Pastors are crucial to God’s work. As we endeavor to plant churches, we must have more men of God. But where do we find them?
Have you ever considered where pastors come from? It may seem like a weird question at first glance, yet it is vital that we know the answer.
Pastors are crucial to God’s work. They are the under-shepherds of local assemblies leading in the stead of Christ. Pastors are called to lead, feed, guide, and protect the flock of God.Faithful pastors are worth more than their weight in gold. (And for some, that's a lot of gold!) Click To Tweet
A Church’s success in obeying the Lord is significantly affected by her pastor. Churches tend to take on the personality, passion, and position of their pastors. This is a blessing with a Godly, faithful, and committed man of God. Also, it can be a curse with an ungodly, unmotivated, or unfaithful pastor.
A church that lacks vision, clarity, doctrine, energy, etc. usually has someone at the helm who isn’t providing them. A church that has drive, sound doctrine, passion, urgency, soul winning ministries, baptisms, etc. has a faithful pastor leading the way.
A critic may complain that we are placing too much emphasis on the pastor. “What about Christ?” they ask. Of course, the Lord is the head of the church. He is the founder, builder, and protector of His Bride. But don’t forget that it was our Lord’s idea to commission pastors to lead the flock.
The Bible warns against pastors who fail in their holy calling.
Jeremiah 23:1 “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.”
Faithful pastors are worth more than their weight in gold. (And for some, that’s a lot of gold!)
Proverbs 20:6 “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: But a faithful man who can find?”
As a church planting
If we had the funds to start 100 churches this year, we don’t have 100 trained or proven men ready to pastor. How can we change that? SNE is working on solutions to these issues and creating partnerships that should help. We will share many exciting strategies in the future. Stay tuned!
WHERE ARE THE MEN OF GOD?
Our Lord did not stop calling and equipping men for ministry work. There are two primary answers for the lack of ministry candidates.
1. God has created preachers, but they haven’t heard the call yet.
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”
Men of God are created from the womb. God’s plan for their life is to serve Him in ministry. This decision was made before they were even conceived.
The path to surrender is different for everyone. Some recognize the call early in life and some as adults. Future pastors are walking the Earth now that have not yet understood God’s call. Perhaps God wants you to surrender your life to Him for ministry work. Have you ever considered that option?
Every child of God should be surrendered to do whatever God wants them to do. Make sure that you are fully surrendered to the will of God. Don’t worry about the future. Your job is to submit. God will take care of the details.
2. God has called men who have not surrendered.
My friend, I fear that our churches are peppered with men who are out of God’s will. Some have sensed the call of God at some point but rejected it. We must pray that God would stir His people to revival and surrendered service!
Perhaps some men surrendered to ministry but got off track along the way. Perhaps life seemed out of their control when marriage, children, bills, responsibilities of life, etc. entered their lives and took over.
Maybe someone is reading this article thinking that it’s too late for you to fulfill God’s call. My friend, the gifts and callings of God are without repentance. It’s never too late to get right with God.
When I was in Bible college, a man registered for school who was in his sixties. He was easy to spot since most students were much younger. One day, he gave his testimony. I listened intently as he explained that his children had attended our college. He surrendered to the will of God to be in ministry after all of his kids were grown. Eventually, he graduated and had useful years in God’s work. I still have great respect for that man when I think of him.If you are not in God's will today, don't languish for the rest of your earthly life in rebellion. Surrender today. Click To Tweet
If you are not in God’s will today, don’t languish for the rest of your earthly life in rebellion. Surrender today. Get on your knees this very moment. Ask God for forgiveness and new direction as you yield to Him anew. He will forgive your sin and give you a fresh vision. If you are still breathing, God’s not done with you yet!
WHERE DO WE FIND MORE PASTORS?
Pastors are not created in factories. They can’t be purchased in a store. Pastors come from our churches. Independent Baptist pastors must come from Independent Baptist churches. SNE is not in the business of starting nondenominational, contemporary, or emerging churches. God’s plan is for each organism to reproduce after its kind. We need fundamental Baptist pastors in New England!
