You know, really… I think if I had a two week vacation, I could spend one week and write a year’s worth of articles, and then the next week to relax and just rest.
Anyway, let’s look at who may be a pastor. All the would be preacher boys, consider this your prayer list.
1. To administer the ordinances Matt. 28:19-20
2. To be a man of prayer1 Tim. 2:1
3. To warn his flock1 Tim. 4:1, 6
4. To study the Word2 Tim. 2:15
5. To preach the Word2 Tim. 4:2; Acts 6:2-4
6. To exhort and rebuke1 Thess. 5:12; Titus 2:15
7. To watch over souls, his own and those of othersActs 20:28-31; Col. 4:17; 1 Tim. 4:6; 6:11; Heb. 13:17
8. To feed and lead his flockActs 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2
9. To be an example to all1 Cor. 11:1; 4:16; Phil. 3:17; 2 Thess. 3:9; 1 Tim. 4:12; Heb. 13:7; 1 Pet. 5:3
H. L. Willmington, The Complete Book of Bible Lists, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1987), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 230.
Number 10. You must be a man, married to no more than one wife. In America, the assumption is this means you may not be divorced. David Cloud met a pastor in Nepal who the entire Christian community supported – who had two wives. Literally. Married to both of them at the same time. So Mr. Cloud in his usual style told him he couldn’t be a pastor. The man was broken hearted, the entire Christian community was angry with David, etc.
This kind of thing upsets the applecart, as it causes you to evaluate your stand on Scripture immediately. Does it mean you can’t be divorced? Or no?
C’mon, easy answer… easy answer…
DING! Divorce is addressed elsewhere. Bruce Lackey had written the best response, so good that David Cloud simply put Lackey’s article in his Way Of Life Encyclopedia.
God’s plan for the church age is no divorce. If a divorce does take place, He certainly does not permit remarriage. The only possibilities, if a divorce occurs, are indicated in v. 11: either remain unmarried, or be reconciled. That may seem to be very difficult, even harsh, for God to make such a demand, but there are many passages of Scripture which teach that if we follow the Saviour, we are going to have to make some sacrifices.
Reading the entire article is recommended. Lackey deals with this subject tenderly and prayerfully, and points out the hypothetical situation of someone getting divorced and remarried before they were saved – and he carefully compared Scripture with Scripture on this issue. And gives the answer. What is it? Look, as a IFB Pastor, if you don’t have the Way Of Life Encyclopedia, you’re just asking for trouble. Really. I’ve already said I personally think EVERY christian should own this.
Going on with the rest of the qualifications,
Number 11, they must be not given to wine. If you drink, then you need to put that away. Once you are ordained, that’s it. Never again. This is what the Bible says. Don’t like it? Take it up with God. Moving right along.
Number 12 , not a brawler. Got a temper? pray about that. Once you are ordained, you can slug someone only in self defense. No more fighting Grizzly Bears and alligators!
Number 13, not given to filthy lucre. That means – you can’t be greedy. In other articles, I’ve talked about having someone else deal with the money. That’s a bottom line.
Number 14, not arrogant. If you’re following along in Titus 1:7, you’ll notice Selfwilled. αὐθάδης, Authadays. It means Arrogant. So… pray for humility! TRust me the Lord will take you down a peg or three as a Pastor. If you’re arrogant, he’ll fix you quick.
Lotta stuff, huh?
How do you know when you’re called to the ministry? number one, you can’t stop thinking about it. Number two, you can’t stop thinking about it. Number three, you can’t stop thinking about it. When you’re looking at Bible software and you obsess about having all of them, that’s what we call a clue. If you go to the Wordsearch website and see Bible outline books for $80 and it makes your heart ache, good sign. If your church recognizes the call on your life, final sign. See the Way of Life Encyclopedia for a VERY good article on this, including “what if my church DOESN’T recognize my calling?” He does address that! Here’s an excerpt.
God’s standards for pastors.
- (1) He must be a man (1 Ti. 2:12; 3:1).
- (2) He must have a divine call (1 Ti. 3:1).
- (3) He must be proven (1 Ti. 3:10).
- (4) He must be blameless in the areas listed in 1 Ti. 3:2-5 and Tit. 1:6-8—in relationship with his wife (1 Ti. 3:2), in relationship with his children (1 Ti. 3:4; Tit. 1:6), in his personal life (1 Ti. 3:2-3; Tit: 1:8).
- (5) He must be able to teach (1 Ti. 3:2).
- (6) He must hold fast to apostolic doctrine (Tit. 1:9).
- (7) He must be able to deal with false teaching (Tit. 1:9-11).
- (8) He must not be a novice (1 Ti. 3:6).
- (9) He must have a good reputation in the community (1 Ti. 3:7).
- (10) His wife must be spiritual (1 Ti. 3:11).
The time to start is now. Immeidately.Study to shew thyself approved. Begin thinking about it. You’re needed, because the casting out is already begun, where churches are driving the Fundamentalists out.