Identifying Future Leaders and Preachers

If you listen to David Helm, Mike Bullmore, or Bryan Chapell talk for any length of time about gospel ministry, sooner or later you’ll hear them talk about one thing they’re really passionate about: training future pastors. So they were the obvious people to answer the question, “How do you identify future pastors in your local congregations?”

Bryan Chapell mentioned Simeon Trust, the organization that David Helm leads that helps train pastors and future pastors in expository. Look to see if they have a workshop planned near you.

  • Jeff Baxter

    Thanks for posting. Spurgeon would say something like this… I just blogged about it yesterday. Blessings.

  • Dane

    Love these guys.

  • Jacob Toman

    I love the comment about “meat eaters”! What a great analogy for those hungry for the Word.

  • Steve Cornell

    To think Biblically about calling, the following considerations are important:

    7 points about calling:

    (1) Desire to serve as an overseer (I Timothy 3:1)

    (2) Qualification for eldership (I Timothy 3:1-6;Titus 1:5ff)

    (3) Life experience in leadership (I Timothy 3:4-5)

    (4) Demonstration of a shepherd’s heart (I Peter 5:1-4)

    (5) Spiritual giftedness (I Timothy 4:14;Romans 12:3ff.)

    (6) Capable of being a team member (plural leadership is God’s design– Acts 14:23; 20:17,28; I Tim.3:1ff; 5:17; Eph. 4:11; I Pet. 5:1-4)

    (7) Formal testing and recognition by spiritual leaders (Titus 1:5,9;Acts 14:23)

  • Derek Brown

    Regarding meat eaters: Romans 14:2. :)

  • Anthony

    I agree that people in ministry need to be “meat eaters” of the Word. This should apply to everyone. We as christains should all strive to get more and more of Gods Word. It is essential to everything. The Bible without a doubt is powerful and we all should strive to be “meat eaters”.

  • Caleb B

    I would like to know what milestones Mr. Bullmore was referring to.

  • Justin

    Agreed with most of what was spoken. One thing did raise an eyebrow for me, however. The sentiment was given that if an aspiring preacher did not get excited or desire to lead a Sunday school class of 6th graders, then there was some form of pride there or a quality not to be desired. First, where is age-segregated ministry even supported in Scripture? I believe there is an inherent thing inside of us that doesn’t feel quite comfortable preaching to segregated age groups because age segregated ministry is just an offshoot of the world. So instead of judging the aspiring preacher, maybe we should reconsider how we do ministry and give room to the possibility that the aspiring preacher’s apprehension for preaching to 6th graders is more of an inherent feeling of it being ineffective and less of an issue of pride. The aspiring preacher wants his preaching to be effective, and therefore he knows intuitively (if not cognitively) his preaching should be heard by fathers, not just children.

    • Tyler Helfers


      I think you are right in asking questions regarding how we choose to do ministry and what is best suited for the hearers, as it is through hearing that faith comes (Rom. 10:14-17). However, I think the larger point that these men were making was that there is more to the ministry of the Word to which pastors are called than merely preaching in front of the congregation, and that even in a 6th grade Sunday school class there are opportunities to rightly and powerfully wield the Word in service to these kids. Though I am not a pastor, I do have opportunities to speak in front of congregations and teach high school/college students, and I find that for me (and others who I know), pride is more likely to creep in than a fear of ineffectiveness when I am handed a group of people or a ministry that I do not think I should be charged with. But I do see the validity of your point.

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  • Paul

    I appreciated the candor that these men spoke with. This is a struggle that I have been dealing with for a while. I am currently finishing a degree in Religion, and long to serve the church. I have offered to serve my church on many different level and have been ignored and dejected on more than one occasion. So how should I feel about the statements that my local church should affirm me when it feels like an exclusionary social club sometimes? I love the Lord, his word and his people and nothing brings me more joy than to encourage people with His word.

    Live Long, Pray Hard, Die Well!


    • Mark

      Paul, if you wish to serve in your church and they do not permit you without offering some sort of rational, I might suggest finding a different church. Yes, you can serve on your own, but ministry without the support of the local church is not normative in the Bible. If your church is healthy they will discuss with you any reservations they have about you serving. Serving your church is a biblical commandment. If your church does not allow you to do this, find a biblical church.

      • Justin

        Hi Mark,

        To quote a portion of your post: “Find a biblical church.”

        Easier said than done, my friend.


  • TJ

    @ Paul, Serving God can be a part of everyday life. If your church is reluctant to allow you to participate then perhaps you will find your calling in some other way.

    God Bless.

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