Pastoral Training

Is Pastoral “Desire” a Qualification for Ministry?

Reposted, with permission, from DBTS Blog.

The question of a pastoral “call to ministry,” reminiscent of God’s call of biblical prophets and apostles, has long been a issue with which ordination councils have been concerned. Many operate on the assumption that no one aspiring to the ministry may proceed without such a “call.”

I concede, of course, that God’s Spirit is active in distributing gifts in his church “according to his own will” (Heb 2:4) and “as he determines” (1 Cor 12:11, cf. v. 18). It is for this reason that the Scriptures may state plainly that God has appointed the church’s teachers (1 Cor 12:28) and has sent its laborers into the harvest (Luke 10:2). Indeed, we have reason to believe that God’s providential preparation of his ministerial appointees is extensive and complex (see, in principle, Gal 1:5 and Jer 1:5). Please do not hear me saying anything less than this.

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Are Leaders Born or Made?

From Paraklesis, a resource of Baptist Bible Seminary (Spring, 2013). Used by permission.

All of us have witnessed those who seem to be “born leaders.” They appear to be naturally gifted to go in front and forge the way for others. Taking a group of people to a necessary and better destination seems easy for them.

They always seem to do well in leading. Some of us who aspire to lead and for whom things have not come so easily have looked at such people with a little bit of jealousy.

Three approaches to training leaders

Is there any hope for the rest of us? Is it possible for those who are not naturally gifted in leadership to be taught how to be leaders?

The first suggested answer is that not everyone can be a leader. Under this belief, no training would be necessary. All that is needed is for the circumstances to supply a need for the inherent leadership qualities of an individual to blossom. One example might be President Abraham Lincoln, whose great leadership presented itself to history because of the occasion of the American Civil War.

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