Day 3 // He calls the Untrained

Often I get asked to speak at churches and other gatherings of Jesus-followers. I love to speak. Even so, I often feel very inadequate, or untrained in the topics I'm speaking about. I am, after all, a college student. A multimedia major at that. Not a theologian, not a pastor ... just a college student.

Paul felt the same way - according to Ephesians 3. He originally hated the Jesus-followers, before becoming one himself. He definitely didn't expect to be a person in full-time ministry.
This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all of the details. When it came to presenting the Message ... I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities. (v7-8)
A few weeks ago I went to a conference for Jesus-followers in Indiana. One of the speakers made a comment that stuck with me. He said that "real ministry needs to happen OFF the organizational chart of the church." He proposed that EVERYONE - not just the pastor, elders, and deacons - should consider themselves fully responsible for the ministry. The pastor is not the sole champion - rather, everyone should contribute in the teaching, learning, healing, praying, worshipping, visiting, tear-wiping, encouraging, and supporting roles. I like that. Some denominations don't hire "full-time" ministers for this reason - and not because of lack of funds. They refrain from hiring someone so that the ENTIRE church is encouraged to be on a journey together: to study and teach together. In those churches, they all know the scriptures inside and out. I can see how this would be beneficial.

Don't get me wrong - I love having an "expert" up on stage dicing up the scriptures so that I can understand it. But sometimes it causes me to be lazy. Sometimes I don't dig in enough and take responsibility for my own spiritual growth. I better snap out of that laziness. I better be on guard, because it sounds like sometimes he uses the "least qualified" (like Paul, or me) and equips us beyond our natural abilities.

A Prayer: Here am I, Lord. Send me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

JB - you mentioned Ephesians Chapter 3 in the Bible - Keep reading. Ephesians 4:11-12 says "And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ"

It seems that the Bible supports the pastors as equippers, and not just the "do-ers".

Serve Well - Dan L

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