Ministry

Discussion in 'Church Office' started by BFG33, Nov 20, 2017.

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  1. BFG33

    BFG33 Inactive User

    I am about a year away from graduation from Boyce College. I am so scared to enter the ministry. I do not see how God can use me...I feel still very underprepared...though I have been working in ministry as a volunteer or higher since I became a Christian and my education. What are some things about the ministry you can give as tips for me outside what most people say? (Like prayer, make sure you get in the Word, etc.)
     
  2. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    What was your preparation (degree/seminary) focused upon?

    What do you mean by "enter the ministry"? Has your local church verified your call to the ministry and are you under their care as you progress towards ordination? Have you been called by a local assembly?
     
  3. BFG33

    BFG33 Inactive User

    My focus is in youth and family ministry. I mean full time vocationally. My church has yes sir. I am under their care until I move to Louisville in January to finish my last year on campus. I am also set up with an internship with a church up there.
     
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  4. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    "Fear not" is the number one phrase so far as the number of times Jesus gave commandments. I understand the angst of going into what one believes is ones lifelong career. Most men feel such, and are not granted the view of their future, unlike some who simply know what they are going to do the rest of their mortal life. I was in the "angst" group, and had feelings of insecurity until I found my vocation. Our Lord kept me busy doing many things that added to my life that benefited me greatly such as carpentry, doorman at a bar, a courier of patients in hospitals, and a bagger of groceries. Try not to fear, and simply keep busy doing what Our Lord reveals in His Word, and He will lead you the way He wishes you to go. Easy advice for the aged like me, though I believe sound. :)
     
  5. BFG33

    BFG33 Inactive User

    Thank you Earl so much for these encouraging words. I very much appreciate it.
     
  6. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Brady,

    I'd encourage you to thoroughly study out the issues that divide Christians before you are ordained in a particular church. You don't want to be well into your pastoral ministry somewhere, only to find that your convictions have changed, and you are no longer acceptable to the body you are ministering to. So study the sacraments, worship, etc. Make it a point, especially to study the views that you don't hold to--don't assume that what you've always done or believed is correct.

    Many Reformed ministers can share sad stories of having begun a promising work, only to find that they are rejected when they begin to come to strong convictions on things they did not think through ahead of time.
     
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  7. BFG33

    BFG33 Inactive User

    Tyler, that is some great advice! Do you have any readings you suggest to help with this?
     
  8. Joshua

    Joshua Administrator Staff Member

  9. BFG33

    BFG33 Inactive User

    I will have to read that! Thank you Josh!
     
  10. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Brady,
    Not knowing just where you are in your studies, you might want to start with posting a thread asking for resources on a particular topic. The subject of paedobaptism vs. credobaptism is a good place to start when examining issues that evangelical Calvinists differ on.
     
  11. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Calling to the Ministry has certain characteristics. It should be a matter for the candidate to exemplify extended prayer, a great searching the Word of God for direction, and an exhibition of already qualifying traits as a faithful member of the local church. It ought also to be a matter of discerning God’s providence in both the desire to enter into the ministry and the need for ministry in some capacity. God’s qualifications for the call to the office of Pastor are seen in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Things to consider:

    “The minister’s life is a life of consecration, without which it has no meaning.” – Alexander Vinet (1797-1847), Pastoral Theology

    What is a pastor? “His name tells us: he feeds; he nourishes souls with a word which is not his own (as the shepherd nourishes his sheep on grass which he does not make to grow). But he feeds them by means of his own word, which reproduces and appropriates to their various needs the Divine Word, and becomes, in turn, a word of instruction, of direction, of exhortation, of reproof, of encouragement, and of consolation.” (Adolphe R. Vinet (1797-1847), Pastoral Theology or the Theory of the Evangelical Ministry.)

    “Many a preacher is now in hell, that has a hundred times called on his hearers to use the utmost care and diligence to escape it.” Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor.

    “Ministers’ sermons soften or harden hearers’ souls; they never leave you (in degrees of good or evil) as they find you.” Daniel Burgess (1645-1713) Directions for Daily Holy Living

    "Take heed of settling yourselves under an unholy minister —of one whose life gives the lie to his doctrine. An unholy preacher is the greatest destroyer of the souls of men!" Thomas Brooks

    "How can a minister successfully minister to others? “To observe the order of St. Paul (Acts 20:28; 1 Tim. 4:16), a minister must begin with himself, fulfill his own duties, and care for his own salvation before all things. Before going abroad from love to his neighbor, let him withdraw into the secret place of the divine holiness. Before compassionating the misery of others, let him be sensible of his own ills and of his own weaknesses. And, before urging others to obey the law of God, let him first obey it himself. The first duty of a bishop is to be holy.” Jacqeus Joseph Duguet (1649-1733), Traite des Devoirs d’un Eveque, art. ii., § 1.

    “Watch your life and doctrine closely.” 1 Timothy 4:16

    “Set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

    “In everything set them an example by doing what is good.” Titus 2:7

    Ministerial candidates should have read their bible at least 10 times through seminary, plus the number of times based on years they are a Christian. Minimally.

