How to Know if God is Calling You to Preach /Should be a Pastor
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors, and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
Ephesians 4:11-15 (NIV)
Is God calling you to be a pastor? Are your church members, family, and friends pushing you to be one? Maybe you’ve been doing something else, but you have a deep conviction to join the ministry. You want to know if this is God, outside pressure, or personal thoughts.
Unlike other professions, you don’t choose to be a pastor, the Lord chooses you (Ephesians 4:11). So you need to ensure that the calling is from God and not outside influence. Yes, even though you may come from a long lineage of pastors, that doesn’t mean that you are called by God in that capacity.
Going to seminary does not automatically mean that you’re supposed to join the pastoral ministry either. Understand that you will be serving God, not man or self. Yes, you will be dealing with different people, but you’ll be answerable to God.
Now, you cannot become a great pastor/preacher/minister, if you don’t know who a pastor is, right?
Who is a Pastor According to the Bible?
The Bible describes pastors as shepherds, overseers, and elders. A pastor is someone who shepherds God’s people. Pastors are people who willingly watch over God’s flock. (1Peter 5:1-5)
“1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not Lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.“5In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
You should never depend on your own strength and wisdom to be an overseer of God’s children. You need to rely on the gifting and power of the Holy Spirit. See, it is the Holy Spirit who gives us different gifts. He is also the one who teaches us how to shepherd others in a way that glorifies God.
But what does it mean to watch over or be an overseer of God’s flock? Let us look at the duties of pastors to gain a deeper understanding.
Duties of a Pastor
Preach the word of God
You need to prepare sermons and interpret scriptures to the congregation with the help of the Holy Spirit. Most Congregations have the main service once a week, generally on Sunday Morning. Usually, the Senior Pastor/Preacher/Minister Presents the message. These Lessons are crucial to help lead and strengthen the followers of Jesus.
Take care of the church
You work as a pastor is not just to preach the Gospel, you need to know how the finances of your church are being managed. You have to ensure all administrative tasks are running smoothly. You need to officiate special functions in the church like weddings, funerals, and baptism.
A Pastor has to wear many Hats. As the Flock Grows like Moses it is wise to disperse the workload. Same as with the early church, they appointed deacons to take care of the needed tasks, so they could concentrate on evangelism.
Build up the body of Christ
Pastors ought to build their members up. This can be done through counseling and helping their congregants solve different issues in life. Pastors also have to give instruction in sound doctrine and rebuke those who contradict it.
Equip congregants for the work of the ministry
You need to help believers to find their spiritual gifts and train them in different aspects of the ministries God has called them in. But how do you do this? By allowing each member to be involved in personal ministries within the church.
5 Things you should Know Before you become a Pastor
Cases of pastors taking their own lives and others sinking into depression have been on the rise in recent times. Why is that so? Many people have put pastors on a pedestal they have to live by. These standards have driven some pastors into depression, while others have given up on their ministries. Others could not keep up with the pressure, so they ended up committing suicide.
There can be a great amount of stress taking care of a large flock of sheep. Sheep Play, They squabble, they wander off. Older sheep butt heads.
Okay, this is not meant to discourage you from pursuing your calling. You need to know what awaits you. Knowing these things will help you have realistic expectations. Of course, you will never be fully prepared for what lies ahead, but it is better to know what to expect beforehand.
Here is what you should know before becoming a pastor:
1. You’ll never be Good Enough
There will always be someone who thinks you’re not good enough. Some people will not like the way you preach, others will judge you harshly because of the way you lead the church.
Our Lord Jesus was hated by the Pharisees. Though he did great miracles and preached the message of the kingdom, the Pharisees hated him and looked for reasons to destroy him. The word of God says a servant is not greater than his master (John 15:20). If they hated Jesus, the good shepherd, they will hate you too.
Accept that you will always be blamed for something. Even when you do good, there will always be someone somewhere who will discredit you. Knowing and acceoting this from the start will help you to deal with discouragement when it starts to kick-in.
2. Your Life will Stop being your Own
It is one thing for God to call you into ministry. It is another for you to accept that calling. God will not force you to take care of his flock. Yes, he will put the desire in your heart, but you have to accept the calling. (1Peter 5:2)
Now, the reason why you need to be willing to become a pastor is, your life will stop being your own. The congregants you serve will expect you to be available 24/7 to attend to their issues. You will have to be available for weddings, dedications, and funerals. Some people will call you late at night so that you can attend to their issues.
3. Your Family will be Affected
Since you’re a pastor, your family will be looked at differently, and this will affect them positively or negatively. People will expect them to be well put together, prayerful, and always disciplined.
Prepare your family for what lies ahead because they will be affected one way or another.
