I remember clearly the days in my life when the Lord called me to be a vocational minister. I am what many would say, the age of a "young whippersnapper", 29. However, as I reflect back 13 years ago when I was called to the ministry it seems the course of events and thoughts I had in my life are vastly different than young men "called to ministry" today. THEREFORE, I WANT TO TAKE A FEW MINUTES AND VOICE SOME CONCERNS ON THE "CALL TO MINISTRY OF YOUNG WHIPPERSNAPPER'S".
It seems many young men are loosing sight on what it means to be "called into the ministry". Not only my concern for them in the ministry, but what will happen to the Churches across the world in 10-15 years when the "whippersnappers" haven't figured out what ministry is all about. Ministers are not volunteers in the Church, they are vocational men with a life long calling to the ministry. In these days young "whippersnappers" are making the ministry look like a volunteer Job.
Here are a few of my concerns that could bring devastation to the meaning of ministry:
#1 - HALF-HEARTEDNESS
I'm watching young men across the country flopping in their commitment to the ministry. One minute you find them excited about ministry opportunities, the next minute you're "texting" them to see where they've been for 6 weeks. One day you're celebrating their ordination service, the next day you hear their interviewing for a business opportunity. One month you're disciplining them, leading them, and even letting them preach, and and then the next month, they are just motivational Chaplin's at ballgames, on Sunday's none the less. One year you see them excel with potential of pastoring, the next year their chasing dreams of life in this earthly world.
I see young men hit and miss on activities, unfaithful to the duties of the Church. It seems to me these young men are just volunteer Church members picking and choosing what they wanna do! Young men, if your going to do the work of the ministry, jump in, fully committed, consistently faithful, proving yourselves men of God! Young man, if your not in, then say your not. However, don't come belly aching your not getting your way and the Church is not listening to you! EARN YOUR RESPECT AND HONOR BY BEING COMMITTED TO THE MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH! (1st Peter 5:5, Titus 2:6-8)
#2 - SECULAR SECURITY
There are two concerns I see becoming a trend in young men, contrary to a traditional call to the ministry.
First, young men have a need to pursue a secular education rather than heading to ministry education. I hear young men say something like this, "well, I need something to fall back on". YOUNG MEN, IF GOD IS NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO HOLD YOU UP IN THE MINISTRY, THEN YOU DON'T NEED TO BE IN THE MINISTRY! Listen young men, if God called you, then God will care for you!
Second, young men are voicing their cool new trend of not taking pay from the Church. They seem as though they want a volunteer position in the Church, rather than wanting a life long vocational call to the ministry. They have good intentions, BUT, it is a sign of a fence straddling commitment to vocational ministry. It sounds like a cool idea, so you can be "radical" for Jesus, however, it causes you and the Church you minister, to be disobedient. (1st Corinthians 9:14, 1st Timothy 5:17-18) We have been called to make our living by Gospel preaching and the Church commissioned to provide for the man plowing in the word. There seems to be a trend today, to make the Church a "for profit" business, turning the Church into a marketplace. The Local Church is a "non-profit" organization that operates by the tithes and offerings of the Churches Members!
#3 - REFORMED RESURGENCE
Young people are more impressed with John Calvin's system of salvation than they are with Jesus Christ. The thought of young people today is to reform the Church by a system of theology that is unbiblical. Unbiblical of the gospel, plan of salvation, and truth. Young men have been tired of the "traditional" Church, therefore, they are reading and seeking for a "reformed" way. However, reformed theology is not the answer to the concerns for a lack of commitment found in the pews.
Paul told young Timothy in 2nd Timothy 1 that the faith that was in His grandmother and mother, let that faith also rest in Him. Young men, find the faith and character of your fathers, fathers of Israel: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, etc... that lead them to be a successful people for God's glory! Young men, let us return to the reformations of Ezra and Nehemiah. Let us return by placing the Word of God in the position it deserves, proclaiming it from behind the pulpit of wood.
Many "reformed ways" are simply contradictory to scripture, leading to a downward spiral in Churches. Young men are stopping gospel invitations, ceasing to lead people in a "sinner's prayer", putting brakes on their evangelism thrust, and teaching a system of theology contrary to scripture. (TULIP)
#4 - CONVICTIONAL COMPROMISE
Young ministers in Churches are bringing devastation to what the functions of the Church are by compromising biblical standards, theologies, and methodologies.
Local Church. Young people are losing the biblical principles and workings of the LOCAL CHURCH. It seems "whippersnappers" are more concerned with having circus's and carnivals than Church Services. Jesus Christ founded the Church upon the confession of men, in that Jesus Christ is the son of God. Christ started the Church, saved the Church, is sanctifying the Church, and we ought to call ourselves the Church! It seems the younger men would rather call their Church anything but a Church. In Baptist circles today, young men are ashamed to put "Baptist Church" on their sign. We are afraid to identify who we are in Christ, a local Church that is Baptist in theology and methodology.
To follow in this mind set of the compromising on the Local Church, is the idea to be ecumenical. It seems we will let any doctrine, methods, and idea's of scripture into the sheep's pen. When you join up with other forms of theology and methodologies, it will weaken you in your belief. (Hosea Prophesied) YOUNG MEN ARE TRYING TO GET ALONG WITH EVERY FORM OF DOCTRINE. YOUNG MEN, THERE WILL BE TIMES WE WILL NOT AGREE AND GET ALONG ON DOCTRINE! (special note: you don't have to get along with all forms of religion just to try and draw a crowd!)
Secular Society. The list could go on for days here. We have all seen in some form, Churches are conforming to what society calls for them to do. In return, Churches lower their standards to get along with the world. We are leaning toward the extreme side of changing and becoming like them to gain them, that should not be the case. When you start hanging around in a Sodom & Gomorrah world notice where that gets you! (ask Lot, he will tell you.)
Young Men, if you’re going to be in the business of vocational ministry, you must be a prophet of God that stands alone.
WE NEED YOUNG MEN WHO HAVE BACKBONE, WHO STAND ON THE WORD OF GOD, AND DO NOT HAVE LACE ON THEIR LEVIS.
IN CONCLUSION, I still believe in an ole fashion call and course of actions in the traditions of our spiritual fathers, as a vocational call to ministry. Theses traditions were things done in biblical church/times and still should be carried out by young men today. Young man, make up your mind and be honest, are you vocational or volunteer? My prayer today, is that the Lord will raise up some young men with the spirit of Elijah, the passion for souls as Paul, the sacrificial life of John the Baptist, and the uncompromising proclamation of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
keeping in the "ole path"