Friday, July 2, 2010

Ministry is a calling, not a career

Vol I - Called and Qualified
Vol II - Serving Others
Vol III - Gifted and Talented

Once we have established that all Christians, both laymen and ministers alike, are required to discern and use their gifts and talents, we are left with one important question: What differentiates the lay-leadership from the ordained ministers? Not much, as far as God is concerned. It is we who have placed a large chasm at times between these two groups of people. With ill-fitting titles such as father, pastor, elder, priest, deacon, apostle, reverend, bishop, pope, it has become difficult to truthfully discern what each of the titles are supposed to really mean and who is deserving of them in God’s eyes. Is there a difference between an ordained minister who receives no compensation from the church and a full-time paid staff member who is not an ordained minister? How lightly should these titles be placed upon individuals? “Pastor of Parking“. “Pastor of Weekend Worship Activities“. At what point do the people who claim the title, and oftentimes the compensation, fail to live up to the Biblical description of the job? How many lay leaders are in the Body fully realizing their God-given potential, but completely ignored by the church itself - given no title, no responsibility, and no compensation and furthermore wanting none of these?

Ministry is a calling, not a career. This means that you shouldn't concern yourself with whether or not you are getting paid for it. Unfortunately, too many churches and pastors have this mantra backwards. This is why ministers are chosen based on talent, education, and experience rather than character. And this is also why so many fail, because their character was untested and unqualified. How sad that so many churches actually double dip and bring these men back into ministry even after they have proven themselves unworthy. Some men actually jump from ship to ship leaving a trail of wreckage behind.

to be continued......


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