8 Reasons New Believers Should Not Be Made Pastors
TEXT: 1 Tim 3:6
It has been my experience these past few years to discover the demerits of placing new converts in position of pastoral responsibilities. Paul’s words about giving pastoral positions to new converts, immature Christians and untrained believers: “He (a pastor or overseer) must not be a new convert, or he might become conceited and fall into the condemnation of the Devil” (1 Tim 3:6).
Here are some of the reasons it’s a wrong move to give a newer believer a pastoral position:
- Though he is saved, but is still battling with some disastrous personal problems in his private life. Those personal problems he has not got victory over will definitely spill over into his spiritual life and will adversely affect his pastoral responsibilities. He that has not succeeded in pastoring himself well in Christ should never be made to pastor others, else, he will destroy their faith.
- He’s not likely been equipped yet to ward off the devil’s arrows. That is, the same devil who himself arrogantly fell into judgment wants others to fall with him – and recent converts often haven’t yet been discipled enough to recognize that enemy’s attacks.
- He almost can’t help but think he’s “something” when we too soon give him a leadership position. Even if he’s filled with wonder over God’s grace, few of us can fight the temptation toward ego when others affirm us publicly and positionally. Our hearts just lean that way.
- He can quickly become spiritually obnoxious toward others. Most of us can probably think of someone—including ourselves at times—whose zeal and youth hurt more than helped the work of the gospel. Arrogance and enthusiasm without wisdom can be a dangerous combination.
- He might assume he really doesn’t need any more training. After all, the church has already affirmed him and set him apart for a particular role. If they’ve noted God’s hand in his life to that level, why would he need to do more preparation?
- Today’s passion doesn’t always lead to tomorrow’s perseverance. The same young believer who drips with passion for Christ today might also wilt tomorrow under the first pressures associated with church leadership. Some of us, in fact, regret when that story was ours years ago.
- A recent conversion gives little time to develop “a good reputation among outsiders, so that he does not fall into disgrace and the Devil’s trap” (1 Tim 3:7). Non-believers don’t follow Christ, but they often pay attention to the lives of Christians—particularly if they can discount the gospel because of a leader’s faulty life. Having a good reputation assumes that leaders will have developed evident character and consistency.
- The complexities of today’s church/ministry is overwhelming to a new convert. Most pastors are not well equipped enough to deal or handle the twenty first century ministry of emails, WhatsApp, internet, social media, administration and dynamism of growth, decline and strange teachings and practices. That’s why new believers fail woefully and get sunk in the mire of today’s ministry.
Even though church leaders of big denominations argues against this truth and places a lot of young converts, who are not well discipled, trained and grounded in Christ and His truth in charge of their churches, due to pressure to grow, expand and have many branches here and there, yet, the evidence on ground is that these young converts ruin themselves and the churches under their care due to the afore mentioned points.
Church growth, health and dynamism demands that we disciple new converts, ground them in faith, trained them well in bible school, schools of ministry and provides adequate resources and mentoring that will make them to stand strong in Christ and help them lead their local churches better. Ministerial and personal education for healthy pastors is continuos and life long, for effective ministry.