Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Post-Conference Thoughts

Well, one of the big impacts the conference had on me was the fact that I know that God isn't calling me to be a pastor right now. After wrestling and praying over what I should do with my life in the future, God confirmed it for me.

I could argue that it was just time that passed which solidified my direction, or maybe just the anticipation of the event. But I think that it was the fact that I was seeking God's path for me.

There were many wonderful pastors at the conference who shared their hearts to us. Since the conference was generally directed towards pastors and prospective pastors, they talked a lot about what it takes to be a pastor. They talked about needing the power of God through the Holy Spirit to stand up for the Bible in the face of obstacles and critics. It is God who should be calling the pastors to this position. A pastor is a shepherd leading a flock of sheep. They are held responsible for how they lead. It is a big deal.

Even coming back to work after the conference, I had a chat with a co-worker of mine. He seemed deeply hurt by the wrongful behaviors done by pastors such as Ted Haggard and priests like the ones who have abused children in the church. It is so sad to see men who represent the name of Jesus only to see them hurt others around them and misuse the authority that Christ gives them as leaders.

The Bible is clear on the qualifications of leaders in the church. And I don't believe that I am qualified yet. A pastor "must be above reproach," which means being such a good example that they don't have a reason to be criticized. This doesn't mean that they have to be perfect. The key is repenting, being involved in community, and striving to be like Jesus.

I still need to work on some things in my life. I still need to grow deeper with my wife. I still need to read the Bible more (I haven't even read the entire thing, for goodness sakes!). I still need to deepen my relationship with Jesus. Maybe later on in my life God will call me to that honor. I'll wait and see. I plan on going where He wants me to go.