Home > Brandenburg, The Ministry > How God “Calls” a Man to the Ministry

How God “Calls” a Man to the Ministry

December 27, 2006

Many men do not trust the way God has said and, continues to say, how He works today. They have become cynical of church authority.  Many of the same men do not show the same doubt about non- or un-Scriptural institutions.  Ultimately, the nature of the flesh manifests itself in rebellion against God-given authority.  When a church makes a decision, many men do not equivocate that with God making a decision.   If our churches do not represent God and do not know, and perhaps even can not know, the will of God, they should get right with God or close down. Disrespect of a church decision is disrespect of a church itself, and if that church obeys the Bible, disrespect also of the Head of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ. Godly men and churches should not fellowship with this unfruitful work of darkness.

God “calls” through the recognition of a legitimate, New Testament church. God does not circumvent the church to inform a man of his ordination by God to the office of a pastor. God has given the church authority to judge in matters as the “pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul tells the church,

“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?  and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? The least esteemed in the church” (vv. 2-5).

God has equipped the church with the necessary ability to make right decisions.

How can a church decide for God? The key to understanding this is in Ephesians 4. “There is one body, and one Spirit . . . one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (vv. 4-6). When a characteristically obedient church unifies on a matter, this is “the unity of the Spirit.” Previous to the baptism of the Spirit in Acts 2, the Lord Jesus Christ had taught His disciples the importance of agreement of the church. The Lord promised to be in the midst of these agreeing brethren. Church members should come to agreement. When a church does agree, this is the means by which God guides His people in His will in matters. In Acts 13, even the apostle Paul submitted himself to the decision of the Godly men of a church.

A church is the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). Christ is the head of His body (Colossians 1:18). He is above, through, and in the members of His church. When a church moves, He moves. The church is a supernatural organization headed by Christ and led by the Holy Spirit. When a church says that a man is qualified to pastor and sets a man apart for that office, that man is ordained by God. This does not occur when a man unilaterally says He’s called and relates an experience, but when a church agrees there is a desire and that the man fulfills the qualifications. The church can also disqualify a man either temporarily or permanently.

I hate to say this is the alternative to the weird or spooky call. The other is an imposter and the faux alternative to this, the Scriptural doctrine of the call of God. We should all notice that it is through a church that God decides. A pastor can show leadership, but the church makes these types of decisions. Even when a pastor wants to move, it should be a church agreeing that he should move and then sending him to greater ministry by the grace of God. Until the church agrees, the man should stay put.

A whole other thread in this discussion is how a church is led by the Spirit. Churches should learn to make decisions based upon Biblical principles. First, the church understands God’s Word, rightly divides It. Second, the church accurately applies what God said in the decision making. Godly leadership toward right decision making would include careful exegesis of Scripture, looking for thoughtful consideration of the text of Scripture. This too is how God will be glorified in the decision made (1 Peter 4:11).

Categories: Brandenburg, The Ministry
  1. December 27, 2006 at 9:01 am

    This is why a man should be ordained in the church he is currently serving in. Some go back to the church they grew up in to be ordained where everybody loves them out of natural affection. That is circumventing this system. Anybody can find a church that will ordain him, but that does not make it right. It ought to be the church you are currently working in, and it should be after years of serving in that church–not after serving only for one year.

  2. December 27, 2006 at 12:34 pm

    These are good points. I am thinking about this line though:

    The church can also disqualify a man either temporarily or permanently.

    In an independent system, it would seem to me fairly difficult to disqualify and make it stick. If the ordaining church subsequently disbands over the years, it might be impossible to disqualify in that sense.

    Any thoughts on those scenarios?

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  3. December 27, 2006 at 5:19 pm

    More thoughts…

    While I agree that the call must be recognized by the church, and the church ought to have authority in this, I would also mention that churches can become heavy-handed on this issue, demanding that the candidate jump through a prescribed set of hoops, passing various “loyalty” tests, etc.

    This part of the issue has not been addressed in this thread, but eventually must be. Believers and churches once believed this way, and to a fault — thus John Bunyan. Today, the pendulum is on the other side, and we have young men demanding a pulpit because they want one, and they say all the right things to get it.

    I would like to see us deal with the issue (touched on in the original post) of when and how a church rightly denies a man, and conversely when and how a church rightly allows a man.

  4. January 2, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    Excellent post! There is definitely some food for thought!

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