Does a pastor have to be “called” by God?
- The New Testament gives no indication that a pastor must be called by God in the same way that prophets and high priests were called in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 1:5; Hebrews 5:4 . Moreover, the New Testament never applies the terminology of “calling” to the pastoral office, but only to the Christian life in general (2 Timothy 1:9; Hebrews 3:1).
- If the New Testament taught that pastors must be specially called by God, it seems that there would be some sort of discussion of how that happens and how to discern whether one has been called. Instead, Paul writes, “Here is a trustworthy saying: if anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task” (1 Timothy 3:1). Paul doesn’t say, “If anyone wants to be a pastor, he must have a special, supernatural, subjective call from God,” but rather, “If anyone wants to be a pastor, he desires a good thing. Now here are the qualifications.”
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