The Called One's
I was once asked by a zealous Bible student, "How did you know that you were called of God?" After my initial internal retort ("Insolent young man!"), I answered the only way I could. "I just knew."
During a Christian summer camp the same year I was born again, I felt the Lord’s "call" into full-time ministry. I was twelve years old. Though many years ago, that day remains fresh and precious in my memory. Most of you who read this book and/or complete the course that accompanies the text, will recall similar times when Jesus warmed your hearts and pressed upon your spirit to serve him with all your heart.
The sureness of your call must be without question, and tested through life experience. Your certainty must be absolute if you will fulfill your ministry as a spiritual leader.
Once assured of your call, preparation for the task should follow. I say "should," because many a man or woman of God began Christian ministry without the assurance of training, which can, and often does lead to tragic results.
Finally, you will begin your shepherding ministry, the task of being a pastor or faithfully serving in another Five-Fold Ministry gifted office. As in most endeavors in life, you will begin with great enthusiasm, zeal and anticipation. Truly, the ministry of the preaching of the Gospel of Christ is the most exciting adventure ever designed by God. But it is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. The responsibilities and challenges can be burdensome at best.
For example, the responsibility of administration can be overwhelming, the counseling load seemingly endless. By God’s grace, power, and anointing, we can all fulfill his specific mandate upon our life. This book, written, to shepherds (or "becoming-one's") from a shepherd’s viewpoint, will hopefully help you avoid some of the problems and pitfalls of pastoral ministry and prepare you more fully for the great task at hand.What To Expect
In this book, the reader will first encounter the primary relationships and functions that are inherent in ministry, and especially pastoral ministry. They will include:
- The Pastor and His God
- The Pastor and himself
- The Pastor and his family
- The Pastor and his church
- The Pastor and his pulpit
- The Pastor and his friends
- The Pastor and his time
The second section of this book will survey in greater detail the pastoral role and function, and review some of the "nuts and bolts" of active ministry. Included in this section are:
- the Pastor as father or servant-leader
- the Pastor as administrator
- the Pastor and his programs
- the Pastor in public life
- the Pastor as counselor or caregiver
- the Pastor and pastoral pitfalls
- the Pastor and his passion.
It is my hope as a writer, pastor and educator, to present this material in such a way that it will be both inspirational, as well as guide the leader into a greater revelation of his or her role in the Body of Christ. One of the cries of the Church in the 1990’s is to see true leaders emerge who will have the heart of God and an understanding of what it means to be a true servant-leader. The church needs leaders who will shepherd the people of God into a greater knowledge and understanding of the Lord Jesus Christ. I trust that God will bless you as you continue in your journey as a leader in the House of God.