Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tips for Pastors With Potential Preachers in their Churches

As a seminary student and man who felt the call on his life to serve in vocational ministry, I felt that it was important to be actively involved in my church. While my wife and I have been in several churches over the years, we have taken every opportunity to be as involved as possible with the ministry of the church. Here are a few tips that I would like to offer to pastors in order to help them cultivate the individuals in their church who may be seeking God's will.

  1. Help these men determine their calling. It is vital that, as pastors, you help individuals determine if the ministry is truly for them. Some individuals may feel a call, but do not have the necessary gifting to be a pastor or preacher. Help them determine this right from the start. It is vital that they know if they are truly called in order to prevent heartache and devastation later down the road.
  2. Give them opportunities to preach. The pastor of my last church was good about this one. Many pastors are very stingy with their pulpits, using the excuse that God has called them to be responsible for the flock and the teaching that takes place. While this is true, it is also necessary to give others an opportunity to preach as well. There was a time when someone did the same for you, remember? If the individual goes off the deep end, well, it was only one sermon.
  3. Offer feedback on what they are doing. Young preachers (experience, not necessarily age) need to know what they are doing that is right and what needs to be changed for the next time. Let them know what was good and what was not. The members of your congregation are only going to tell them that they did well or they aren't going to say anything at all. It is your responsibility to help them grow and mature as communicators of God's Word.
  4. Please don't make promises you aren't willing or able to keep. Speaking from experience, seeking God's will and looking for a ministry position can be a time-consuming and patience-trying practice. As young preachers, we want so badly to be in the ministry because we want to follow the call we believe to be on our lives. Young preachers believe that their ministry position is right around the corner. Every preaching opportunity or submitted resume is going to lead to the desire of their heart. With this in mind, please do not lead the young preachers of your church on. Do not let them believe that they will be a pastor in your church if there is no likelihood of it coming to pass. All this does is lead to hurt feelings and will cause your church to lose good leaders.

I realize that this may sound like a lecture, but my intent was offer some advice to help pastor already established in the ministry in ways to nurture those who are rising up right now. The business world is excellent at this type of thing; shouldn't the church be multiplying pastors as well?

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