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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Give Advice For Wannabe Pastors!
I thought it might be useful to collect advice for young men who desire the office of pastor; I will offer some myself, but I hope that if you have some food for thought to share on this important subject, you will not hesitate to share it in the meta.

I have a few pieces of advice - the first is that if you have a spouse she must be united with you in desiring this ministry. If your spouse is not going to be your help mate in this ministry, she is going to regard your ministry as a rival in her marriage - the thing that takes you away from her and the family. You must have her full support - not that she is willingly ignored by you, but that she is utterly supportive of all the demands your ministry will place on you personally. If your spouse isn't on the same page as you, you should deal with that before you enter into ministry. This is true of all married couples by the way, it isn't limited to pastors - if you and your spouse are not a team in all that you do, there will be resentment, rivalry, and vying for your time. If you are married, you are part of a team - and all team players have to be on the same page for the team to work.

Another piece of advice is to count the cost. Pastoring is going to consume your life like nothing else. Do you have children? Pastoring is like having a whole lot of children - you are spiritually responsible for them - you will answer to God for them. Do not take this lightly - the work is hard, but the rewards are great, but the cost to you in a pastoral ministry is that your life is no longer you own in the way it used to be - you sort of become the property of the church, and that kind of commitment, openness, and responsibility ought to be anticipated and weighed when one considers the office.

I could go on, but I want to leave some room in the meta. The last piece of advice I would offer is that you are already walking in the Spirit day by day before you even think of accepting this role. Let me tell you, if you cannot walk in the Spirit moment by moment in your secular job and in your normal home life - don't imagine that going into full time ministry is going to make you suddenly more spiritual - what will happen if you are not walking in the Spirit, is you will begin working in the flesh trying to approximate the sort of effort that God wants to do in and through you. You will know what it looks like, and try and do exactly that - but it will wear you out brother - it will wear you out. If you are not in the Spirit, you may as well accept that you are never going to pastor more than two or three years at a time - because that is about how long it takes most people to wear themselves out ministering in the flesh. Walking in the Spirit means living in obedience consistently. If there are currently large areas in your life where Christ isn't reigning, places of continual defeat - you are not ready for this ministry. You may be a gifted preacher, or teacher, and you can minister in your congregation thus - but you are not ready for a pastoral role.

That is my advice at least. Share your wisdom here, and be as generous as you can. I wouldn't mind keeping a link to this one open in my sidebar if I can get enough advice to make it a worthwhile document. So please share.


posted by Daniel @ 6:30 AM  
  • At 7:35 AM, June 12, 2007, Blogger Even So... said…

    You must follow up or they will not follow through....

  • At 9:52 AM, June 12, 2007, Blogger Jim said…

    Daniel, it seems to me that this advice would apply to every member of the body. We somehow think that pastors are required to be more godly than the rest of the Church, and while the elders must be above reproach we are all to walk in the Spirit.

    But I understand your point and hope many folks contribute.

  • At 10:15 AM, June 12, 2007, Blogger Frank Martens said…

    I think the punch line is this... "If there are currently large areas in your life where Christ isn't reigning, places of continual defeat - you are not ready for this ministry."

    But I agree with Jim, it sounds like you've just devalued fighting to give Christ reign over "areas." That is something ALL of us should be striving to do. Even pastors have a problem with that. I think it's more then just that, I think it takes a heart felt passion for people and seeing them grow, a shepherds heart.

  • At 12:31 PM, June 12, 2007, Blogger Daniel said…

    Jim, Frank - you are both correct, walking in the spirit is something we all need to be doing (not just pastors!) - my advice was that if we are not mature enough to walk consistently in the Spirit then we are not ready for a pastoral ministry.

    That is not to devalue the universal Christian struggle against sin. Rather it is to put into perspective where we ought to be before we engage ourselves.

    The soldier who is learning the art of war is not fit to command until after he has learned to battle right and win. The advice is - wait until you know what victory is before you seek a command post. ;-)

  • At 10:50 PM, June 12, 2007, Blogger Neil said…

    Pray every day to be humble. Pray every day not to be proud.

  • At 3:17 PM, June 13, 2007, Blogger Craver Vii said…

    I appreciate the thoughts, even though I do not serve as a pastor, per se.

    Bugblaster has a great addition. I have been thinking about humility lately as it relates to recent sermons and readings about Old Testament kings. But again, not as an exclusive application to pastors, but specifically as I can apply it to myself.

  • At 5:11 PM, June 13, 2007, Blogger Even So... said…

    It is a fine line between cynicism and sentimentality...you must endeavor to keep the tension line tight...

  • At 5:58 AM, June 14, 2007, Blogger Garry Weaver said…

    My advice goes along with the humility issue. Be willing to take advice! I don't know about other dnoms, but as a young IFB preacher, I had the attitude that some older, more experienced pastors who tried help me temper my zeal with a little knowledge, were just compromisers.

    Sadly, it wasn't just me. It seemed to be the spiritual attitude of many of those with whom I fellowshipped.

    I am sure that I could have been much farther along in usefulness than I am now,if I had been more willing to be helped.

  • At 7:38 PM, June 15, 2007, Blogger M.A.C. said…

    The number one principle that needs to remembered by everyone in the body of Christ is that we are all sinners and we all fall short of the glory of God.

    We must also remember that faith is a gift from God and if you can't remember a defining moment that you accepted Christ then you must accept Christ first before entering any ministry.

  • At 8:14 AM, June 19, 2007, Blogger MaLady said…

    Lovely post, Daniel. One thought that came to mind was a dynamic you've referred to yourself - different giftings see things in different ways. I'll give it a shot.

    Practice to be able to see the God-given gifting of individuals different than yourself. It seems to me that being able to value the strengths of someone who doesn't see eye to eye (in issues for which morality isn't in question) would be an encouragement to the pastor - knowing that God has many types of agents with many types of tools to support the church body thus accomodating for individual limits. It would also be a tool to efectively encourage the flock toward unity. Without having experience outside of my children I also believe that understanding the strengths and calling of an individual helps discern whether or not the person has a healthy relationship with God which is so important for the amount of trust and involvement given.

    God bless you, and anyone willing to stick their necks out that much further for God.

    Ma Lady

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