If you’re seeing this article, and haven’t had a chance to read Part 1, I HIGHLY encourage you to start there as I lay this whole thing out in a fairly structured way. And much of what will be said in Part 2 gets its foundation from Part 1.
If you’ve already read Part 1, GREAT! Welcome back, and I hope you are ready for this next part, because there’s a LOT to cover.
In Part 1, I covered 2 major foundational areas that I feel have placed many men and women who have been called out for a ministry purpose on the path to destruction. The calling has become whittled down to 4 areas of ministry (pastor, student pastor, music pastor, and missionary), while the training falls in line behind what the Church has whittled down the calling to.
This means that we have men and women who are being trained up to function in a calling that they may not actually be equipped for or called to, but because our scope of ministry has become so small we don’t allow for the possibility that there may be more than these 4 to consider.
Which brings me into my next point…
When the calling is misunderstood or misinterpreted, the training then is aligned with a misunderstood or misinterpreted calling. In many cases, after some formal training, called ones will then (if not already) go through some sort of mentorship with an older more experienced minister, so they can learn from them what they believe they need to know about being in the field in this new calling.
Unfortunately, because the foundation of the calling and the training have already been focused on a very limited scope of ministry that may or may not align with where God is truly leading these young called out ones, the mentoring then continues to push these individuals toward something that God never intended them to be in.
Let me be clear, I absolutely value mentoring, and believe this is foundational for any believer in the faith and not just ministers. We all need mature believers who can speak into our lives, help guide us into a better understanding and application of our faith and be there to hold us accountable.
In other words, I believe this is necessary for us all.
So, when I say “mentoring” is an issue, I’m meaning that the mentoring is already off on the wrong foot because the foundations leading to this point were already off.
Think of it from a builder’s perspective…if the foundation is off, the rest of the building is going to be off. And if the building isn’t off (to the naked eye), then other issues will arise such as cracks in the foundation, a shifting foundation, and so on.
Therefore, I listed the calling and the training first because these are foundational in the life of a person who is being called. These are, in a way, the beginning moments of their journey into their calling.
Get this wrong, and the rest collapses around them.
To correct this, the mentor must do a better job of assessing the mentored and helping them discern what God is really calling them into in their life. It may very well be that the called out one has had a poor foundation laid, but that doesn’t mean the mentor has to build on that foundation. In fact, a good mentor will examine the foundation and help the one being mentored build a new foundation if they find the foundation is flawed.
Something to keep in mind is this…this may not mean completely rebuilding the foundation. It may just mean that the whole foundation is messed up, and that they will just need to do some foundational repairs before they can continue the building process.
But this is where a good mentor becomes so important. They get to help spot these issues and help correct them before they become even bigger issues down the road.
The mentor becomes a safety measure…a stop gap for error, if you will.
Now, there is another side to this coin.
There are many young called ones who go from calling, to training, and straight into the field without a mentor by their side. Perhaps this is because they have had a hard time finding one to mentor them, or perhaps they don’t know what a mentor is, or perhaps they feel it isn’t necessary to have a mentor.
Either way, there is a side of the coin where the mentor is totally absent from the picture.
At this point, I’m now talking to the ones being called…
YOU NEED TO GET A MENTOR!
WASTE NO TIME!
DO NOT PASS GO!
DO NOT COLLECT $200!
FIND A MENTOR AND FIND ONE NOW!
As my pastor and mentor once put it to me, even a pastor needs a pastor.
Translation…everyone needs someone who will be able to speak into their life and provide mentoring. No one is exempt from this. Yes…even you (yes, you!) young seminary grad…you are not exempt from this even if you now have several new letters at the end of your name and a degree hanging on the wall.
OK, it looks like this is going to have to be a possible 3 to 4-part article.
I’m trying not to overwhelm people all at once with what I’m bringing. So, lets take a pause, reflect on what’s already been stated in Part 1 and Part 2, and then prayerfully consider if you’re prepared to read Part 3.
Because in Part 3 I’m going to start breaking down the current western, modern, American Church Model, and the unspoken (and often unfair) expectations handed down from church members that is contributing heavily to pushing called ones into a destructive nature.