Are all pastors "called"?

A slight digression in another thread got me thinking. Are all pastors who believe themselves called by God to be a pastor truly called by God to be a pastor?

It would seem that these same people who believe they were called by God to be pastors also believe they are lead by God as to what to preach to their congregations. However, different pastors preach different, conflicting and contradictory things. We know that God can’t contradict himself, so these conflicting and contradictory teachings aren’t from God at all which means that at least SOME of what SOME pastors are preaching is wrong.

That being said, if pastors can be wrong about what they are preaching, mistakenly believing it’s from God, could some pastors be wrong about actually being pastors, not having been called by God at all for that vocation?

What do you think?

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:

(rjs)

How can one distinguish between pastors who have been called and those who have not?

So we are not just talking Catholic priests, but any minister of any religion or perhaps only Christian pastors?

[quote=La Chiara]So we are not just talking Catholic priests, but any minister of any religion or perhaps only Christian pastors?
[/quote]

I was thinking Christian pastors, both Protestant and Catholic (the “head” priest of a parish is called the pastor).

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:

the pastor of a Catholic parish has been posted to that assignment in obedience to his bishop who has the authority of apostle, deriving from Christ Himself. His call, or vocation, to the priesthood was discerned throughout the 5 or 6 years of his education and formation before holy orders, and he was ordained through that same authority of the bishops. Are there men who are able to persist and become priests without a legitimate vocation? Possibly, and there is provision under canon law for them to leave the clerical state if that becomes evident. Orthodox bishops retain apostolic succession, so presumably the same situation applies in their churches.

As for pastors of other denominations, we need here the expertise and experience of our separated brethren, as different sects have different systems for education and ordaining to the ministry. Some attend bible college, some seminary, some are self-taught, and likewise some discern the call in themselves, some are called by a congregation, some have organization and authority structures and some do not.

Yes, but what are they called?

Ha ha ha, just kidding.

The question is most interesting alone if you just consider the Catholic pastors.

The path is tortuous to becoming a pastor, so their calling might seem like traveling to a distant star, guided only by its dim but constant light.

The question I wish you had asked: Is there or should there be a model for a parish? Should each parish be exactly the same, offering the same range of “services” (in the secular sense)? In that sense, you could recruit and train and commission a pastor according to a “job description.”

Now, it seems that there is only a general sense of a job description, at least as I look over the general situation. Each priest has different gifts and talents (e.g. music, but that, sadly is rare).

So, deciding that job description, or mission, is needed to answer if a pastor is called, because you define the calling and the qualifications of the candidate.

In protestant circles (“p” is deliberate; many don’t call themselves such and there’s so many as to make “p” a common word, to me) there is somewhat of a different approach. Sunday preaching and teaching in general are considered the job description, as best as I can tell, under the umbrella of evangelization.

Either way, I think they’re all called. How good they are depends on how they deal with the calling. If its a power trip for them, watch out.

I feel that would not do the parish any justice either. Every parish is different; and if you stay in one place long enough, you can notice even that changes.

The role of a leader is to be able to figure out how his people are best led, not commit to just one form and hope everyone can follow…

Some Priests, I have seen, forget why they answered The Call. Not knowing if there is a thread on this somewhere… How can Parishioners tell a Priest it’s time for a Vocation Vacation?

My pastors were called by a committee. Hee hee, but seriously folks…

Many people feel stirred and called to the religious life of a pastor. In some cases, the Spirit is moving them, in others, they think they here a call, and in yet others, they are becoming a pstor because of other reasons (“five generations of pastors in the same family”).

The life of and demands on a pastor are not easy, The ministers and priests I’ve seen live successful vocations are clearly nurtured by a special grace.

[quote=BayCityRickL] I think they’re all called. How good they are depends on how they deal with the calling. If its a power trip for them, watch out.
[/quote]

You and I are looking at the question differently. I’m not looking at how good a pastor is at what he does but rather the doctrine that he preaches as true. Different pastors preach different, conflicting and contradictory doctrine as true and from God, yet God can’t contradict himself. That makes me question the genuine calling of all pastors. I’m wondering how that works.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:

Just a thought but if ‘gifts’ are given by God as stated in 1 Cor 12 then can we choose our gift? Can we choose to be a preacher or does God give us a priest as a ‘gift’?

A possible answer, a preacher is one who chooses to do what he wants. This would not be a gift from God by any means. Now a man who wants to be a Catholic preist on the other hand is different. He chooses to go to the seminary but is given a ‘gift’ from God by laying on of hands that makes him a preist. Jesus laid hands on the apostles and gave them an apostolic succession which continues down to today. Preists have a ‘gift’ from God because of that. Preachers on the other hand just have a calling at best. Catholic priests would thus be ‘gifted’ by God while preachers were not.

