His email arrived last week. His question was simple: “How do I know if God has called me to preach?”
I met the young man a few weeks ago at church. His question was serious, and yet common. Serious in that determining if God has called a person to pastor in the local church is a high calling. Common in that many people wrestle with this same question.
The role of the pastor is busy, to say the least. Preach at least once every Sunday, plus Wednesday. Lead the evangelistic efforts of the church. Shepherd the needs of a bustling congregation. Create the website, Sunday bulletin, funeral service, wedding plans, and the list goes on. Serve as the emcee at significant events. Oversee the efforts of the children’s ministry, youth ministry, and senior adults. Be here, be there, be everywhere…to everyone.
Then there are the other roles of custodian, counselor, worship leader, organizer, committee liaison, CFO, COO, CEO, etc. Don’t forget the vital role of being a husband, father, and son. And then there is one’s own spiritual well-being.
I remember being a newbie in ministry. I was on staff at a large church in a busy city. We were planning for another event. I was laying speaker cables for a sound board. Then we hung lights. Afterwards, I had to prepare the final script for my part in the presentation. None of this was on my radar screen when I said “Yes” to the Lord. I remember our Worship Pastor laughing as he said, “Never taught you this in seminary, did they?”
And he was right! Seminary was great for learning doctrine and church history. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade my seminary education for anything. But there were a lot of practical things I never learned in seminary.
What if you could learn more about being a pastor either before you became a pastor or while being a pastor? What if you could study God’s Word in a practical manner while learning the day to day “tricks of the trade” from people who also serve as pastors? What if you could study leadership and church administration? What if you could practice a baptism before you dropped someone in front of the whole congregation on Sunday morning.
You can! At Carolina College of Biblical Studies, the Pastoral Ministry track is designed to do just that. In our Introduction to Pastoral Ministries course, we discuss the “call.” We get in real water and practice doing a baptism. We write out a complete funeral service…so you’ll be ready when the time comes.
Every church runs on the volunteers and staff. We have a course that helps you, as the pastor, learn how to develop volunteers, how to hire staff, and how to lead them into effective ministry. The hermeneutics and homiletics courses give you the foundational skills to become a dynamic preacher.
Don’t settle for being less than your best as a pastor. We all know the old adage, “What God calls, God equips.” I believe that is true. And that is why we exist…to do the equipping. And who better to be trained by then professors who serve as pastors!
Come…let us equip you to be the pastor God has called you to be!!!!