My son is a senior in high school and wants to follow in my foot steps and attend Ozark Christian College (My alma mater), and go into full-time ministry.
We talked about what the calling of a pastor means. We talked about how some of the things to remember is that ministry is about people. Programming and stage decorations and paint have their place, ministry is always about people.
And specifically the job of a pastor is to guide people back to the heart of God, and help them see grace operating in their lives.
As he and I journey this year together and as he moves closer to graduation and Bible College, I will teach him some of the most important things about what it means to be a pastor.
Here are some of the things I will share with him...
The biggest thing to remember is that a pastor is a servant to the people of God, and an under-shepherd to the Chief Shepherd, Jesus. Pastors must always remember that Jesus is the Pastor of the church and we are blessed to be a part of of his bride. Jesus leads his church through us not the other way around.
He will learn that no one makes you be a pastor, but you willingly submit yourself to the authority and calling of the Holy Spirit in your life. Being a Pastor is rewarding and burdensome at the same time.
I will share with him what Eugene Peterson suggests the three things a Pastor should focus on: 1. Pray 2. Preach the gospel 3. Listen
I tell him that being a Pastor immediately puts you in the position of a servant. That as a pastor we seek to be last and the servant of all (Jesus - Mark 9:35). It is caring and leading people through servant-leadership. As pastors, we are shepherds of God people and it can be messy and difficult at times.
I can't wait to have more conversations with him about what it means to be a pastor. We have only a short time before he graduates high school and heads off to Bible college...
For now I have him reading this passage and journaling his thoughts on it.
"Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. " - 1 Peter 5:2-4