Pastors take time to develop after they are called by God. Some men want the position of pastor without the qualifications. Pastors must be qualified with wisdom, godliness, and experience to be successful. The Bible qualifications found in Titus chapter one and 1 Timothy chapter three are still necessary. Scripture warns us against ordaining men for the ministry before they are ready.
1 Timothy 5:22 “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.”
Consider the seven steps of development necessary for a man to become a pastor.
- Salvation – As we win men and boys to the Lord, we increase the number of potential future pastors.
- Baptism – If someone isn’t willing to follow the Lord in believer’s baptism, they stunt their Christian growth.
- Discipleship – The saved, baptized believer must be taught the fundamentals of the faith and demonstrate faithfulness to God’s house.
- Service – God calls those who are already busy. We need faithful men who are serving in their local churches under the direction of their pastors.
- Surrender – God will call some of those who are saved, baptized, discipled, and serving. They will sense the call to preach or pastor. At this point, they must be willing to set aside their dreams and ambitions for the work of God. Complete surrender is the next step of the pastoral journey.
- Training – Everything learned up to this point is insufficient for ministry work. Deep Bible learning and specific ministry training must be furnished by a pastor or Bible college.
- Appointment – The candidate is recommended to a church and called by the membership to become their pastor.
Can you see the dilemma? Pastors don’t grow on trees! It takes time for them to prepare for ministry. Pastors are special people who must be divinely called and specially trained for ministry work.
How can we speed up the process of ministry preparation without reducing quality? Are we using the tools and technology available to our advantage? How can we increase the number of possible ministry candidates? SNE is working with others to address these questions. God is opening some unique doors that may help!
Since pastors don’t grow on trees, what can we do? Consider these five items we can do right now to increase the number of available pastoral candidates in the near future.
1. Pray for laborers.
Our Lord Jesus gave us one prayer request. We must pray diligently for laborers. How much time do you spend praying for God to send laborers to your church or region?
Satan works overtime to distract, discourage, and disqualify people for ministry. We must pray fervently for men to be saved, sanctified, surrendered, and serving!
2. Preach the Word.
Real men are attracted to strong preaching. Soft preaching is a manhood repellent. Tickling the ears may get you a crowd, but it won’t get you sold-out disciples.
Give people sound doctrine. Speak the Truth in love, preach the Word, and let God sort out the details. Preaching still changes lives.
3. Practice personal soul winning.
Get off the couch and go. Leave the office and seek for sinners. Hyper-Calvinistic doctrine is killing churches. Lazy preachers are an insult to the calling. The Great Commission is to GO.
Win souls. Give the Gospel to every living creature. Beg God for men and boys to be saved. Disciple men in the faith.
4. Promote the ministry.
Only God can call someone into the ministry, but we can create an atmosphere where God can work more effectively.
Talk about the privilege of serving God. Tell stories of men who God used to make a difference. Teach parents that it is an honor if God calls their children into ministry work. Declare that serving God is the greatest calling in this life. Invite people to surrender their lives to God. Make God’s business the biggest business in the whole world!
5. Partner with ministries.
Ministries like Save New England will strengthen your church and grow your people. Take people to
Bring in missionaries and church planters to preach in your church. Take young people to conferences and rallies where invitations to full-time service will be given. Create an evangelistic culture in your church. Make global outreach and partnerships with those doing the job an element of the church’s DNA.
The world needs to hear of the Good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That means the world needs more churches full of surrendered Christians to spread the Word. Therefore, need more Spirit-filled, doctrinally sound,
Where will we find them?
Pastors don’t grow on trees. They grow in churches like yours and mine. Let’s do our part. Let’s ask God for hundreds of faithful men ready to start or pastor strong,
Get more information about the Save New England Quarterly Magazine HERE.
Save New England is growing! We are expanding the following partnerships:
- Church Planter
- Supporting Pastor
- Pastoral Candidate
- Mission Board Representative
- Personal Donor
- Helps Ministry
- Staff Intern Candidate
You can apply to partner with us at SaveNewEngland.org/apply. We will contact you to follow up.