So this means preacher’s are correct when they claim to have a calling but they do not have a ‘gift’ from God unless they are a Catholic priest with true, valid and licit apostolic succession.

Just food for thought.:hmmm:

The bishop calls a priest to his office. The bishop tells the priest that he would like him to be pastor of a particular parish. The priest might not want to go there. The priest might think that he is incapable of handling the parish. But, the priest has made a vow of obedience to the bishop. The priest also knows that by obeying the bishop who has authority over him, he is also obeying God. Therefore, in obedience to the bishop and to God, he will become pastor of the parish.

Yes, every priest who is a pastor has been called to be a pastor. And he has been called by God to be pastor of the particular parish where he is pastor.

[quote=Catholic4aReasn]A slight digression in another thread got me thinking. Are all pastors who believe themselves called by God to be a pastor truly called by God to be a pastor?

It would seem that these same people who believe they were called by God to be pastors also believe they are lead by God as to what to preach to their congregations. However, different pastors preach different, conflicting and contradictory things. We know that God can’t contradict himself, so these conflicting and contradictory teachings aren’t from God at all which means that at least SOME of what SOME pastors are preaching is wrong.

That being said, if pastors can be wrong about what they are preaching, mistakenly believing it’s from God, could some pastors be wrong about actually being pastors, not having been called by God at all for that vocation?

What do you think?

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Hello Nancy!

There are several possibilities.

1)God called them
2)God didn’t call them
3)God called them and they didn’t realize it
4)God called them and they refused to admit it
5)God didn’t call them and they thought He did
etc, etc, etc.

In the Baptist churches I know, there are two offices for being called by God. One is a “preacher”. The other is “ordained preacher”. The “preacher” is allowed to evangelize and teach. The “ordained preacher” is allowed to perform marriages and pastor churches. That’s how the rules applied in the particular church I was in when I considered being a “preacher”. I was well versed in Scripture and felt able to teach and preach the gospel.

Now, the requirements for each would be different. The “preacher” didn’t have to have any formal training. There would be a “questioning phase” by the elders or deacons of the church to determine the ability of the inquirer. The “ordained preacher” would be expected to have some formal education at a Baptist seminary. And, of course, he too would undergo scrutiny and questioning to determine his knowledge and maturity.

However, I know many preachers who were simply “called” by God and became preachers at a young age. I know personally a young man who was ordained at 16 years old without formal training and pastored a church. Of course, as always, the deacons control and guide the congregation, so it’s not a chaotic scenario as one might expect.

Maybe all this was off topic. Maybe it wasn’t off topic. I thought I would give you some personal background which can be used as a foundation for understanding being “called” by God.

Hope it helps.

Peace…

Hello all:

In one sense a person might feel “called”, by reason of interest personality, skills and education, etc., to go into a certain “calling” or “vocation”.

But that’s not enough to “pastor” other Christians. The “Apostles”, you recall, were sent or commissioned by Christ: that’s what apostolos means, you may recall,* “one sent with a commission”. *

“Pastoring” entails two essential powers, that of orders (effecting the Sacraments)and that of jurisdiction (binding consciences). Both these powers come from the God-man Christ Himself, Who being Prophet, Priest, and King had the theandric power to preach, sanctify, and govern, and could moreover delegate these powers to men that He called.

Matthew 28:19 (Jesus is speaking to the Apostles) “Going
therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

Only the Apostles, and no others, were commissioned by Christ to teach. It follows that only those commissioned by the ***Apostles *** have that commission today. Those today that have it, the bishops of the Catholic Church, are said to be in apostolic succession from the apostles, and only they can give this authority to others, viz., Catholic priests and deacons, to preach, govern, and sanctify other Christians.

I hope this is helpful.

Regards,
Joannes

See this site called “By What Authority? A Challenge to Protestant Pastors”

http://www.lumengentleman.com/content.asp?id=37

Unfornatly I dont believe that every pastor is called to be a pastor by God. I mean God doesnt want his church to be divided into 50,000 protestant denominations so why would he call a man to preach about things that are not true? Now im not saying that all protestant pastors are not called to be pastors I do believe that God certainly calls some of them for various reasons (which ill leave to God) but from my point of view I think that most non-Catholic ministers are not really called to be pastors by God.

*Note: I dont think that all Catholic priest are “called by God” but i believe it is more likly that God would call someone to be a priest than to call someone to be a protestant pastor.

Being called to a vocation, whether it be a pastor or auto mechanic can be of God. However, no man is perfect and can be deceived into thinking he is being called.

With that said, it is important to read the bible and check what is being preached. No man is perfect and can preach wrongful teachings. This may be of not fault of his own.
Therefore we MUST rely on the word of God (the bible) to check what is being taught. If the sermon is conflicting with the word of God, it must be challenged (tactfully). This is why it is so important to read the bible.

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