Confirming Your Calling to Pastoral Ministry

Confirming Your Calling to Pastoral Ministry

By: Dave Bruskas

If you are feeling called to pastoral ministry, the first thing you need to do is confirm your calling.
This is the second installment of an 8-part series Preparing to Lead.

Are you feeling called to pastoral ministry? If so, what should you do next? Where should you start?

I suggest you start by investigating three areas of your life through the lens of Paul’s words to Timothy: “If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach” (1 Tim. 3:1–2).

Do you really want to do this?

The biblical word translated “aspires” is a strong word. It connotes both passion and volition. It’s a word of both feeling and action. To aspire is to reach out from a place of strong desire.

This raises the question: Do you really want to do this? And if your answer is yes, you should test your commitment. How badly do you want to do this? Are you willing to work hard and wait patiently for it? Why do you want to do this? Is this about you and your significance? Or is it about the fame of Jesus?

Ask yourself the hard questions. Then invite those who already serve as pastors to do the same.

Do you know what you are getting into?

It stands to reason that you should have a good understanding of the office of overseer before you pursue it. Over the years, I have been surprised by how many young men I have met who want to become pastors without grasping the task at hand.


How Do You Know If You’re Called to Pastoral Ministry?

How Do You Know If You’re Called to Pastoral Ministry?

This article is from the Resurgence, a ministry of Mars Hill. It is the first of a great 8-part series called Preparing to Lead.  I will post the first two articles and then trust if you are interested you can find the rest on their site.

By Dave Bruskas

How Do You Know If You’re Called to Pastoral


View the Preparing to Lead series

Many people imagine being called to pastoral ministry is a mystical sense or experience. But the Bible shows us that being called is more objective and measurable than that. This is the first installment of an 8-part series Preparing to Lead.

The Apostle Paul had a direct encounter with Jesus that defined his call to ministry. As far as we can know from the silence of the Bible, Timothy, his protégé, had a different experience. But it’s important to understand that Paul gives Timothy authoritative direction on how to evaluate a call to pastoral ministry. We can see there are at least three critical dimensions to calling from the Bible’s pastoral epistles.

1. Compelled

In the heart of the man being called into pastoral ministry is a desire to serve the church as an overseer. Scripture encourages such an ambition, telling us, “If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task” (1 Tim. 3:1). If this desire can’t be shaken, then it must be taken seriously.

The Apostle Paul had a direct encounter with Jesus that defined his call to ministry. As far as we can know from the Bible, Timothy had a different experience.

Too often, our conception of a call to ministry takes on a mystical element that the Bible doesn’t require. It is more objective and measurable than that, according to the Scripture. It is a noble desire residing in the heart of a man who loves the church and wants to serve as a leader.

2. Qualified


3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don’t Leave the Church


This is one of parents and youth pastors greatest fears, that their students would walk away from their faith after graduation.  The author of this article gives three common traits of youth who don’t leave the church.  This is well worth the read if you are a leader in student ministry or a parent of a teen.

3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don’t Leave the


By: Jon Nielson
Jon is the college pastor at College Church in Wheaton, Illinois. He blogs at Something More Sure.

 “What do we do about our kids?” The group of parents sat together in my office, wiping their eyes. I’m a high school pastor, but for once, they weren’t talking about 16-year-olds drinking and partying. Each had a story to tell about a “good Christian” child, raised in their home and in our church, who had walked away from the faith during the college years. These children had come through our church’s youth program, gone on short-term mission trips, and served in several different ministries during their teenage years. Now they didn’t want anything to do with it anymore. And, somehow, these mothers’ ideas for our church to send college students “care packages” during their freshman year to help them feel connected to the church didn’t strike me as a solution with quite enough depth.

The daunting statistics about church-going youth keep rolling in. Panic ensues. What are we doing wrong in our churches? In our youth ministries?

It’s hard to sort through the various reports and find the real story. And there is no one easy solution for bringing all of those “lost” kids back into the church, other than continuing to pray for them and speaking the gospel into their lives. However, we can all look at the 20-somethings in our churches who are engaged and involved in ministry. What is it that sets apart the kids who stay in the church? Here are just a few observations I have made about such kids, with a few applications for those of us serving in youth ministry.

1. They are converted.

The Apostle Paul, interestingly enough, doesn’t use phrases like “nominal Christian” or “pretty good kid.” The Bible doesn’t seem to mess around with platitudes like: “Yeah, it’s a shame he did that, but he’s got a good heart.” When we listen to the witness of Scripture, particularly on the topic of conversion, we find that there is very little wiggle room.


Lone Oak here we come!

Lone Oak
We are excited to announce that we have accepted the call to be the High School Student Pastor at Lone Oak First Baptist Church in Paducah, KY. 

God has used the last 5 1/2 years at Crossings to prepare us for our next chapter in student ministry.  While we have loved our time at Crossings, we cannot wait to invest in the students and families at Lone Oak FBC.  God’s call on my life and my passion for student ministry has lead us to make this decision.  God made it clear earlier this year that my time at Crossings was coming to an end.  While we didn’t know where or what He was leading us toward, we knew He was leading us away from Crossings. In a step of faith we began the job search process. Through prayer and reading God’s Word, He made it clear that He was leading us back into the church.  At Crossings my primary responsibility has been to minister to students through our summer staff and the various programs and resources that I helped to develop. My connection was on a one week basis connected only through the churches student pastor or group leader.  God was giving me the desire to invest long-term.  As the student pastor at Lone Oak FBC, I will get the opportunity to walk through life with students and families on a long-term basis, something I have truly missed.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him,and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Delight yourself in the Lord,and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalms 37:4

I surrendered to the call to ministry when I was 18 years old at a church camp (Centrifuge) in Jackson, TN.  At that point I had no clue how the Lord was going to use someone like me in student ministry.  I held on to these two verses as Christ begin to do a new work in my heart and in my life.  It has been an incredible journey to see how God has personally directed my path and given me the desires of my heart.  He has given me a passion for student ministry and I am excited to be used for His glory.