It never dawned on me in 1961, when I first sensed a call from God to pursue full-time, life-long pastoral ministry, that I was being asked to join with God in his purpose for having created the universe. Continue reading . . .
It never dawned on me in 1961, when I first sensed a call from God to pursue full-time, life-long pastoral ministry, that I was being asked to join with God in his purpose for having created the universe. It was probably a bit much to expect from a ten-year-old boy. In fact, I don’t think I ever fully understood what it all meant until around 1986 when John Piper’s book Desiring God was first published. Here is the point I want you to hear: the purpose of pastoral ministry is identical with the purpose for which God created the universe.
If you ask the typical pastor in the typical church why he decided to pursue ministry and perhaps attend seminary, you are likely to hear a wide variety of answers: everything from “I love to study the Bible” to “I enjoy teaching” or “I thought it would improve my relationship with God.” I can remember more than a few at Dallas Theological Seminary, where I attended, answering that question by saying: “Because I found that I wasn’t very good at anything else and this was the last option available to me.” Sadly, far too many pastors would answer the question by saying: “I entered ministry because it struck me as a nice way to make a living,” and leave it at that.
But how many, in response to that question, would say: “I yielded to the urge to become a pastor because I wanted to participate in God’s purpose for creating the universe”? We don’t typically think in such terms. It seems a bit grandiose. Over the top theologically speaking. It