“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” (1st Peter 2:2)
How long must one remain in the position of a babe in Christ before one can become a teacher?
I do not adhere to what some say, at least not in its entirety, that that is up to the Almighty, or we would not be commanded to study to show ourselves approved, we would not be instructed to search the Scriptures or to seek the face of God. But one must also consider what the shirt says that my lovely wife gave me, “God does not choose the qualified, He qualifies the chosen.”
I believe that very few pastors are actually called to the ministry, I believe most are just young men on fire, so to speak, for the Lord, and that they learn to be pastors as the years go by, and not all of them very well if truth be told. Usually, they become enamored with a young woman who is herself desirous to serve the Lord, and as happens many times, she finds out very soon that this man will place those in the congregation before her and the children they have together. I have witnessed it many times over the decades.
“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” (James 3:1)
Paul offered this almost as a warning, and I believe he may have had quite a few young men in the audience who were desirous to be just that, teachers, but had yet to be blessed with the wisdom of all that entails. I have watched my beautiful wife over the last few years live her life, so to speak, while I perform what I believe the Lord has called me to do, and I do not believe our marriage would be as strong as it is if that calling had been placed upon me before we met.
“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1st Tim. 5:8)
I also believe that men who are called by the Lord to the ministry do not often stay the pastors of small congregations, they are sought out by others because of the wisdom the Lord has blessed them with, to put it in the vernacular of the world, they move up the ladder. These men of God lead large congregations of God-fearing, Christ-centered folk, they are called upon often to travel to speak truth in many places. They know no repetitive Sunday morning routine; they know how to seek the face of God for the glory of God.
The man who believes he has been called by the Almighty to stand behind the same pulpit for decades, who sees very few new faces over those long years, few if any conversions, and watches as the assembly grows smaller and smaller may not have been called as he thought he was.
Those who aspire to serve Christ to the fullest in this life must be attentive to what the Holy Spirit is telling them, not what their heart says, for it will deceive us every time. “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3)
A strange sense of pride because of visible failure keeps some behind that pulpit, and that same pride will put many there that should not be standing in that position.
Only you know if you are where the Lord wants you to be, only you can tell if the burden that has been placed upon you is there because of the Lord or your good intentions.
I pity those who heard incorrectly, those who struggle every week with the next Sunday’s sermon, who constantly are trying to find ways not only to draw more people in, but to keep those awake who continue to show up.
Perhaps my friend you heard wrongly. Only you know.