The Pathway to Pastoral Ministry – Feeling Inadequate

This series of posts is to encourage and guide young men who are interested in pastoral ministry. I am laying out, step by step, what the path is like from first thoughts to being called to a pastoral position. Here are posts 1, 2, and 3. Now let’s talk about an issue that may hinder you from seriously considering the ministry as your calling in life.

Feeling Inadequate
You might hesitate to pursue being a pastor because you feel inadequate. The role and responsibilities of a pastor seem too great for you. You’re not sure you should be explaining the Bible to people. You hardly understand it yourself!

You are reluctant to try to help other people overcome sin. You have your own sin struggles! You hear a pastor preach, and you can’t imagine yourself ever being able to preach like that.

Feelings of inadequacy are normal. In fact, if you think you can do ministry with your own natural ability, you are probably viewing it wrongly. Ministry is human activity, but it is also a result of the supernatural work of God. He enables you to do what He calls you to do.

The Apostle Paul wrestled with his own inadequacy to minister the Gospel. He said, “Who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:16).

God Makes You Sufficient
Thankfully Paul didn’t stop there. A few sentences later, he answered himself, saying, “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant” (3:5).

It’s true – you are inadequate. But God makes up the difference. He enables you to do what you can’t naturally do. If God wants you on the pathway to pastoral ministry, He will help you each step of the way.

“Our eyes are on you”
One of my favorite prayers in the Bible was prayed by King Jehoshaphat when he was about to be attacked by a million-man army of enemy nations. In desperation and dependence, he said, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:12).

I’ve often prayed in a similar way as a pastor. The responsibilities are greater than I am, and I’ve faced many issues where I don’t know what to say or do. I just pray, “God, this is way beyond me. But I’m trusting you to help me.” He always does. He will do the same for you.

Part of thinking about being a pastor is understanding what pastors actually do. We’ll talk about that next.

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