Qualities required for Christian ministry

There is considerable ignorance  about what qualifies someone for Christian ministry. Most people believe that a minister must go to a theological college or have a university degree. Such qualifications may be helpful for personal intellectual development or background knowledge, but they are nowhere cited in the New Testament as required.

Jesus Christ was just a carpenter – a skilled craftsman; for him, design theory had to be turned into a practical artefact which worked ! His knowledge of God was personal and direct.

A model for Christian ministry.

He was grounded in the word of God, and in the realities of this world. He knew who God is and what he requires. His was no second-hand academic knowledge.

And Jesus doctrine was explicit. Anyone with a leading place in God’s work must be a servant of all, and come last of all. Jesus particularly condemned the Pharisees and Scribes of his day for their love of position and praise.

Jesus was manifestly a self taught preacher, as was John the Baptist. Both were called of God and ordained by God. And when this happens, ordinary people recognise the truth about such men. But religious leaders with titles and positions are too often preoccupied with their place in an organisation or hierarchy; and they view the world from the perspective of preserving that place – not from the revolutionary perspective of God’s kingdom.

They can end up persecuting or denying the genuine article.

In our study of Matthew we are in chapter 4 and verses (12 to) 17 which says:

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Let’s recall what had happened just before. Jesus had been baptised and then immediately challenged by Satan.

Too many of today’s professedly ‘Christian’ leaders have not been baptised by full immersion in water. 

Yet Jesus was …

How many of today’s Christian leaders with titles and academic qualifications have defeated temptation in their own hearts, chosen God’s word over Self and Satan, and are convinced of God and his purpose ?

And so know how God wants his sheep to be led and trained

Many are preoccupied with questions of theology or  internal politics and committees – but what of the spiritual need to honour Christ, and live a holy life expressing the grace and truth of Christ.

YOU will always preach from the right perspective if you preach the rule of God.

Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.

Yes, the kingdom of God is the Rule of God – not the rule of Self or Satan or this World’s self absorbed mantra of self advancement, and trampling on other people’s needs and interests.

Nor is it the rule of any religious organisation, or church.

Note cults demand obedience to the line laid down by a human being.

The genuine church and the godly minister will always preach the centrality of Christ in daily life. Obedience to God through Jesus Christ. Obedience to the spirit and letter of his words recorded in the New Testament.

Personal salvation; personal response to God; personal decisions to obey God.

Letting God bring a person through the issues in their lives according to his plan and purpose for them individually – not demanding adherence to schemes or human expectations.

The responsibility of the minister of God is to minister Christ – in his attitude and example; in his explaining and preaching the Word of God.

The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians [first letter, chapter 2, verse 2]:

For I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Now that doesn’t only mean what we label “the gospel” – the message that a person must be saved, and that Christ died for them, and that they must surrender to him.

Paul speaks of Jesus Christ and him crucified. Paul means not only what Christ has done for us, but how we must hence forward live for him.

It means following Christ’s example all our days; living a life of continual death to self, that we might know the continual process of resurrection – working out our salvation with fear and trembling [Philippians 2,12]

Therefore, Paul preached ALL the counsel of God  – not just the nice, acceptable bits: e.g. the free gift of God is eternal life – enjoy  !

The apostle Paul testifies about his own ministry to the Ephesian elders when he sees them for the last time on his way to Jerusalem and expected captivity –  not personal glory.

Acts 20, from verse 25:

And now behold I know that ye all among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom [ie KINGS RULE]  of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you ALL the counsel of God.

Now,  for the meaning, responsibility and gravity of what Paul refers to as being “free from the blood of all men”, see the charge laid by God on his true servants in Ezekiel chapter 3, verses 17 to 21.

But what does the apostle Paul go on to charge the elders with – expressly in word and explicitly in citing his own example of ministry ?

See Acts 20, verses 25 to 35 but I cite here just two of those verses,

verse 28: Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood

They are to

  • take heed to themselves – take care as to their own walk and example
  • take heed to the flock – they have a dire responsibility to protect and to provide spiritual sustenance
  • above all understand the flock belongs to Christ – not to them or their ‘church’ structure, but Christ

Lastly, appropriately,  verse 32:

I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

Christian Preacher

By Christianity

The personal icon photograph shows God's creation, the world. It reminds us that God is the Creator of all - the almighty, the all knowing and all present - the one who is most important of all. The one to whom we owe all, and the one to whom we will answer for all. The site's header image of the Bible [King James Authorised Version], a map, a light and a compass represent to us that God's word in the Bible is our spiritual map, illumination and guide through this life. Those who obey his teaching will know his presence and power - Gospel of John, chapter 14, verse 23

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