[vimeo id="91296453"] Serving as a pastor in any congregation is a challenging experience, but will also be a very rewarding career if the pastor has the right posture for the journey. Many young men and women are being trained and developed in great seminaries and other higher education institutions across the nation to become the ministry leaders of tomorrow. As president of Southeastern University, I’m privileged and honored to spend time with many of these young men and women and invest in their spiritual formation as they prepare for a lifetime of servant-leadership in the church.
Many ask great questions about the best way to prepare for ministry. Some of the common questions center around wanting to discover the newest “how-to” manual for effective ministry leadership or the next “big thing” that will explode a community into the next Saddleback or Willow Creek church, but unfortunately, no such manual or thing exists. However, there are many things you can do to prepare for a life of ministry and here are a few ideas to get you started.
First, know your Divine Design. It is impossible to serve your congregation unless you have a clear understanding of how you were wired. God has placed in you certain gifts, talents and abilities. He has created within you a unique personality with all the various temperaments and passions that cause you to live life to the fullest! All of these were given to you so you can serve God’s church in your full potential. We can only accomplish this when we know how God designed us. We can only lead His church when we know the leadership abilities He crafted into our strengths.
Second, make sure you have a strong sense of calling into ministry. Once you have an understanding of your Divine Design, you will begin to understand the calling God has placed on your life. Pastors, however, have a unique calling. They’re hard-wired for a special journey, because the bottom line is that ministry is not for the weaklings. It is for those who are willing to come alongside people as they confront the extreme challenges of their life journey. Ministry leaders are asked to go the extra mile continually as people seek counsel and advice to navigate through their hardships in relationships, personal life, their spiritual journey and many other areas of life. It’s challenging, but it’s very rewarding.
Third, find your sweet spot. This is the one service you offer people that you absolutely love doing. This may be teaching, discipleship, worship leading, evangelizing, counseling or a number of other services. Whatever the role is, make sure you find it, because this is where you thrive. This is the role that God handcrafted for you to lead and fulfill. As you minister in your sweet spot, you’ll sense a strong dose of fulfillment and confidence as you move forward.
As you continue to pursue your preparation for leadership in ministry, keep these ideas close to your heart and be on the lookout for what God might be doing in your life.
What do you think is the best way to prepare for ministry? I’d love to hear from you – feel free to respond on my blog.