Reforming the training of pastors (1)
(First in a series.)
Some people still today quote Spurgeon advising a man to do anything he can to flee the ministry, and that no man should become a pastor unless he finds he can’t do anything else.
That’s one way to look at it.
Another is the Apostle Paul’s straightforward statement that the man who aspires to be a pastor desires a “good thing” (1Timothy 3:1). Desiring focussed on a “good thing” indicates the aspiration itself is good.
So then, if you desire to pastor/pasture/shepherd the sheep our Lord purchased with His Own blood, well done you!
Like Her Bridegroom, the Church Herself is glorious. Part of Her glory is that God has made Her responsive to her pastors. She showers them with endless gifts issuing from the sheep’s gratitude and love. Thirty-five years of pastoral work stand behind this testimony.
Beyond the blessings she showers on her pastors personally, watching the Church bearing much fruit also gives him joy. She lives by faith, she bears fruit, she grows in sanctification, and her shepherd’s happiness and contentment increase. What a gift from God it is for pastors to be able to observe our work in the Body of Christ used by the Holy Spirit to accomplish such glorious fruit!
These are just some of the reasons for the Apostle Paul to assure men who desire to pasture God’s flock that what they want and hope for is a “good thing.”
Maybe you aspire to this calling? If so, this is the first in a series of posts discussing the sort of training you should seek. You must be trained, and an essential component of that training is being tested concerning your gifting and qualifications.
As you choose where (which is to say, from whom) to get your training, think about the training documented in Scripture. Samuel had his Eli. The “company of prophets” had Samuel. Timothy and Titus had the Apostle Paul.
John Mark also had the Apostle Paul.
My first recommendation is that you not entrust your preparation and instruction to scholars and their legacy institutions of higher education. Rather, get your preparation in the local church, from pastors. If you’re able to use a pastors college, do so.
Why a pastors college?
It will take several posts to explain. We’ll begin with our next post in this series.
(First in a series. To be continued.)