R.C. Sproul | – Am I called to be a pastor?

The call to be a pastor involves more than a desire to shepherd others. From one of our Ask Ligonier events, John MacArthur appeals to the qualifications in Scripture and the role of the church in discerning the call of men seeking to enter pastoral ministry.

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Ligonier Ministries Ligonier Ministries is an international Christian discipleship organization founded by theologian Dr. R.C. Sproul in 1971 to equip Christians to articulate what they believe, why they believe it, how to live it, and how to share it. Proclaiming God’s holiness is central to Ligonier’s purpose. Ligonier produces Renewing Your Mind radio broadcasts, the Reformation Study Bible, Tabletalk magazine, books through the Reformation Trust Publishing division, and various teaching series. It also offers academic degrees through Reformation Bible College. In addition, Ligonier hosts national and regional conferences, offers an online learning community through Ligonier Connect, streams twenty-four-hour Christian internet radio through RefNet, and makes available thousands of unique discipleship resources online at Ligonier.org. Ligonier Ministries

Comment (29)

  1. There is only 2 offices in the church that God calls DIRECTLY from him, and that's Prophet and Apostles. Any other is ordained by Apostles, or whom the Apostles have put in place to ordain. And because this has been grossly disobeyed, this is why you see 1000's of denominations, preaching a 1,000 different doctrines, it's because you have no eyewitness Apostle ordaining these men to teach. It's not the people of the church who gets to choose who preaches. It's God, and then men God ordained. So he is incorrect in what he speaks. It's good for men to have a desire, but after that, it's too many, including this man who then preaches error, because they are not eyewitnesses.

  2. Please keep prophesying the Scriptures Sir……and worry not about the critics….you can't save them all, not even the Savior Himself will save all of us, but He surely wants to…… and know that you will help way more than you will hinder……way more !

  3. The scriptural way to run a local church is “elders “ . In many churches the person labelled “pastor “ is actually some sort of dictator . This is a product of our traditions rather than the call of God. The New Testament says “God has set in the church” then lists a number of gift people, for the building up of the body. A pastor is someone who tends the flock.

  4. What's amazing is that they still think that an apostle or pastor or evangelist or prophet etc. are some sort of a privileged titular designation. These were offices in the local gathering of believers (in a particular geographical region). This is akin to a dad appointing different helps in his son's house to take care of his son. There'll be cooks, gardeners, maidservants, chauffeurs, butlers, valets etc. These people wouldn't go about calling themselves 'Cook so-&-so' or Chauffeur so-&-so' or 'Butler so-&-so'. They are just accomplishing the responsibility given to them by the son's father who has employed them. If something untoward were to happen to the son, guess what, all these employed servants will be taken to task, not the son. This is how it is when God puts someone in-charge of helping out His born-again children. Infact if you read Ephesians 4, even though there's mention of all these offices, Paul puts the onus on living the life God desires entirely on the believer. He doesn't say go to the apostle for this, go the pastor for this etc.
    These responsibilities were gifts of God, not choices of the person. Infact in v12 we see that these responsibilities have been given to perfect us in Christ. However if you read the epistle 1 John 2:27 (written about 20 years after the letter to the Ephesians) there's no mention of apostles or pastors or prophets strengthening the believer but the emphasis shifts to the indwelling Holy Spirit of God.
    "As for you, the anointing which you received from him remains in you, and you don’t need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you, you will remain in him."

    People who side with Cessationism, talk about the cessation of spiritual gifts, if we were to look at it, even these offices were gifts of good. How come if the gift of tongues & healing & prophecy have ceased, these gifts of apostle, pastor, prophet haven't yet ceased?

    Infact in 1 Timothy 3, v3 mentions that a bishop should not take wine, but in v8 the deacon should not take 'much' wine! These are not instructions for today's believers. These were written by Paul to a young man (Timothy) who was Paul's contact point at Ephesus. Would be good to remember, that none of these believers including Timothy would have any of the New Covenant scriptures in their hand at that time. The sole source of guidance would've been a few of Paul's letters.
    But today we have the whole Bible in our hands and we have the author of the Bible living inside each one of us, guiding us & leading us.

  5. Pray for me. I desire a pastorate for many years now. Am an evangelist. Can talk from a human perspective of how hard it's been for lack of church leadership support. However, will take comfort in this verse from our Sovereign Lord:
    Job 23:10 NKJV
    But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.

  6. Is it man who determines who will be a pastor or teacher? This man seems to think so.
    Ephesians 4:10-15 KJVS
    [10] He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) [11] And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; [12] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: [13] Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: [14] That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; [15] But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

    Incidentally, Ephesians 4:11 is the only time the word ‘pastor’ is used in the context of positions in the church of our Lord. The same Greek word is also translated into shepherd or shepherds in the New Testament in context with our Lord or the actual herding of sheep. Point being, this man either did not even look up the term in his bible or chose not to.

  7. When he started saying “that guy who buys a store front and turns it into a church, and ordains himself” I had to think of that “Steven Anderson” guy. Let’s be honest there’s a lot of guys trying to be preachers that just shouldn’t !

