Advice for a Recent Seminary Graduate

Editors’ note: 

For more reading on long-term faithfulness in ministry with practical wisdom from veteran pastors, see Faithful Endurance: The Joy of Shepherding People for a Lifetime from The Gospel Coalition.

In this video, Jeff Robinson talks about becoming a pastor as a process and not necessarily as an event.


The following is a lightly edited transcript provided by a transcription service. Please check video before quoting.

I think I would tell him, “You’re not a pastor yet. You’re going to become a pastor over the next few years. You have to stay in the game and realize that God is making you a pastor just like God is sanctifying you, just like he is transforming you into the image of his Son. Just like you’re not sinlessly perfect when you are converted and you never becomes instantly perfect, hopefully you become more like Jesus. In the same way, you’ll become a pastor as someone who’s in the foxhole of a local church ministry, and you need to be patient with your people and you need to be patient with yourself. Be patient with changes knowing that really in their minds you won’t become their pastor or shepherd for probably four or five years.”
The tendency is to think, I’m ready and if things don’t go well quickly (based on our perspective within our impatient society, our Twitter-verse), doesn’t grow quickly, or they don’t follow a leadership quickly, then it’s a lost cause I need to cut and run. But no, that’s not it at all. You’re being formed as a Christian, but you’re also being formed as a pastor. And I know we tend to want things yesterday, we want this to hurry up and happen, but the grace of God builds the church, and you’re just the instrument. So I would tell them to be patient and know that you will happen over time, and your church will happen over time, but you can trust God with all those results over time.