Raising up Church Planters

Seeing Men Called to the Ministry

In Numbers 11, a young man came running to Moses to tell him of Eldad and Medad who were preaching in the camp. Joshua encouraged Moses to give the decree for them to stop. Moses responded with “Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put His spirit upon them!”

I’m with Moses: I wish all of our people would be called into the ministry. But how does this happen? How can we get more young men and boys called into the ministry? Preacher, how many men have been sent out from your ministry to start new churches? I don’t ask these questions from a “performance” standpoint, but from a mission standpoint.

The heartbeat of the church should be “world evangelism.” This is the purpose of the church and we have no business trying to redefine it. What we need to define is how we are going to carry this out.

The burden of a church for the world will be no stronger than its pastor’s burden, which is one reason I recommend that every church send its pastor to the mission field regularly.

Biblically, God has only one program to accomplish this task of world evangelism, and that is through church planting. It is the church that has the promise that the “gates of hell” shall not prevail against it.

Every pastor and church needs to think about reproducing themselves. We should live for the day when God raises up a man to go out from our church to start another church. But how do we get these men? Obviously it is a work of the Holy Spirit, but let me give you some ideas to help:

1. Start praying for God to work in the lives of your men and boys (Matthew 9:36–38).

2. Love your people and your ministry! Men should look at the ministry as a blessing and honor—not a hardship, although we have all had difficult times.

3. Preach about the challenge of the ministry and the need of the world.

4. Set up the right environment in your church to give the Holy Spirit an opportunity to work.

5. Encourage men at every opportunity to consider the ministry. Don’t be afraid of interfering with the Holy Spirit’s leading, but we know that the call must come from God, or it won’t last.

Three things not to do:

  • Don’t make it sound as though we preachers are some kind of “supernatural” Christians—we are not.
  • Don’t make the statement: “If you can do anything else, stay out of the ministry.” What verse does one use to support that popular statement? How do you think the average man is going to interpret that? By thinking, “The pastor is unable or incapable of doing anything else,” I would suspect.
  • Don’t make it sound as though the calling is something “warm and fuzzy”—it is not. The best way to define the call, I believe, is to say, as Spurgeon did, “It is an overwhelming desire for the work of the ministry.”

“This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.” 1 Timothy 3:1

6. Spend time with the men (Mark 3:14). Invest your life into theirs.

7. If you have a Christian school, make sure it is ministry oriented. Keep the needs of the world before your young people as often as you can. Have a strong missions emphasis in chapel.

8. Consider teaching a class for those who have been called into the ministry (i.e. Sunday night, Bible college, off night).

9. Have teen mission trips.

10. Take adults on mission trips.

11. Take men and boys with you to plant other churches.

12. Have a Gospel blitz monthly where young people and old people can get a greater burden for witnessing.

13. Provide an internship program for every man and boy called to the ministry in your church.

The pastor is the key for having a church program of world evangelism. Being a church planter is a gift of the grace of God (1 Corinthians 9:16). Let us be looking for faithful men and boys in whom we can invest our time (1 Timothy 2:2)

“Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put His spirit upon them!” Numbers 11:29

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