Tests Of A Man’s Call To Pastor

This article by David Cloud can be viewed in full HERE.

David Cloud does an excellent job laying out the process of a man’s call into the ministry and his actual ordination into the ministry. He gives several tests a man must pass, according to the Scriptures.

1. The test of desire (1 Timothy 3:1 1 Cor. 9:16)

2. The test of life (1 Timothy 3; Titus 1)

3. The test of ability (Titus 1:9-11)

4. The test of recognition (Acts 13:1-3)

When God called Paul and Barnabas to a particular missionary work, their church recognized that call. This is an important test. The normal Bible pattern is for an individual’s call to be recognized by the church that knows him best. The same was true when Timothy was called to accompany Paul on his journeys (Acts 16:1-3).

5. The test of proving (1 Timothy 3:102 Corinthians 8:22)

The Scriptures show that churches must be careful in ordination. Men must demonstrate their zeal and faithfulness. This is true for every position of service in the church. The believer should show by his godly manner of life that he is qualified for a special place of service, regardless of how “lowly.” A man will show by his life and zeal whether he is called. The man who is called of God will serve the Lord in that capacity, or at least prepare for serving, without pay and without having a “position.” The Scriptures warn about hasty ordinations (1 Tim. 5:22). Timothy was warned to be cautious about ordaining men to positions of leadership. The context of 1 Timothy 5:17-25 concerns leaders in the church. By laying on of hands, those performing the ordination are testifying publicly that they believe God has called the person being ordained. Ordination is a recognition of divine call. Those performing the ordination are identifying themselves with the one being ordained. If the church makes a mistake because of hastiness and failure to prove the person by God’s standards, they become partaker of the sins of the man wrongly ordained.

6. The test of fruit

The Bible emphasizes the importance of fruit (Psalm 1:1-32 Tim. 4:5).

A man who does not have the biblical evidence of God’s calling should be content with doing something other than pastoring. There are many ways to preach without being a pastor. Churches must be very careful in ordaining men. They must measure men by God’s standards, not by human standards. By ordaining the wrong men, they are doing both those men and the churches a disservice, and this business will doubtless be addressed at the judgment seat of Christ.



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