  8. What about those who do not what to be a pastor/preacher but have a strong desire to know more about the word of God should it be wise to enroll in school like masters seminary because there are no preachers like MacArthur, Sproul and so on where I live, any answer would help.. have a great day

  9. Yeah, maybe. But dollars to doughnuts says that the 1st century understanding of just what a “pastor” is, is light years away from what 21st century American evangelical understanding of just what a “pastor” is. And, by extension, what “the church” is.

  10. Too few "pastors" today are serving themselves above anyone else as they hock their books and devotionals from the pulpit, expect salaries far above the average of their congregants and are treated with a certain celebrity status. Not to mention many are not biblically qualified in the first place!

  11. Absolutely wrong, he's talking like joining a fraternity. Where's the Holy Spirit in his conversation? Sounds to me a breeding ground for more incompetent pastors. Full of doctrine, but not of God!!!!

  12. If a man is "called" to preach the Gospel then he is obligated preach
    the "whole counsel of God"… even when it DESTROYS his current gospel.
    Jesus specifically NAMED the (2nd) Jewish "Kingdom of Heaven in Mat 22:2
    Jesus specifically NAMED the (3rd) Christian "Kingdom of Heaven in Mat 13 (8 verses)
    Jesus specifically NAMED the (4th) Great Tribulation "Kingdom of Heaven in Mat 25:1-13
    EACH of these temporal "Kingdoms of Heaven" contained BOTH saved "wheat/sheep"
    (sown by God) and unsaved "tares/goats" (sown by Satan and "children of Satan")
    Jesus specifically NAMED the (5th) Eternal "Kingdom of Heaven" in Matthew chapters
    5 and 7 and 8 and 19… and UNLIKE the previous temporal Kingdoms (church on the corner)
    the ETERNAL "Kingdom of Heaven" contained ONLY the saved "wheat" from each previous
    Kingdom and NONE of the unsaved "tares" (children of Satan)
    John MacAurthur does not fulfill the BASIC obligation of a man "called" to preach.
    He REFUSES to preach what Jesus specifically NAMED… because it DESTROYS
    his current gospel and reveals that he does NOT speak for God. How sad.

  13. Why would he even waste his time preaching, being that to the elect grace is irresistible. And he says the atonement of Christ is limited. Christ died for sinners that would believe. Even better, believing without seeing.

  14. People need to stop thinking that just cuz they went to bible school they are PASTORS! It’s GOD who calls every man to his calling and the SPIRIT OF GOD will teach us everything we need to know! That’s how we let GOD be the head of the church! But UNFORTUNATELY……….man thinks he knows it all just cuz he spent 4 years of bible college and read a couple of books, the devil is a lie! REPENT AND LISTEN TO WHAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD HAS FOR HIS CHURCHES IN JESUS NAME!

  15. Wait a minute… Mr. MacArthur said that the church (the elders) would lay hands on the newly ordained pastor… It sounds like he's saying that there's a succession in ordaining those who lead us in the christian church… The question I have is: Wouldn't that have started with Jesus Christ (laying on of hands upon the ministers) around 2000 years ago? I guess there was a break in the chain…

  16. Event that i have been experience ,strange or miracle which I wrote in many sites, I am an Arab from State of Qatar this is not my name for personal reasons in the second half of April 2016 , I woken suddenly to witness this this phenomenon I saw on the ceiling of my room clearly and for period a few seconds,it was sufficient the image of the Christ the face clear, as i remembered , i think hinted that his hands back and appearance is very natural without the presence of things out of the ordinary, the face white and a little long, the beard is normal and the hair of the head lays on top of his shoulders the eyes with beauty and sharp looking and features are wonderful resembles from the Middle East Caucasians people , image impressed me with complete clarity . I thought at first that he looked like one of my friends to a slight degree, but quickly I felt inspiration jumped to my mind. He is Christ, I realize and know that all or the majority will not believe I understand , the importance here of what has happened is an ultimate truth. to me about the event using google as assistance to translate Arabic to English —ظاهرة عجيبة كتبتها بمواقع كثيرة لو كنت بشك. لما دونت حرف واحد وانا مواطن قطري صاحب تعليم وثقافة واؤمن كثيرا بالفكر المادي الحسي ليس هذا اسمي لأسباب خاصة في النصف الثاني لشهر أبريل 2016م وبكامل حواسي ومستيقظ وصاحي كنت نائم فجأة نهضت وكأن اريد لي أن أشهد هذا رأيت على سقف غرفتي بصورة واضحة ولمدة لا اعرف ممكن ثواني لكنها كافية صورة السيد المسيح الوجه واضح وكأني لمحت ان يديه إلى الخلف ومظهره طبيعي جدا بدون وجود أشياء خارجة عن المألوف وجهه شكله طويل قليلا اللحية خفيفة وشعر الرأس يتدلى على بداية كتفيه تقريبا وعيون بها جمال ونظرات وملامح رائعة وابيض اللون وشكله يشبه شعوب الشرق الأوسط و الغرفة بها اضاءة خفيفة والذي أبهرني الوضوح التام للصورة وقد اعتقدت بداية انه يشبه أحد الأصدقاء بدرجة بسيطة لكن بسرعة احسست او إلهام راودني هذا هو المسيح هذه شهادة واوصل كلمتي وهي امانة احس لابد من قولها لا اسعى او ابغي الأموال والشهرة أدرك واعرف ان الكل او الاغلبيه لن تصدق أعذرهم