order to better control them.  I’ve had to throw these experiences out, call them wrong according to the Word of GOD, forgive my parents, and re-learn better, truly effective ways of parenting.  One ‘tip’ is to give your kids the most freedom you can, and see yourself as helping your kids grow. They are people from day one just like you.  They don’t have all the powers and abilities that you do, but that doesn’t mean they are stupid and useless.  When you ‘serve’ them and help them grow up well into who GOD wants them to be, they will be thankful to you and will help you back.  Isn’t that really what we want anyways?

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