Is it really improbable for someone to “like” or “want” to be a pastor? I just think that there really are people who understand what it means to be one and are really filled with passion to preach Christ, with compassion for the lost and with care for the flock, that they really “like” or “want” it whatever might be the cost.
Hey there my friend. I think you’re referring to some of the tough things I said about seminary and a pastor’s calling.
I believe it’s not improbable to just “like” or “want” to be a pastor, but it’s certainly unlikely.
Please hear me saying this in all love and grace for you. I know it will sound like such a downer, and when I talk to young dudes who want to be pastors, this is always the hard part. I feel like the harbinger of bad news or the crusher of dreams. I end up saying “No you’re not ready” a lot of the time, and usually the response is, “You’re just a hater, you don’t know me man, God’s gonna use me.”
I’ve hurt a lot of fragile egos who weren’t willing to undergo the honesty of self-examination. I get cussed out or cut off, and that’s okay. By now, I’m jaded by those sort of things. There’s a lot of triumphalistic tribal language about victory and haters and trolls, but really: I’m trying to give an honest accurate view of what pastoral ministry is really like. If I don’t do that, then I wouldn’t be a good friend. And even if that person “thinks” they understand what it’s like to be a pastor, they don’t. Seriously. I’m being nice here. You can’t possibly know what it’s like until you’re there, day to day, in the trenches of real people bleeding your life away to serve.
Simply: Ministry is downright impossible except for the anointing of God. There’s no way to simply “like” your way into ministry. The life of a pastor is extremely difficult, and if it’s not, you’re probably doing it wrong. I will never ever sugarcoat this or water it down to spare your feelings. It’s why doctors will tell you that med school isn’t for kicks and cred: they want you to man up and be ready. If you’re called, awesome. If not, wait.
I do see what you’re saying. There should be joy in ministry. Of course it helps to like what you do. Pastors must certainly “like” the church, even and especially when it’s difficult. But if that’s the sole motivation, it will never last.
I hate to be the jerk that says all that. It’s just that I’ve seen so many distracted half-focused jokesters in the pulpit that I realize: no one ever told them the true meaning of being a pastor. They don’t realize they have the lives of entire families in their hands who want healing and guidance and truth and a true picture of God. It’s like some of these dudes went to youth camp once and thought it would be fun and easy and so they sign up for seminary to have a “one day per week” job. And that’s not even close to how it really is.