Why I will NEVER pastor again : How the Spirit set me free from pastoral ministry

When you tell people are called to the ministry as a young man, everyone assumes that you are called to be a pastor. If we are really honest, we think everyone that is called to the ministry will become a pastor and anything who is not….is well, a second class preacher.

Evangelists are people who have issues that keep them from pastoring is what many believe. Missionaries are pastoral washouts too. Most would never admit to these attitudes but they are alive and well in our churches.

As a result of this over emphasis in many of our churches, our young people who are really called are frustrated by being in positions that they really are not anointed for. I am one of those who people tried to make into a pastor as a young man. I just am not that type of minister. Evangelist? Yes. Prophet? Possibly. Pastor? Not a chance.

Even when we go off to bible college, the emphasis is so heavy on being a pastor that is not even funny. Advisers try and talk everyone into pastoral care as a major and anyone that is either a pastoral or theology major is seen as odd. Looking back, my Evangelism major was more about Ecclesiology than Missiology. I had more than one professor try and talk me out of being an Evangelism major telling me there is no future with it.

We send people out of our bible colleges frustrated, trying to find churches to lead when they are called to different things. In the end, we have many people who are what Mike Bickle calls “square peg in a round hole.” Many struggle to do it for years and some try and use the church to make their real calling manifest.

The Assemblies of God has grown greatly by having evangelists misplaced as pastors. Many of the great soul winning churches in the movement have been the result of an evangelist doubling as a pastor. Steve Hill that led me to Jesus comes to mind. A look at what makes a lot of megachurches works and you will find a frustrated evangelist in the pulpit on Sundays.

The older I get, the less interest I have in frustration. Sitting in a pastor’s office to listen to people cry about their problem (that they refuse to change) does not interest me. I don’t really care to see altars full of people that won’t the Spirit alter their spirituality, either. I am done with the culture of church. Entertainment won’t set the captive free and who has the prettiest dress on is not going to save your marriage. However, in the word of Queen, the show must go on!

We are not going to have revival with a bunch of misplaced evangelists trying to reach the world by one building. We are going to see it happen by pushing the prophets and intercessors and into the prayer meetings with the two old ladies, either. I will never pastor again because I would rather be happy and free to do what the Spirit leads to do.

The price of the frustration for many been having the posh salary, the nice parish, the car provided by the church and being able to travel to General Council. Many Pentecostal movements have made being a pastor into quite the nice career path. However, being an Evangelist or a prophet is a sure way to be next to homeless. The question becomes if we will sell our soul to a system of control, no matter how spiritual it sounds? I refuse to do so.

  • Oengus
    June 2, 2018 - 5:45 pm

    I would like to point out that Lonnie Frisbee also had the same conflict as you describe here. In his autobiography and elsewhere, he said several times that he was not a pastor, although church leadership often tried to “domesticate” him and turn him into one. They had a mindset that Lonnie had a difficult time fitting into, and this would cause him some grief.

    You have heard what the modern “five-fold ministry” is: pastor, pastor, pastor, pastor, and pastor.

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    June 9, 2018 - 2:57 am

    I just read your article, and was sadly amused. I have been attending an Assembly of God church on and off for 34 years. I was there in the first meeting, and soon realized that the congregation had been hijacked by the Assemblies just as the men’s fellowship had been hijacked by the FGBMFI. As a very young Christian I had been chatting with a church lady after Sunday service when she asked me if I had made a commitment to the church. I told her, and realized as I spoke that she considered it the wrong answer, that I had just committed everything to Jesus, and didn’t have anything left over for the church. [grin]. Oops! But later the Lord sent me back to that church and made it clear that I was to minister to those who were not being ministered to. So I have stayed in the vestibule of the churchhouse during services, chatting with and praying for those who mozy out of the service. Some call me ‘pastor Rob’, but I quickly hush them so I don’t get excommunicated! Now that I am back after excommunication by the former pastor, I am still chatting and praying and having great fellowship with God and other ‘laymen’. So, be encouraged. There is good life in the vestibule and the rest of the week in Jesus!!! Once He told me that I could claim His death as my death daily to the world, the flesh and the devil, I found a wonderful life of freedom to take His yoke upon me and go with Him wherever He wants to go and to do whatever He wants to do!!

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