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  Are there any Scriptures, or signs, that specifically identify that one has been called of God to preach or pastor?


  Thank you for this most pertinent question on how we can know that a man has been called to the ministry. (The New Testament plainly teaches that only a MAN can have the gift of Pastor-Teacher)

  I do not know of any Scripture that specifically identifies a "sign" that a man has been called to the ministry.

  Being called to the ministry, as well as calling a new pastor-teacher to your Church, is a matter of great soul searching and prayer.

  All we have, that I know of, are the Scriptures that give us the "qualifications" of a Pastor-Teacher, and the "signs" of a "false teacher".


  1 Tim. Chapter 3 verses 1-7:

1 This [is] a true saying, If a man desire (presently stretching forward to, or "feeling the call to") the office of a bishop (Greek word "episcopas" or overseer, one of the many titles for a pastor-teacher), he desireth (is presently desiring) a good work.

2 A bishop ("episcopas") then must be blameless, the husband of one wife (Greek = PRESENTLY the ONE WIFE TYPE OF HUSBAND, does not mean he HAS to be married, and does not mean that he is eliminated if he is divorced, but that he PRESENTLY must not be a bigamist or adulterer), vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, APT TO TEACH;

(NOTE: In Eph. 4:11, the actual spiritual gift is called a PASTOR-TEACHER, or "shepherd who is also a TEACHER". There is no gift of "pastor" alone. A man who is not a Bible teacher does not have the Biblical gift of "Pastor-Teacher".)

3 Not given to (not sitting long at his) wine, no striker (not a physical abuser), not greedy of filthy lucre (not loving money); but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

4 One that ruleth well (presently ) his own house (household), having (presently - has nothing to do with his past) his children in subjection with all gravity;

5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

6 Not a novice (newly planted, or "green"), lest being lifted up with pride (raising a smoke screen with his teaching) he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare (a baited trap) of the devil (diabolon - the accuser).

  This passage in 1 Tim. 3:1-7 specifically applies only to a man who is NOT a pastor, but desires to become one. All the Greek present tenses indicate the character desirable for a man to BECOME a pastor.

  Secondly though, you would not want to CALL a man to your church that didn't fit these requirements.

  Also, if a man is ALREADY a pastor, these are good guidelines for whether you would want to call the man to pastor your church.

  If a man is ALREADY the pastor of your church, we assume that he met ALL the criteria of this passage before he was called to be your pastor. If he begins to violate any of these criteria while he is in a pastorate, it would be grounds for the deacons to meet and discuss replacing him.


  1. They are a part of God's Plan, by the permissive will of God, 2 Pet 2:2, Jude ver 3 & 4, 1 Jn 4:1-6, 2 Pet 2:12, Prov 16:4.

  2. Their purpose is to cause the true children of God to stand up for the truth. 1 Cor 11:19, Jude ver 3 & 4.

  3. In an Old Testament example, God says He did not send them, but they ran, and He did not speak to them, but they prophesied. They dream dreams and prophecy lies. They steal their messages from each other. Woe to them. Jeremiah chap 23, especially verses 1, 16 & 17, 21, 25, and 30.

  4. The tools of their trade are counterfeit, and look like the real thing to the observer who does not know God's Word:

    a. Counterfeit ministers, 2 Cor 11:13-15.

    b. A counterfeit gospel, 2 Cor 11:3 & 4.

    c. Counterfeit doctrines, 2 Tim 4:1-4.

    d. A counterfeit spirituality, Gal 3:1-5.

    e. A counterfeit righteousness, Matt 23:13-36.

    f. A counterfeit communion table, 1 Cor 10:16-21.

    g. Counterfeit power, 2 Thess 2:8-10.

    h. A counterfeit god, 2 Thess 2:3 & 4.

  5. Their characteristics:

    a. They put up a phony pleasing front, Matt 7:15 & Rom 16:18.

    b. They are excellent speakers, using great and persuasive, but tricky words, 2 Pet 2:3, 13 & 14, and 18, and Jude ver 16.

    c. They use philosophy, enticing words and tradition to steal rewards from God's children, Col 2:4-23.

    d. They appeal to human pride, 2 Cor 10:12.

    e. They often promote legalism, or stepping out of bounds and teaching what christians can and cannot do, and what pleases God when God's Word does not teach such things, 1 Tim 1:4-7.

    f. They court God's true people, striving to obtain their confidence, Gal 4:17 & 18, 2 Tim 3:5-7, Jude ver 16.

    g. They speak evil of God's chain of authority, Jude ver 8, and 2 Pet 2:10-12.

    h. They are covetous, wanting things that are not theirs, 2 Pet 2:3.

  6. Our protection from false teachers is to constantly stay in fellowship in accordance with 1 John 1:9 and to know what the Bible teaches on the subject in question, Col 2:9-14, Phil 1:9-11, Eph 6:10-18, 2 Pet 3:17 & 18, and Psa 138:2.

  Again, Thank you for this most excellent question, and may God richly bless you and your loved ones.

  Eph. 1:15-17,

  Bob Jones