A word to those who are aspiring to preach

Where I come from you hear Christians talk about being “called to preach.” “So-and-so got called to preach when he was 15; now he is the pastor at First Baptist.” What they’re referring to is that certain sense some people get of being called by God to “the ministry”, which usually entails filling a pulpit somewhere and being the main teacher/speaker in a Christian congregation.

I had a conversation tonight with some brothers and sisters that sparked something in me. I know there are a lot of people out there who feel this calling from God. Perhaps you are one of them. You have encountered the Lord and have a testimony of Him. You’ve been given special insight into the scriptures, therefore you have a burning desire to proclaim the truth you see there. Yet you feel limited and unable to follow your heart in this way because you’re stuck in a setting where you are not recognized as the teaching pastor or elder-only a “layman”-and therefore you are not allowed to do so. So you feel that the only way to find an outlet for your ministry is to go to seminary or start your own congregation down the road. 

Might I suggest another alternative?

When all the saints in town came together as the church in the first century it was for the purpose of mutual upbuilding through the functioning of every member. Body ministry was the order of the day. All the saints took turns speaking the truth of Christ to one another in love, or “prophesying” as Paul would call it. They did this regularly.

Every member who was gifted to teach, taught. Every sister or brother who was burning to proclaim Christ, proclaimed Him. Again, let me point out the fact that they did this regularly.

There was no paid pastor handling all the spoken ministry. No team of elders who took turns doing all the preaching. Rather, all the Body functioned together. And it was so satisfying to the spiritual hunger of the church. You might even say from the inference of scripture that it was like a spiritual potluck-a feast even-in which everyone came both to give and to receive.

“But that was then,” you might say, “and this is now. Now we have priests and pastors, and the only way to find an outlet for my passion or gift is to start my own church down the road.”

All I can say to you is that there are churches in existence all across this land where the entire Body is free to function and minister in the assembly. Believe it or not, there is a real priesthood of believers out there just waiting to be discovered by those whose hunger is great enough to drive them to it. You may have to do a little searching to find it, but the experience is out there, and it is wonderful.  

I dare say that this is what you are seeking. This is where your calling, your gifting, and your passion for the Lord Jesus Christ will find full release and satisfaction.

What is this place of which I speak?

It is the church life!

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About Joshua

Writer, husband, father, friend. View all posts by Joshua

12 responses to “A word to those who are aspiring to preach

  • Katie

    This is really good josh. Im glad you wrote it out…its an awesome realization. Life is always meant to experience and

  • springsman

    This I believe is the real idea of God’s church. I too have noticed that we are called to build up the church, as opposed to create the church. Christ is the one that created the church.

  • So, you’ve been “called to the ministry”? | The Assembling of the Church

    […] Posted by Alan Knox on Jul 7, 2011 in blog links | 0 comments Josh at “Called to Rebuild” has written an excellent post called “A word to those who are aspiring to preach.” […]

  • Jason_73

    Excellent post that filled me with encouragement. Thanks!

  • John Wilson

    Thanks so much brother for sharing this, I would venture to say there are hundreds of thousands of men and women who have this same sense, this spiritual sense from Christ. And what happens is these same people get noticed and are pulled into teaching Sunday School, teaching discipleship classes, get sent to the local mission to preach a sermon or preach a sermon on Sunday “evening” or the prayer meeting on Wed evening and then get pulled into the Tue evening visitation program, and then just when you are trying to pay off your debt you have to go to seminary because that’s what you are “suppose” to do. I know this was me.

    It is self-centered and focused on building an individual “ministry” and meet a spiritual need that, like you said, has no outlet in “institutional” churches, when it reality Christ desires a face to face mutually participating life together with other brothers and sisters to grow and to express the fullness of His life. Each person expressing their gift of Christ, speaking and serving by the life of Christ in them for the edification of the whole body. I am thankful that after I retired from the military, which I knew God wanted me to do, He at the same time did not have me “finish” seminary, which always puzzled me at the time. Why am I not able to finish seminary God, didn’t you “call” me? Was what I thought. But after many years and being guided by Christ to a more simple, organic, relational, and albeit more biblical way of being ekklesia I can say that this is what Father has had in His mind the whole time.

    You hit it on the head brother. You wrote down my heart, It’s where I’m at and I am thankful for the opportunity with a few brothers and sisters to relearn together what it means to live by the life of Christ together in a more organic relational way. Still learning. So appreciate you writing this article and allowing me the opportunity to share.

  • lawdawg23

    Thanks John. I really appreciate you taking the time to share all that. The Lord is beautiful, brother, and He is beautiful in you. It’s great to hear that you are finally experiencing what your heart longed for all those years.

  • lawdawg23

    Jason,

    I’m glad you enjoyed the post, bro! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • mike

    Sounds like the “connect groups” or small groups we have. The goal of each connect group is to establish the same community experience found in the book of Acts. There’s such a lack of community among churches, so it makes sense that God has given us specific vision to address this issue in America, and give opportunity for people to experience a fuller church life. Good stuff here. May God continue to establish a deeper church life for the Sake of Christ, His body, and this world.

  • lawdawg23

    Springsman,

    You’re right, brother. Unless the Lord is the one building His House, we who labor do so in vain. The church has her reality in Christ. If we are in Him in a living way, experiencing and growing in His life, then the church will take shape. But from beginning to end, it is all His work!

  • andrew wehrheim

    Very enjoyable. Every gift and every function is welcome in the Ecclesia! Welcome, needed, and wanted! In the Church life your gift and function find a home.

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