Posts tagged ‘Minister’

October 2, 2012

What It Means To Be Called

by pastortimfowler

I have been blessed to be the pastor of my church for 10 years now. In those ten years I have seen a lot of stuff that many might take for granted, but I am still amazed at. Like when people who are one day going to hell if they die and in the very moment that they ask God to forgive them they change their direction toward going to heaven. The church is a place where people from every walk of life should be able to come and find love and forgiveness. God loves people so much that He let His Son Jesus die on a cross as payment for our sin. Once a person accepts this forgiveness, God begins a process of growing us into people who serve others. He requires His people to take a personal role in developing new believers, called discipleship, and often calls men and women to become more than just believers, to become ministers of the gospel. In our church lately we have had several men who have said that they feel called to this ministry; wow!. It is the call that I answered almost 20 years ago and feel very privileged to have done so.
So what does it mean to be called? Everyone is being called to answer God’s call of salvation. Few are called to the ministry in an official capacity and that is what I am talking about. A pastor, evangelist, missionary, youth or children’s pastor all are things that come with a specific calling. The Bible gives some specific instructions in the books of 1st & 2nd Timothy and Titus for those who are called. It tells us things like we should not be drunks, we should manage money well, and we should have our family in order. Sadly, many people don’t care about those things and they leave themselves open for criticism and corruption and Satanic attacks. But one of the main things that the Bible teaches about this call is that it is a call to be a servant and that few will be called, but those who are called are called for life.
It was Jesus who said that the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. God made salvation very easy to obtain but the call into the ministry unique. Way too often men answer the call to ministry with an idea of a position of authority. Perhaps they should think about Jesus washing feet, the job of the lowest ranking servant. Perhaps they should remember that Jesus said that the greatest among us will be the servant.
Titles can be worn by anybody. But they can only be exemplified by those who live out what that title requires. Pastor is a title that has its roots in being a shepherd. Shepherds were not highly thought of in society and rarely told people what to do. Instead they put their lives on the line for some pretty simple animals who needed protection. They have the position of a leader but the responsibility of a servant. Leading as a shepherd means having sheep follow, not telling them where to go and what to do.
Those who are called into ministry must learn to be humble. Humility is rarely a normal human quality. We are taught early and often to look out for number one and that we deserve the best. Jesus was the ultimate minister. He humbled himself even to the point of dying on a cross for those who hated Him. He healed sick, fed the poor, and raised the dead and yet never took the credit for doing great things. His main focus was saving the souls of a fallen mankind who cannot save themselves.
When you are called into the ministry it means that you get serious about becoming not only a teacher, but a student. Although God equips those that He calls, He expects us to submit ourselves to the teaching of those who have gone before us. Sometimes that means submitting to someone without a title or someone who’s personality clashes with our own. Sometimes it means serving in a position that no one else wants to do, not even yourself. Sometimes you have to do it for longer than you want to and remember that you have been called to serve God and man even if man doesn’t give the recognition that you want.
But ultimately being called into the ministry means that God knows that you can do what He has called you to do. What He calls you to do should be the highest priority and pleasing Him the goal. Sometimes the rewards are very obvious, but often they will only be recognized when we get to heaven. But the call to ministry is a life long calling that is worth every second that you serve. Romans 11:29- God never changes his mind when he gives gifts or when he calls someone. This means when you want to quit, you don’t. It means when you  get tired, you dig deeper for strength. It means when you don’t see rewards for your efforts that you remember where your rewards are stored, in heaven, and you keep serving in faith.
I have been blessed in that I have been able to make it through some tough times since I have been called. I have seen many souls saved and lives changed and now I am seeing others called. I would love to take credit for some of these things, but I must always keep in mind that if I don’t do what God calls me to do, there are others who will. I am not needed by God, but I am wanted by Him. He loves me; first enough to save me, and secondly enough to call me into this crazy life of ministry. What it means to be called into the ministry is really quite simple. It means that God is God and we have surrendered to Him no matter the cost.

August 6, 2012

Don’t Burn Out!

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pigstubs/2036448304/

 

I feel like my head is spinning. The last week has been crazy. Between traveling and church stuff and international students invading my house and little rug-rats all last week and now my friend from the Philippines is here, I can’t catch my breath. But wow it has been good. I have seen God at work in so many ways.  He even found time to give me a sanity break with my wife tonight.
It is hard to understand how people can say that they get burned out with God.
I understand that you can get burned out if you are serving your church, but maybe that is the problem. Maybe you are getting burned out because serving the church is not always serving God. (Gasp!) That’s right, I said it. Serving God and serving the church can be two different things. The church has a tendency of becoming overburdening while Jesus said His yoke was easy and burden was light. God does not cause burn out.
Now this does not mean that you will never have problems if you serve God. But God promises that when we are being productive Christians and serving Him that we will have joy and peace and love and it will be rewarding and there is nothing to get burned out about that. We have been called to ministry. The word minister means to serve. We have also been called to do all things like we are doing them for God. So if you are serving God in whatever you do and you remember that He is the one rewarding what you do, it makes it easier to serve with joy and avoid burnout.
If you are one who is feeling burn out, then maybe it is time to spend a few minutes alone with God to ask why. Be honest about what you are doing and feeling and listen for that still, small voice to say that it may be time to change. It may be time to change your attitude. Perhaps you are doing what God wants, but you are not doing it for His glory. Perhaps what you are doing is not truly a ministry. Maybe it is a church position that hasn’t changed in 100 years and is no more a ministry than clipping your toenails. FYI, I grow mine really long before cutting them and then donate them to people whose toenails fall off, kinda like the hair thing people do. Perhaps you are doing too much and you need to let someone else serve. Here is another FYI…your church will not fall apart if you stop doing something.
Burn out can happen to anyone who is not serving God or serving in a ministry of God. Feeling burned out is like when your car begins to backfire. It is a warning sign that something is wrong. The number one reason people’s cars quit running properly is because they don’t read their owner’s manual and follow the instructions for preventive maintenance. The reason Christians face burn out is because they don’t read the Bible and follow its instructions. So if you are listening for God’s voice and you don’t recognize it, it might be time to familiarize yourself with what God sounds like through reading His word.
Don’t burn out! Get fired up!

