Being paid to study and teach the Bible has to be the BEST job in the world! Seriously, think about it. You spend hours and hours praying, reading, studying and teaching the Word of God and at the end of month, someone hands you a check for doing that? How wonderful is that? Hey, if you are wondering – that’s my job and I love it! I don’t love it for the money (though I need the money to pay some bills and care for my family). I’ve got a wife and two kids and lots of other responsibilities. I need the money and I am thankful that I do get paid. But you know what, even if I wasn’t getting paid, I would find a way to keep doing what I am doing and care for my family at the same time. Like, Paul, I could go tent-making or something like that. I would do anything if I had to – thankfully I don’t – for now anyway and I praise the Lord for such mercy and grace to me and my family!
By now you are wondering, what is this guy up to. Well, let me just cut to the chest. I want to talk to you about something really important. You young men, and some young women too (the LORD may be calling your husband to be a pastor, or you may find yourself marrying or raising a pastor some day) – but my focus is mainly going to be on you young men. I want to challenge you to consider taking on the BEST job in the world. Yes, you read that right! I want to ask you to consider becoming a minister of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and commit to spend the rest of your days here on earth in prayer and the ministry of the Word like the Apostles did (see Acts 6:4). Or like Ezra, will you consider setting your heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach His statues and rules” wherever He may choose to use you? (see Ezra 7:10).
Brother, the world needs you! What I mean is the world needs more pastors. But that’s not all! The world needs better men who will make better pastors. Men of prayer, men who of faith – not afraid to take risks for the LORD and His glory and for sinners and their salvation! Are you willing to take the risk? Yes, you read this right too – RISK! In my short life, I have had the wonderful privilege of traveling to a few countries around the world. I have also met many Christians from other parts of the world where I have not yet visited. The story is the same! Pastors are SCARCE! We don’t just need pastors – we need better men – better disciples of Christ – who will make better pastors! Is that you?
Being a minister of the Gospel is not only the BEST job in the world. It’s also, the most RISKY job in the world! Of necessity, you have to lay your life down in service to the LORD and His people! The risks are many and they come in different shapes and sizes. Financial risks, health risks, relational risks, reputation risks, career risks, growth risks, family risks – the list is long! Paul said about his own life and ministry, “I die every day” (1 Corinthians 15:31b). I have known the challenges of pastoral ministry from a young age. My father is a minister of the Gospel himself. He has been for over 35 years. I learned a lot about pastoral ministry from watching my Dad as I was growing up He is a unique man of faith – very patient and enduring – full of compassion for the lost and deeply passionate for the glory of God! Just listen to him pray and you will know what I mean. His prayer ooze the glory of God! I didn’t see myself that way and sometimes, I still wonder why I am a pastor considering all the things that would disqualify me. But I thank the LORD for considering me worthy to be in His service by His grace in Christ (see 1 Timothy 1:12-17! The challenges and risks are there, but His grace is always sufficient for me and His power is made perfect in my weaknesses. Therefore, I am content to live with my weaknesses so that the power of Christ might rest on me as I serve Him (see 2 Corinthians 12:9).
Before you turn me off and move on to something else, please allow me to share my personal story in this regard. You see, when I was a little boy (from about age 6), it was not uncommon for me to hear people saying with big smiles on their faces, “Fletcher, you should become a pastor!” As I grew older (in my teens), this never stopped. But at that time, I would inquire further into this. I learned to ask the question, why? Sounds like a teenager? So, I would ask people, “Why do you think I should become a pastor?” Their answer almost always would go something like this, “Because your father is a pastor.” To which I would then respond (in my own heart – so that nobody heard it), “That’s exactly why I don’t want to be a pastor.” And I would move on with life – and try to ignore those voices! The reason was that I knew the challenges of pastoral ministry from watching my Dad as pointed out in the preceding paragraph.
But little did I know that that was exactly the call of God upon my life. I did a number of things – or perhaps I should say, I tried a number of things before committing to pursue pastoral ministry. I sought to reconcile myself to this by getting involved in para-church ministry. I unsuccessfully tried to suppress and silence the call. Like Jonah, I literally tried running away, but the LORD would not let me. That’s a long story – maybe I will share it another time. He pursued me and caught up with me and I had to yield. Today, I am a pastor – I spend my days in much prayer, study and meditation on God’s Word and learning to live it out day by day before my lovely wife and kids – and before the watching world – but most importantly before the LORD Himself. And I teach the Word of God in the congregation that the LORD has entrusted to my care under Christ week by week – twice each Sunday – morning and evening and once or twice during the week – I go around visiting and encouraging the members of our congregation – and counsel with people in need – and I LOVE IT!
Best of all, I love it because I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that this is what the LORD Himself has called me to do. Perhaps, He is calling you as well! Don’t linger! Don’t try to repeat the Jonah experience like I did! Say “Yes” – and do so now – and join me and the large band of so many other men – those who have gone before us – and sign up for the BEST job in the whole world! Praying for you and may the LORD richly bless you as you weigh this matter before Him, yourself and others in Jesus Christ! AMEN!
“Unless there is an element of risk in your exploits for God, there is no need for faith” (Hudson Taylor). People need Jesus! People are going to hell. What will you risk to reach them with the Gospel?