I was interviewed recently by Christianity Today about my unique journey into pastoral ministry. I didn’t attend seminary. I didn’t serve in an internship. I got hammered in hard churches and got good faithful pastoral mentoring outside of the local churches of which I served. I didn’t realize it at the time, but God in his wise and kind providence was preparing me for a unique ministry, Practical Shepherding being a key piece in it.
The full CT article is good and addresses that there are multiple ways God gets
pastors where they are supposed to be to serve him. Here is a small portion of that article:
Brian Croft, 40, has pastored Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, for the past 12 years. Yet Croft has never completed a seminary degree. While studying at Belmont University in Nashville, and later finishing his undergrad at Indiana University, he realized the call to vocational ministry. He bounced around at four churches in eight years in positions from youth ministry to music ministry.
“At all four churches, I desired to be mentored,” Croft said. “But the senior pastors didn’t feel that that’s what they were supposed to be doing. I made a lot of dumb rookie mistakes.”
Another pastor, however, saw his situation from afar and met with him over a 10-year period.
“He bought me thousands of dollars of books,” Croft said. “He would meet me at the bookstore, he would go, ‘Have you read this?’ and I’d say no, and he’d grab it off the shelf. I would leave every time with my arms full of books.
I became a reader … for 10 years I devoured every book he bought me. He taught me what a pastor is, what a church is supposed to be.”
Croft said that because of the man’s mentorship and guidance, he felt strongly equipped for a pastoral position even without a degree. His mentor affirmed that assurance, adding that Croft should pursue language study as one missing piece…
Read the full article…Here
Here is the book that describes how our local church trains future pastors: Prepare Them To Shepherd