4. Spiritual Attacks will become Frequent
Every child of God is in a spiritual battle, but pastors are on the forefront. See, if the enemy can confuse the shepherd of the flock, then he can easily confuse and divide the congregation. That is why the enemy will fight you and your family hard. He will attack your finances, health, and family to discourage or derail you. (Zechariah 13:7)
“Awake, sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!” declares the Lord Almighty. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered,
You need to be alert because you will be his number one target.
5. It will be Worth it in the End
Though you will face many challenges and spiritual battles, it will be all worth it in the end. God blesses those who serve him diligently. Not just that, but seeing people’s lives transformed, the body of Christ growing and
At the end of time, you will be given a crown for being faithful to your calling.
Signs that God is Calling you to be a Pastor
1. Inner Conviction/ Compulsion
If you are waiting for something dramatic to happen before you become a pastor, then think again. Yes, it would be awesome if Jesus walked into the room and told you that he has chosen you to be a pastor. But only a few people are called into ministry like Apostle Paul.
What is God telling you in your quiet time? Are you convicted in your heart to join the pastoral ministry? Things may not make sense to you, but if you have the peace that surpasses all understanding, you need to put that compulsion or conviction into serious consideration.
2. Confirmation through Prophets
Has someone ever walked up to you and told you that you are going to be a pastor someday? Well, God still uses prophets these days. They don’t prophecy like the Old Testament prophets, but they are still being used in different capacities.
Don’t be quick to brush off a prophet when they give you a revelation.
But here is the thing you need to be very careful because not every prophecy is from God. Test every spirit by going to God in prayer (1John 4:1).
Most times, a prophet will only be confirming what God has already laid in your heart.
3. Confirmation from People around you
Sometimes God uses our family and friends to bring some things to our attention. Maybe God has already told you that you need to become a pastor, but you have been doubting. He may use your friends to confirm his word.
Maybe some people in your life who have noticed that God is preparing you for ministry. So they keep pointing out that you’re called to be a pastor. If you have the same revelation, then you better accept your calling and ask God to show you which way to go.
4. Recurring Thoughts
Could it be that all you think about lately is how to become a pastor? There are times God puts recurring thoughts about something he wants us to do or the next season of our life in our minds. So we find ourselves fixated on those things until one day we decide to do something about it.
Maybe you are trying to brush off the thoughts of being a pastor from your mind. Or you’re confused, you don’t understand why these thoughts keep recurring in your mind. Ask God to direct your path so that you can start walking in your calling. (Psalms 32:8)
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”
You love engaging in pastoral work, it is not a burden to you but something that brings you great joy. Well, a great pastor is one that willingly does what God has laid in his heart without any other expectations.
If you always look forward to preaching, counseling people, and being involved in any kind of pastoral work, then maybe this is something that you should seriously look into.
6. Overwhelming Compassion for Others
It takes grace to serve people who will praise you today and judge you tomorrow. You cannot serve God’s people if you don’t have overwhelming compassion for them. Someone with a true calling is not domineering. You will genuinely care about God’s children and be a great example to them.
If you have a great desire to point people to Jesus so that they don’t suffer eternal damnation, then that could be a sign that you’re being called to be a pastor. Good pastors don’t want to see the children of God suffering in the hands of the enemy.
What to do if God is Calling You
It could be that you have experienced several or one of the signs mentioned above. If so, do the following:
1. Study the Word of God
God gave Joshua the key to leading the children of Israel into the Promised Land successfully and that was studying and meditating the book of the law. He was instructed to obey and meditate on it day and night. You cannot preach to people if you don’t spend time studying and pondering the word of God. You need to feed yourself first, then teach and lead from the point of overflow. (Joshua 1:7-8)
7“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful“
Soak yourself in the word of God and let him work on your heart as he prepares you for ministry.
It is crucial that you speak to God so that you can get direction from him about the way forward. Remember, the pastoral ministry starts and ends with God. It is not about you. It is about serving God by shepherding his flock. Prayer and fasting will allow God to strengthen you in your inner being before you start your ministry.
3. Move Forward in Faith
As God Calls there will be a time when you need to move forward. I wish I could say it would be seamless, but God Wants our Faith to be Strengthened. He wants us to trust him. He wants us to rely on him. Walking by Faith is a big part of it. II Corinthians 5:7
“For we live by faith, not by sight.”
If you enjoy serving others, and you have overwhelming compassion for people, then it could be that you have the spiritual gift of being a pastor. Spend time in prayer and the word so that God can make everything clear to you.
If God is calling you to be a pastor, then you need to be strong and courageous because being a pastor is not exactly easy. Always be in tune with the spirit of God so that you can serve others for God’s glory. Though you will face many challenges in the ministry, always remember that God is with you.
Don’t let what some people will say or do get to you. When you feel discouraged, run to God, and let him be your source of strength. Lastly, be mindful of your family because your ministry will affect them positively and negatively.