I believe the greatest pain our Lord and Master has today is His shepherds. We have made ministry more of a job than a sacred calling, where we are called to be set apart for a holy service. There are hundreds of young ministers who are crying out for an exemplary servant of God to speak into their lives and show them the way.
Ralph Emerson once said; “what you are speaks so loud; I can’t hear what you say.” No man can preach above the crying voice of his of his own life’s example.
This means that as a spiritual leader, you must walk well in your life for a time comes when you have to inculcate in your own flesh and body the spiritual principles you advocate for. People will see a sermon far much easier than they can hear it, for a good example is worth ten thousand addresses. The preacher is a preacher not only in the pulpit but more powerfully and dynamically effective in his daily walk before the eyes of the people.
The first and most important qualification for ministry is not the ability to preach, it is not the spiritual gifts you have and it is not the professional training you have received, it is your personal character which really comes from a life that has allowed itself to be changed by the Lord.
I have found out that the books that specifically speak to us ministers are 1st and 2nd Timothy; Paul was very direct in instructing the young minister Timothy on what it takes to be a man of God.
What a pastor pleads for in the pulpit, he must first demonstrate in his own personal and private life. If he preaches prayer, he must pray first. If he preaches love, he must first love. We cannot expect people to tithe if we as ministers do not.
This is a conviction (deep as life itself) that God has called us to the ministry. If this is so strong within us, then all other elements of a leader’s personal life will fall into beautiful order and place. There must be in the life of a leader an abiding impression of duty and devotion to preach the gospel.
Galatians 1:15 But when God, who set me apart from birth[a] and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man.
2 Corinthians 5:11-14 (NKJV) 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.
13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if one died for all, then all died;
Our calling will always be confirmed by the people we minister to.
As they look at us, as they listen to us and as they see us, they will know that we are servants of God. Our call also will be confirmed by the spiritual leaders and mentors that God has put in our lives.