February 3, 2012

Update: Philippine Prayer

by pastortimfowler

I talked with my friend’s wife in the Philippines this morning and here is what we know. He has an infection that is causing a high fever that is causing his liver to not function properly. These are all complications due to his diabetes, hepatitis, and lack of funds to have all of his medicines that he should take on a regular basis. The good news is that they think they have caught it quick enough that there will not be any permanent damage to his liver. They are waiting on a few more test results before they make any final determinations. If things go well, he should be released tomorrow.
I told his wife that many people are praying for him and she extends her thanks. I told her that I believed that God would provide for the financial needs that they have and she simply said, “I know that”. They are wonderful people of great faith.
Here is what I hope will happen. Someone out there in the blog world will feel compelled to pay for his medicine. Our church is raising money for another ministry related need that they have, and can always tell them to use the money for medicine, but I know him, he will want to buy the ministry needs first. Before you think that he has his priorities mixed up let me say that he does not. He knows that this body is meant for death and that the soul is meant for eternity. He has a great burden for his people to know salvation through Jesus Christ and believes that it is a higher calling than his physical needs. I of course have told him that if he lets his health go then he will not be able to minister and therefore he needs to take care of himself. It is hard to argue with him.
But I believe that both can be accomplished. I don’t know the amount needed to get the medicines that he needs. I can find out once he is out of the hospital and will if someone wants to know. But here is what I believe will happen through this. Someone reading this blog, who knows God and knows His voice will get the nudge from God to give and it will be the right amount without even being told. Those of faith know what I am talking about. It is a divine intervention that is hard to explain.
If you are new to my blogs I can only assure you that I do not make this sort of thing a habit. I have never asked for people to give before and unless I feel like it is of God, I won’t in the future. This time, I do feel like God wants me to ask, so I do.
Again, you can reach me through Facebook message, email, or our church website if you feel led to help. I will give the contact information to you or you can give through our church and we will ensure that the funds are sent to him. DON’T give unless you feel it is something that God wants you to do or if you are not a religious person, you may feel personally that this is something that you would like to do. Either way I thank you. I ask that you continue to pray for his health and his ministry.
God bless.
Our church website is; http://www.thebodylive.com
My email is: emanrev@msn.com

January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King Jr

by pastortimfowler

Today is a national holiday in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I have to admit that I have never studied this man in-depth and what I know of him is limited to a few brief bio’s that I have skimmed over and what I have heard from the media, which scares me to think that I would even trust those. I do know that his desires for racial unity were good and honorable and to that I applaud him. He was a Minister of the Gospel and his compassion for the human race was rooted there.
I think that in the media’s reporting of his life there has been a severe lacking of linking Dr. King with Christianity. Again, I am not an expert on him, but just casually trying to recall all that I have heard reported about him and his life, I rarely hear that He was a minister. If I am wrong, I apologize, but to me he is made to sound more like a community activist than a man who was taking the love of Christ to the streets with a belief that it would change the world. Personally, I believe that is exactly what he was doing.
Jesus taught that those who call themselves Christians should love not only each other, be even our enemies. He taught that our neighbor should be loved like we love ourselves and that our neighbor was our fellow-man. Jesus did not segregate. He did observe the laws and customs of the day, which compared to modern American laws and customs could seem bigoted, but Jesus had compassion on all of humanity.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth that he became all things to all men in hopes that he might win some of them to Jesus. This was not a statement of someone who was trying to please everyone all the time, but rather of a man who loved people enough to meet them where ever they were in life, rich or poor, Jew of gentile, Christian or not. He taught that in God’s eyes that all were sinners and that Christ died for all; red yellow black or white, it did not matter.
The Apostle James warned the church about being the type of Christians that only hear what God says but do nothing to show our faith. He warning about judging someone based on their financial status and what they wore. He challenged Christians to pray for those who were less fortunate and then to put feet on our prayers.
So Dr. King was echoing the Bible and the heart of God when he proclaimed his dream that one day little black children and little white children would live together in a world with equal rights and equal opportunity. He was echoing the Gospel as he proclaimed that we all have a responsibility to teach our children to love each other and to not look at the outside to judge one’s worthiness. Dr. King did not walk the streets shouting angrily at the injustice of the white man or the government, but rather he walked in faith knowing the truth of the Gospel was more powerful than the lies of hypocrisy and racism. He knew that the church, which is the body of Christ, was the answer and the key to all men not only being created equal, but being able to live that way in America.
Today I have the honor of working with some bold and brave black pastors who have decided to carry on the call of Dr. King look beyond race and look to Jesus to solve the issues that face of today. They have taught me more about the true person of Dr. King, the minister on the Gospel, then any book and media report I could ever hear or see. They have embraced the call for reconciliation and recognize that only Christ can truly change the heart of a man, but without the examples of men who know this truth, all is in vain. I thank them for showing me an example of the greatness of a man who loved God and loved his neighbor, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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