Friday, June 25, 2010

Called into Ministry.......Qualified for Ministry?

What does it mean to be “called into ministry”? Do seminaries really serve a purpose? Is there a distinction between laity and clergy? Is there merit to tent-making or bi-vocational ministry? What is the career path for someone wanting to escape the secular world and work only within the church bubble? If someone is called by God, does it really matter if they are qualified?

In addition to being called, one must also be qualified. There is plenty of scriptural evidence of the qualifications necessary for being in ministry (particularly being an elder/pastor). The common denominator among these are a matter of character, not talent.

Too many churches today are concerned with one’s schooling or talent or experience, leaving aside the importance of character which God places at the forefront in scripture.

First off, realize that every Christian is called into ministry. Moreover, every Christian is required to use their gifts and talents, spiritual and otherwise, to build up and equip the body of Christ. These would include spiritual gifts (as listed and described in scripture) but also talents that they have acquired through real-world experience which might also be of some use.

One sign of maturation/sanctification for a Christ-follower would be the realization of this principal: Its not what you get, its what you give. (special thanks to Tesla for that Biblical principal) The Bible is full of admonishments, warning and encouraging that the work that you put into the Body here on earth will be responsible for the authority/responsibility given in heaven.

So then, what is the difference between lay leaders in the church and ordained leaders in the church? Good question. Is there a difference at all? Also, what is the difference between unpaid volunteers serving the church and full-time paid staff members? Another good question.

to be continued......


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