We sat together in class. Not only do we sit together, but we were across the hallway from each other and our dorms. This young man was saved, baptized into a local church, and called to preach. Often during Bible College, we would share our hearts as to what we believe God wanted us to do.
This young man had the idea that being a pastor was nothing more then bossing people around. He expressed to me, on several occasions, that his desire was to take on a church with enough people to not only pay him, but several other preachers. He bragged about how he would delegate people while he sat behind his desk.
He wanted to be the head of it all.
Well, this is an extreme thought about a person who doesn’t deserve to be in the ministry, I still find many young preachers with a very similar mind. Though they may not say it like my former friend said it, that is what they are expecting when they going to the ministry.
It is almost as if they feel entitled to a position, a salary, and all their needs to be met. All will never really doing the work of the ministry.
I fear the entitlement mentality is very prevalent among young preachers entering the ministry.
What many preachers do not realize is the fact that ministry takes time. Ministry takes effort. Building a local church and the power of Christ does not come simply because we want it. Jesus must build his church, and we must make ourselves available to him and serve him.
We must work. Nothing is free, and nothing should be expected.
If we want a fruitful ministry, then we must be willing to work for it.
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
~ 1 Timothy 3:1
The idea of a good work is the idea of laboring. Often in the Bible, God compares great things to labor. He also teaches about travail. This is compared to a woman giving birth.
It is not easy, requires sacrifice, and there’s a great deal of pain involved. But when you hold that little baby, it is worth it.
It seems as if many young men want to go into the ministry with the pride and joy of a child, but are not willing to put it in the labor.
I want to encourage young men to consider their heart in ministry. I also want them to consider the fact that if they’re going to be given responsibility, they must prove themselves by being hard workers.
They should not feel entitled to anything, but they should prove themselves.
As Paul told Timothy that the ministry is a good work, that same Paul knew that Timothy was a hard worker. Paul expressed to the church of Philippi that Timothy had proved himself. Therefore Paul put Great responsibility upon Timothy to help lead the church of Philippi.
But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s. But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.
~ Philippians 2:19-21
Paul didn’t send just anyone. He sent a man who proved himself. He sent a man who was a hard worker. He didn’t send the man who felt entitled to a position in ministry.
So, young preacher, are you willing to prove yourself in the ministry? I would encourage you to go to your pastor and ask him what you can do to help prove yourself in the ministry. If you want to be sent out of your local church, you not only need to prove yourself to that local church, but you must demonstrate to God that you are dedicated and willing to labor for the cause of Christ.
Are you willing to sacrifice? Are you willing to labor? Are you willing to untangle yourself with the affairs of this life? Are you willing to be a good soldier for Jesus?
Are you willing to do the good work of being a bishop?