    I would counsel you, and every other ministerial candidate, to read the following:

    The Best Method of Preaching by Peter van Mastricht
    The Art of Faithful Preaching, and, The Calling of the Ministry by William Perkins
    Sacred Rhetoric by RL Dabney
    The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter
    Thoughts on Preaching by JW Alexander
    Pastoral Theology by Patrick Fairbairn
    An Earnest Ministry by John Angell James
    Lectures to My Students Complete and Unabridged by Charles Spurgeon
    The Ministry of the Word by William Taylor
    Hints and Helps in Pastoral Theology by William Plumer
    Thoughts on Public Prayer by Samuel Miller
    Pastoral Theology by Thomas Murphy
    The Christian Ministry by Charles Bridges
    Pastoral Theology: The Theory of a Gospel Ministry by Adolphe Vinet
     
  12. BFG33

    BFG33 Inactive User

    Thank you so much Reverend McMahon! I have only one of those books, so I will need to add the rest to my wish list on amazon.
     
  13. Ben Zartman

    Ben Zartman Puritan Board Sophomore

    If you have time to listen to audio, I can recommend Albert Martin's "A Call to the Ministry" series on Sermonaudio. He is a Baptist, so you won't have to sort the differences in polity that attend the Presbyterian writers, though he leans heavily on many of the authors in Dr. McMahon's list.
     
  14. zsmcd

    zsmcd Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm not in the ministry, so I cannot give too much advice. But I would just encourage you to know that your internship should help solidify a lot. However, I would not rush into the ministry, but take your time learning from those with a lot of experience and continue to pray, study, and serve. Find a job outside of ministry that you can use to glorify God and enjoy until God calls you to a pastorate.

    I also second what Tyler said about studying big issues that could change your direction. I am assuming that you are young like myself (I'm 26) and I can't tell you how much my theology has developed just in the past three years. Just two years ago I was planning on planting a church with the SBC. Now I am a Presbyterian and probably won't even begin seeking ordination for another five plus years.

    No one should despise you for your youth. However, one of the reasons why elders are called "elders" is because wisdom solidifies with age. Young men like myself are prone to change their minds often. Take your time learning outside of the classroom. It will end up being highly beneficial for both you and those you serve in and out of ministry.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
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  15. kodos

    kodos Puritan Board Junior

    I won't add anything new to what the preceding posters have. Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus.

    I will say that I sensed a call to ministry very soon after becoming a Christian, but was content to let the Lord in His providence open the doors. If I had tried to 'force' myself into ministry at a time in which it would have been unwise to do so, I would have ended up a Dispensational Baptist in some sort of crisis of conscience as the Lord opened my eyes to Covenant Theology, Presbyterianism, etc.

    Definitely be settled in your convictions and know where you fit into the 'Reformed' branches of the visible church. I know of a couple of Baptist ministers who have become convicted of Presbyterianism, but feel 'trapped' because it would mean rebooting their ministry and it is a source of frustration. I know some Presbyterians who are convinced of a capella exclusive psalmody but won't leave their denomination because it would mean a lot of difficulty for themselves and their family. Not to mention congregations and presbyteries that have become dear to them.

    Take your time. There's no need to rush into ministry. One of the things I love about most Presbyterian denominations is that they take a very measured pace in getting men into ministry with much testing. As I go through each "hurdle", I feel more confirmed in the calling that I sense inwardly.
     
  16. BFG33

    BFG33 Inactive User

    Would any of you guys suggest going to a Presbyterian Seminary for a Masters so I can learn from them and be more firm in my convictions?
     
  17. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    You are in the SBC and under the care of your local church. What would they think of such an endeavor?

    If you are seeking ordination and calling to a church by the SBC, you would be best to attend one of their seminaries. I am sure their coursework gives some attention to competing views that you can study and pursue on your own (e.g., reviewing the course materials freely available here.)
     
  18. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Please take this to heart....

    Take a prayerful month, or two.
    Get the 1647 Westminster Confession.
    Get the 1689 LBC.
    Get the Bible.
    Read through it all.
    See who lands closest to your convictions.

    You REALLY don't want to have to readjust your theology and affiliation after the fact.

    I have a friend who had gotten his MDiv. He got it at an SBC seminary, and now has left the SBC and holds to the Covenant Theology of Westminster. He is extremely frustrated with "life" right now, and feels he wasted his time with his previous MDiv. He feels like he almost has to start over.

    I have another friend who left the primitive Baptist church, and feels like he's been deceived. He's hitting the rest button on his theology. He's extremely frustrated.

    You really dont want to go through that if you can help it.
     
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  19. BFG33

    BFG33 Inactive User

    Reverend McMahon, is that version of the Westminster Confession the one they sale from Banner of Truth?
     
  20. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Its online here at APM.
     
  21. BFG33

    BFG33 Inactive User

    Thank you so much!
     
  22. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

  23. BFG33

    BFG33 Inactive User

    Thank you Kindly!
     
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