DECISIONS IN MINISTRY
My experiences in ministry have been interesting for sure. I have had to make decisions where to serve in ministry.
In those churches that I have served as Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, or Pastor, can I say they were the Lord’s purposes and plan for my life and for the church itself? Did I and the leadership of the churches seek to discover and know the Lord’s will? What were the factors that the leadership of the church used to determine who they believed was the Lord’s will? Was that even a thought?
I have often said to leadership and members of churches: "Have you really prayed and sought God’s will in this matter of me coming to serve in your church?"
I mean in several churches within three months the leadership and members were saying, "I think we made a mistake." I have said at times "I think I made a mistake in coming to the church!"
The leadership would say, "Yes we have prayed and have asked the Lord for guidance." Well... as I often say, "Then you should accept who the Lord brought to your church to serve you."
In other cases the church and leadership would say, "We have selected someone else to be our pastor, or Associate Pastor." Then they will say, "We believe the Lord has led us to this person." Then what happens within a year or more that Pastor is gone. So if the Lord’s will was for that man to come, why in a short time does he say, "I believe it’s the Lord’s will that I leave."
Can the Lord’s will be confused? Can the Lord’s will be disregarded? I personally believe this is often true. First, all of us are impaired spiritually.
We say when some ministry position doesn’t work out. "It was the the Lord’s will, He is in control." And we move on to the next adventure in our lives. We and the church believe it is all because the Lord purposed it to happen. But is this really true? Can we say in every circumstance God’s will was accomplished.? Can God’s purpose be accomplished but at the same time His "preceptive* will was not? God’s purposes will be indeed accomplished. Even when we continue to disobey His commands. or fail to do His expressed rule or principle that prescribes a particular course of action or conduct.
On several occasions, I believe the Lord has moved us into a position to be used in a church, before the church knew they were going to need a Pastor. How often have I preached "The Lord will send to our church those whom He chooses to help us accomplish His purposes for this church." A Sunday School teacher, a choir member, a piano player, a gifted person in some area. And we accept that. But when a minister comes to a church and joins, and then the need comes up, the church leadership will often look somewhere else. Could they have overlooked God’s choice and will?
John MacArthur has said (not a direct quote) "We need to have the ability to see what God is doing around us, and then join Him in that work." That is we need to discover His will for us and the church and then do it. But we want our will to be God’s will.
I think I should join the American Psychiatric Association Division of Religious Ministers.*
"A Preacher Jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge after Two Classes and taking the Prescribed Drug."*
After a preacher was hired to be the youth pastor of FBC by a margin of 13 votes, the pastor and his family moved six hundred miles to this church. After six months several of the longest tenured Sunday School teachers didn’t agree with him. He was teaching and acting contrary to what they agreed with.
They as a group went into the young people’s room and dismantled all the work which had gone into making the class room youth friendly .
The young youth pastor was so distraught that he became ill.
He checked into a counseling center and they prescribed some drugs to help him overcome this illness.
That very week due to an after affect of the drugs he found himself on the Golden Gate Bridge.
End of his life, end of story."
It’s not a wait and see action. "Let’s see how the Lord is going to work this process out." Because if the Lord works out something, it’s going to be right
- . Let me give an example of this: When I resigned as Pastor of FBC, in our search for a new pastor, we learned thru another pastor friend DeWayne Prossor of a young man who would be good. And within a month we had a visit with this young man, and he became pastor of FBC, for eight years. Good choice. I believe sometimes the Lord can do such things.
Pulpit Committees have a place in this process I guess, but generally they are mixed up, have their own biased points of view of what the church needs, and more often then not, fail to follow God’s prescribed principles and directions. And church members as a whole have less ability in this process.