I want to ask the question: are you really a pastor? If you are thinking of being a pastor, are you sure that is what God has called you to? I deeply respect God's anointed and I don’t mean to offend. I respect those who have laid down their lives to serve the body in whatever way God has intended.
I pose the question because if you are or are going to be a pastor you need to know that is your gifting because your life is not the only one that will be affected.
From my perspective
I have only been going to church for five years, so my perspective is reasonably limited. One thing I have seen that breaks my heart is watching some people sit in church week after week when very little is happening in their life.
It is as if the whole goal was to get them into the church and they are spoon-fed parts of the gospel each week and are expected to survive with very little pastoral care. They get lost within the crowd and just become another digit for the salvation numbers of the church.
One of the real needs in the body of Christ at the moment is for specific callings to be identified, especially with those who are leading. I believe one of the biggest problems is half of the pastors out there are not pastors, they may be qualified to pastor by man but has God really called them as a pastor?
What I see happening is apostles, prophets, teachers, and evangelists doing the job of a pastor and they get burnt out. They try their hardest but it drains them because they aren’t really called by God to be a pastor. This is no fault of their own it is just the way the church has been run for some time.
Man’s will or God’s will?
Man has basically grouped all the five-fold ministry gifts into one, if you want to work in the ministry you need to get a certificate to be a pastor. Now while all believers are called to love one another, a pastor has a special burden to love on people and do life with them and you either have it or you don’t. You can try as many have before and I hope the Lord genuinely blesses others through you and you do not get burnt out.
Have you heard the stories of the pastors of old? They would do house calls every week, they would open their house to others and Christ's love would flow from them. They wouldn’t pick and choose who they were going to love on. They would lay down their lives for the sheep and you know what makes them so good at it? They love it. That is what God created them to do and they get fulfilment out of it.
Today pastoral care is often broken down to a five-minute chat in the church where the pastor asks the person how their week was and a few other surface level questions and may palm them off to another group. Most people can tell when a pastor is genuine or not.
I pray that those in the trenches who are getting burnt out as a pastor either get some peace about the situation from God or maybe ask yourself am I really a pastor? Do I come alive when I am pastoring people? Am I excited to come alongside someone and help them grow?
Coming to terms with it
If not, maybe you are not a pastor and you know what? That's perfectly alright.
Do I come alive when I am evangelizing? Do I have a burden for souls? maybe you’re an evangelist!
Do I come alive when I am teaching? Do I love the word and get annoyed when people misquote it? Maybe you’re a teacher!
Do I constantly walk in the prophetic? Does God speak to me about specific people or situations and give me dreams and visions? Do I want to see people identify their gifts and grow in their calling? Maybe you’re a prophet!
Does God give me the desire to start up new ministries? Does God show me how structures should be set up and run? Do I have a desire to train up leaders? Maybe you’re an apostle!
Maybe you are none of these things and God has something else planned for you, either way, we all need to know what God is calling us to. If you’re a pastor I’m not saying go quit your job, I’m saying there are other options out there and if you're not called to it, maybe it’s time to seek the Lord and see what he wants you to do.
Shane Rowney is currently living on the Gold Coast attending a local church. He enjoys surfing, gym, and music but most of all spending time with Father God.
Shane Rowney is currently living on the Gold Coast attending a local church. He enjoys surfing, gym and music but most of all spending time with his Father.