Beyond the Book with Dr. Pace: “Calling Out the Called”

As scholars and organizations lament a leadership crisis in our current cultural moment, many churches have also been confronted by the public moral failings of their leaders and by a declining interest in vocational ministry among younger generations. These issues press churches to have an answer to the question:

How do you raise up godly leaders to obey God’s calling to vocational ministry?

Scott Pace, Dean of The College at Southeastern and Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Preaching at Southeastern, addresses this question in his book coauthored with Shane Pruitt: “Calling Out the Called: Discipling Those Called to Ministry Leadership.” Drawing from their years of ministry experience and teaching, Pace and Pruitt offer churches and ministry leaders a practical resource for identifying and discipling others to obediently pursue God’s calling on their lives. In the following Q&A, Pace takes the time to answer a few questions about their new book:

What is the book about?  

“Calling Out the Called” is designed to help train and equip those who are called to ministry leadership. It introduces readers to foundational subjects and ministry skills that are essential for their development and success in various ministry contexts. 

Who is the target audience?  

The book was written for two primary audiences: those who currently lead ministries and those who are called to ministry. It is designed to be used as a mentoring guide for leaders to train others or as a self-directed resource for those who are pursuing their calling into ministry leadership. 

What motivated you to write the book?  

There were several factors involved in the genesis of the book. The primary motivation was that we need to address the leadership drought that many churches and ministries are experiencing as they look for the next generation of ministry leaders. Even when they do identify those who are called to ministry leadership, there has not been a resource designed to equip them at a foundational level. We were frequently hearing this from ministry leaders, but we also recognized the same void in our own roles that are dedicated to the specific purpose of raising up and training those who are called to ministry leadership. 

We need to address the leadership drought that many churches and ministries are experiencing as they look for the next generation of ministry leaders.

What concerns or encourages you the most about the way many churches currently think about developing future leaders? 

I am encouraged by what seems to be a growing trend among churches to develop ministry pipelines and to identify and train leaders from within. It is the biblical model, and it promotes healthy growth on so many levels. One concern is that many churches equip future ministry leaders according to their current context when there is a real need to broaden the scope of their preparation to serve in a variety of ministry contexts so that they can be mobilized and multiplied for the Great Commission. This book is designed with both of these in mind.  

What are a few practical ways ministry leaders can identify and call out the next generation of leaders, and how can they lead their churches and ministries to embrace a culture that intentionally develops future leaders?  

In the book we provide some practical tips for churches and ministries to establish a culture that is raising up and training leaders. However, developing leaders in the local church really starts with a prayerful intentionality that invites people to consider the possibility of a vocational call to ministry, provides opportunities for them to explore that calling, and disciples them accordingly.  

Developing leaders in the local church really starts with a prayerful intentionality.

How have the language and concept of calling been most often neglected or misunderstood in the Church?  

In recent years the Church has rightly emphasized every believer’s responsibility to serve in ministry and to live on mission. This is the universal calling for all disciples. However, we have done so to the neglect of the unique calling that God has for each individual follower of Christ, including a vocational ministry capacity. Scripture highlights both without neglecting either, and we have the responsibility to do the same. 

How does “Calling Out the Called” equip readers to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission?

Whether it is a current ministry leader who is discipling others or a future ministry leader who is pursuing their ministry calling, the ultimate goal of the book is for it to translate into faithful service to the Church and the fulfillment of King Jesus’s mission and marching orders for us! 

How has studying ministry callings and leadership training shaped you spiritually? 

Exploring the concept of calling has continued to refine and clarify my own purpose in life and ministry. It has also motivated me to help others do the same as I am more convinced than ever that our spiritual progress should result in faithful obedience. Most importantly, it has challenged me to live on mission because every believer’s calling is designed by God to that end. 


Calling Out the Called: Discipling Those Called to Ministry Leadership

Ministry comes with many weighty responsibilities. Ministry leaders are called to teach, serve, and lead. But in leading those under their care, there comes a moment when they recognize the future leaders under their leadership. With this recognition comes an all too familiar question: What comes next?

In “Calling Out the Called,” Scott Pace and Shane Pruitt answer this question by giving direction, encouragement, and a charge for ministry leaders to recognize the future leaders in their midst and do what needs to be done for the future of ministry: the calling out of the called.

November 1, 2022

Hardcover, 192 pages

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