By Not Known
Ask any child what he wants to be when he/she grows up and chances are they will NOT say “A pastor.” For that matter, how many parents would want their child to be a pastor? Somehow fulltime pastoral ministry does not seem to be very appealing and yet, every church needs a pastor and in the case of larger churches certainly a team of pastors to care for the flock. Over the years, the church in Singapore has grown by God’s grace and therefore there is an ever-present, ever-necessary, ever-urgent task of preparing people for pastoral ministry.
One idea to encourage more candidates for ministry is to implement an Internship Program whereby those who are appropriately gifted, and seeking God’s leading are given opportunity to be involved first-hand on the church staff for say one year. This means giving them hands-on experiences in various ministries, providing supervision, mentoring and exposure to various aspects of pastoral ministry, missions work etc. Obviously this will mean also supporting them financially so they are provided for during this tenure. Other churches have such internships in place and by God’s grace has provided a steady stream of future fulltime workers, some ordained and others not, depending on their gifts and callings.
Looking back personally there have been many joys.
• The joy of watching people believe in Jesus, grow in faith, commitment and service. Seeing them respond to Christ’s call to baptism and then serving faithfully in church ministries is very encouraging. Seeing people listen and respond obediently to God’s Word preached or taught, and seeing lives transformed into Christian maturity.
• Conducting weddings for couples, baptizing their children and watching them together serving and growing into maturity.
• Prayers answered and projects completed with God’s enabling.
• Backslidden worshipers returning to God after a period of dryness.
• Seeing people through crisis periods in their lives.
• Working together with fellow leaders who have become good friends.
• Sharing our lives, resources and homes with people God has brought across our path.
Of course there have been sorrows too. If there are joygivers, there are also joytakers. Our Lord received persecution, crucifixion, a crown of thorns, lashes and nails. We who follow and serve in His name cannot expect less. We may be discouraged even by fellow believers/leaders but we look to God for daily grace and mercy. In spite of painful setbacks, I can honestly say the joys outweigh the sorrows. Two verses I have picked up over the years remain precious to me: “God, who has led me all my life long to this day.. (Gen 48.15) .. He will complete what He has appointed for me.” (Job 23.14)
If you have a desire to feed the flock, care for believers from cradle to grave, see the church of God grow in quality and quantity, use your mind, body and soul in the service of God and for His Glory, to invest your life in things which are spiritual and eternal – please have a chat with me or other leaders. May God call a new generation of godly pastors who will lead our churches for the next few decades. That would be another reason for joy.