Let’s begin with the age-old question…What is the meaning of my life?
Everyone has been formed, known by God, now what am I set apart to do…what is my assignment? What does God have planned for me?
1st Step – Start a relationship with God through putting your trust in Jesus Christ
Next Steps – Do what God’s Word says clearly to do – Read Bible, Pray, Attend & serve in church, love others, witness
Next step – ASK, James 1:5 – “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God”
Next – discover your spiritual gifts. This is part of the process of our GPS training. We discover our spiritual gifts and we put those into practice. Those with teaching will lead devotions. Those with service gifts will lead our hospitality team. Those with exhortation gifts will lead the encouragement team. See how that works. God will match your passions, gifting, and his calling on your life together.
Why would I want to do this?
Christopher Wright says “God’s perspective is always bigger than the immediate moment”. WOW! Need this reminder daily of the Sovereignty of God…He Knows!
Jeremiah was just a young man when God said these words to him. Little did he know what was in store for him. That’s what makes a movie good, an amusement park ride fun, and a book a page-turner…it’s the excitement of seeing what is up next. Don’t you want to buckle up and see what God has in store for you?
What is stopping you?
Pride? Fear? Doubt? What is stopping you are your excuses. And what happens when God begins to take away your excuses, and all you have left is obedience. That’s when you begin find out what you should do with your life.
How’s that for an introduction. Wow! What an introduction. A biblical survey of shepherding can be found on the opening pages of this book. It certainly sets the stage for the rest of the book.
Can you hear me church? The author does an incredible job at holding the local church accountable in the process to training those who are called to ministry. Also, it does not tip toe around the necessity of protecting the church from those who do not qualify for these positions as well. I appreciate how this book upholds the church’s responsibility.
Do I need my appendix? Well, your body might not need your appendix, but your church body might need this book’s appendix. Don’t skip over the valuable preparatory material found in the back of this book. It will be quite valuable for the training and confirming of one’s call.
Could you be more specific? If you are looking how to conduct a youth internship, children’s ministry intern, or a more specific role…you will not find those specifics here. This book is not very big and it paints a broader stroke in training those in ministry. Not necessarily a bad thing, but something I wanted to warn the reader.
The Grade: B+. I wouldn’t call it earth-shattering, but I certainly would call it effective. It puts the local church’s feet to the fire, so to speak. It is a challenge to the church to do its job in training and sending people into full-time ministry, all while confirming the call. This is serious business, and I appreciate how this book treats it as such and provides an effective way of making the calling sure.
Early in my youth ministry, a visitor introduced themselves to me and asked “Oh, are you the youth pastor?”. I said “Yes, ma’am”. “That’s great” the elderly woman said. Then, the dagger. “Are you going to become a REAL pastor someday?”
OUCH! Now, she meant no harm by the statement, but the sentiment was there. At youth conferences, we sometimes joke about this attitude of “well if the church has a senior pastor, so that must make the youth pastor a junior pastor. Someday they will graduate to become a REAL pastor.”
But in my short ministry career, I’ve come to appreciate both the hard work and dedication of the senior pastor role, but the same holds true for all those associate pastors out there as well. I’m also very thankful I’m in a church that appreciates them both.
So, if you are an associate pastor, you are an important piece to the Body of Christ, and your work for the gospel is needed! Let these 10 things be an encouragement to you today to keep serving the Lord, that is until you become a real pastor =)
(taken from H. B. Charles Jr. Blog)
Seek clarity about your calling. Not every associate preacher is called to be a senior pastor. It may be to serve alongside another pastor. This is a noble calling. You ministry is not unimportant because your name is not on the bulletin. Seek the Lord about the calling on your life. Is it missionary work? Should you be in the classroom, rather than the pulpit? Is there an area of specialization, like youth of Christian education, the Lord has purposed for you? Or are you called to the pulpit of a local church? Get clarity about your calling and head in that direction.
Be ready to preach and teach. You may not have a scheduled time to preach. And you may have to share opportunities with other associates. So take advantage of every chance you get. Be ready. Don’t wait to get a date before you prepare. Study now. Write a sermon. Get your pastor’s input. Show him by your work that you are ready. And don’t wait for Sunday morning spots. Volunteer for a Sunday school class, prayer breakfast, or funeral. Teach whenever you can. Prepare for the pastorate by increasing your skill and experience in ministering the word.
Learn everything you can. Consider yourself an intern. Be marked present. Get involved. Participate in behind the scenes work, not just platform stuff. Follow your pastor around. Ask a lot of questions. Listen to the answers. Don’t talk too much. Process what you experience. Learn from successes and mistakes. Soak up all the knowledge and wisdom you can get.
Be proactive about your growth. Time doesn’t fix a flat tire. And it does not produce a skilled minister. You must be intentional about your development. Don’t be pulpit furniture. Don’t be guilty of ministerial sloth. And don’t wait for others to invest in you. Read. Study. Go to school. Attend of ongoing training events. Seek out your pastor’s counsel, guidance, and mentorship. Ask for assignments that will help you grow. Don’t be indifferent about your ministerial future. Determine to be the best you can be for God.
Be loyal to your pastor. The pastor was voted, called, or selected to lead the church. You were not. It is not your place to run ahead of the pastor or to work against him. You are there to assist him. Respect him, even if you are older. Support him, even if you have been there longer. Honor him, even if you have more training or experience. Pray for him. Do whatever you can to help him. Be trustworthy. Keep private information confidential. Do not speak against the pastor to members. Do not listen to members speak against the pastor. Remember the Golden Rule (Matt. 7:12).
Have a servant’s spirit. The paradox of Christian discipleship is that the one who would lead must be a servant. This is the Christian way to leadership. We are servant-leaders. Serving as an associate minister can help you develop a proper attitude toward Christian leadership. Be a servant. Imitate the one who washed his disciples feet (John 13). Make yourself available to serve. Serve as to the Lord, not for men. And don’t get offended when you are treated like a servant!
Keep your ego in check. Don’t let compliments, encouragements, and opportunities go to your head. You may be a better preacher or leader than your pastor. But it may just be your pride talking. Regardless, there is a reason the Lord has placed under his leadership. And it is not to compete with the pastor. Be humble. Be submissive. Be faithful. In due time, the Lord will exalt you. Don’t exalt yourself!
Do not usurp authority. If you are not the senior pastor, do not presume authority that is not yours. Do what you are asked to do. Don’t take liberties with the opportunities you are given. Don’t let leaders or members pressure you to act impetuously. Don’t make a golden calf for the people while the leader is away. If in doubt, ask. Or, better yet, don’t do it. Stay in your lane.
Wait your turn. You have a burden to pastor. It has been your heart’s desire for some time. You have done what you can to prepare yourself. But no doors have opened. You are stuck in God’s waiting room. Don’t get impatient. God knows who you are and where you are. God knows the place he has for you. God also knows how and when to get your there. Don’t be weary in well doing. Trust that God’s timing is perfect.
Leave when it’s time to leave. You are asking for trouble if you leave an assignment prematurely. God punishes AWOL soldiers. At the same time, don’t stay too long. Don’t sit in neutral unnecessarily. Don’t hide out from your true calling. Don’t be a source of confusion or disunity. If you do not respect your leader or cannot follow his leadership, leave. But make sure you leave in a way that leaves the door open.