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Becoming a Pastor

pastoral ministry

The path to pastoral ministry is often unexpected, marked by twists and turns that challenge preconceived notions and lead to profound personal transformation. In a recent conversation, Malyon Alumnus, Pastor Scott (Riverlife Baptist), shared his journey from initial reluctance to wholehearted embrace of the vocation. Scott’s story resonates with the unpredictable yet deeply rewarding nature of answering the call to serve in Christian leadership.

From a young age, there was a subtle lean towards Christian leadership, though it wasn’t recognized as a clear “call” at the time. In high school, Scott served as a faith captain, yet the idea of becoming a pastor seemed unappealing. The stereotype of pastors lounging around, sipping coffee, and engaging in idle chatter appeared mundane and unfulfilling.

But life has a way of nudging us towards unexpected paths. Despite reservations, there came a moment of discernment during university—a feeling that something wasn’t quite right with the current trajectory. Seeking guidance, Scott reached out to his young adult pastor, initiating a pivotal conversation over coffee (ironically fitting given the earlier disdain for pastor’s supposed coffee breaks).

In that moment of seeking wisdom and discernment, seeds of possibility were planted. Rather than receiving a definitive answer, the invitation was extended to explore further—to attend an Open Night at Malyon Theological College, a step towards discerning the possibility of vocational calling.

Upon entering the doors of Malyon Theological College, something shifted. A sense of belonging washed over, affirming a deep inner knowing that this was where they were meant to be. Despite initial reluctance, Scott enrolled in a Bachelor of Ministry program, taking a leap of faith into the unknown.

Yet, even amidst the academic pursuit of ministry, the desire to be a pastor remained elusive. Mission work or overseas service seemed like more appealing avenues. However, as the journey unfolded, perspectives shifted, and new insights emerged. The reluctance gradually gave way to acceptance, and eventually, enthusiasm for pastoral ministry ignited.

Scott’s journey underscores the beauty of vocational discernment—a process that unfolds over time, often defying our expectations and challenging our assumptions. It’s a reminder that God’s calling is not always loud and clear but manifests in quiet whispers, subtle nudges, and unexpected encounters.

Pastoral ministry is far from a mundane occupation; it’s a sacred vocation that invites individuals into the depths of human experience—joy, sorrow, doubt, and faith. It’s about walking alongside others in their journey of spiritual growth, offering support, guidance, and companionship along the way.

Every individual called to pastoral ministry brings a unique blend of gifts, experiences, and perspectives, enriching the tapestry of community and strengthening the fabric of faith. It’s a calling that requires courage, vulnerability, and unwavering faith—a willingness to step into the unknown and trust in God’s plan for us.

As we celebrate the unique journeys that lead individuals to embrace the vocation of pastoral ministry, may we be reminded of the profound beauty found in answering the call to serve, and may we continue to support and uplift those who heed that sacred invitation.

In the end, what may have once seemed like an uncertain step of faith, transforms into a sacred privilege—an opportunity to be instruments of God’s love and grace in the world.

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