A few years ago, I heard a startlingly clear summation of a pastor's calling. I was visiting a congregation made up mostly of twenty-somethings who had not been raised in church. As the service began, the pastor introduced himself.
"Hi, my name is Tom," he said. "I'm a pastor here. It's my job to pray for you, whether you're a Christian or not, and to talk with you about Jesus, whether you're a Christian or not. That's what I do."
His calling was simple, and because of that, also rather complicated. Because talking about Jesus leads us into all aspects of life. And when we pray for people, the deeper, unresolved parts of their lives inevitably surface. It has always been this way.
Calling: it's the reason you do what you do. God has uniquely prepared you for his work. But some days, doubts creep in. Here's help to dig deep into your calling, to understand God's voice, to live it out and help others do the same.
With so many voices wooing us away, it’s not easy to cling to our essential task, by Eugene H. Peterson.
John Newton, the converted slave trader who penned ‘Amazing Grace,’ served for 16 years as pastor of a small congregation in Olney, Great Britain. While there, a young man wrote for his counsel on discerning God’s call to the pastorate. This was Newton’s reply (published in 1787).
Evaluate whether you are fulfilling your calling or simply going through the motions.
This 24-page training pack includes a variety of ways to help you understand, develop, and guard your call to ministry.
A letter to young women in leadership, by Amy Simpson.
Calling: Not Just a Skill, a Way of Life
When you sense God's calling upon your life, a realization that you've been set apart, chosen to serve a cause far, far greater than you are, selected for a task you can never accomplish on your own, what do you do? This week's newsletter is about navigating that mysterious, borderline supernatural experience, which many of us in ministry have sensed and puzzled over, and sometimes cursed. So we highlight these stories and reflections to help you respond wisely and well to that sacred sense.
What the church needs most from those whom God has called to lead, by Eugene H. Peterson.
4 indicators that you’ve embraced what you are doing, by John Ortberg.
When pastoring a church plant became a living hell, I thought I was done with ministry, by Doug Resler.
You're not alone. As a church leader, that's important to know when you experience pressure, disappointment, discouragement, and disillusionment. The tempting route is to pack up and quit. But it's not the best way. These stories from pastors who've been tested will help you think through your situation. You'll learn about the circumstances that cause doubt to form, steps to build stamina, and ways to boost the resilience of your calling.