What Qualifies a Ministry

This may be a short post. But we shall see.

My wife asked me a question this afternoon as to what qualifies someone to be called by a ministerial name. First I have to refer to Eph 4:11-12

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers: For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

These aforementioned ministries are the only ministry gifts that I know of. Oh, there may be some others to mention in another form, but they are likely speaking to the hierarchy of ministry.

I did go to school for ministry back during my early years from around 1978-1982 and then served under a ministry for thirty years. I took a difficult sabatical because of issues that required my act to be cleaned up and refined. Since this reentry into my walk around 2014 that refinement has taught me much about being over doing. I must first “be” before I “do”. Doing is a direct result of being and if I’m not being first the doing is not worth the effort.

So, to answer the question my wife posed I had to say that schooling does not qualify a ministry. It may equip to some degree, but it isn’t the answer to the end of questions. First and foremost one must equip themselves for ministry, but the real end to it all is your calling.

God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called. Schooling is a skeleton. The real equipping comes from God’s testings of one’s character. With someone that realizes their calling they will pursue that calling to that end, such as one of the mentioned ministries in Ephesians.

I was once told if one wants to be a deacon he must first deek, so to speak. Serve people in that capacity and at some point someone in leadership will recognize that person’s action as a deacon and will place them into that position by recognizing them before the congregation and “ordaining” them into the ministry where they offically become called Deacons.

Same with any ministry. My earliest recollection of God’s calling on my life was that of an Evangelist. Oh, believe me I spent years mulling that over. I had no idea how to do this. You see, I started my schooling under a ministry that turned my paradygm of what an evangelist was upside-down. So, in the years that followed I performed tasks as they came up and became involved in doing. . .and doing. . .and doing till I was sitting in the sound booth at church one evening and God placed a thought in my head of why was I in this church I was in. I had no answer. By this time I had become a deacon, care pastor, printshop manger, IT manager, musician and sound tech. I fell off my pedestal

Once 2014 arrived I came to realize what an evangelist is. Without fanfare or being asked I started visiting the sick in the hospital in my former church. When I came to my present church I started visiting the sick and talking with people about their issues. It was during that time that the ministry of the church saw what I was doing and asked if I wanted to offically be ordained as a licensed minister.

After thought, I said yes and was ordained. Then a couple of years later God spoke to me about a school for certification as a chaplain. It was during my time in school that God started speaking to me that a chaplain was in fact an evangelist. He is one that touches people’s lives that may have never cast a shadow upon the doors of a church.

After schooling twice and thirty-plus years of ministry, I finally realized you can’t claim your calling just from a certificate or diploma. It comes from performing that ministry and qualifying to the point that you are recognized by the higher ministry for that and then they announce you to the congregation as such to your calling through ordination.

About Jim

I'm a 72 yr old guy, who had worked in Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune for 28 yrs and now retired as of 31 Dec 16. I've worked in medical records, Health Benefits Department, Billing, the IT department and retired as the Personnel Security Manager for the hospital. I'm a musician and Corvette enthusiast. Yes, I have had two. I traded my second Corvette for a Harley Davidson Fat Boy mid-summer 2019. I've already ridden about seven thousand miles. I'm also searching for a fresh new outlook on life with new spiritual insight among other things. I was ordained a minister on 20190202. I've become certified with the American Chaplaincy Association through Aidan University in June '21. I've found that with the unconditional love of my companion, Libby Rowe life is complete through God. She's a beautiful, vibrant, giving woman who gives her all in everything she puts her mind to do. She and I married on 24 July 2015. She was ordained in February 2022. She has a blog too called Under a Carolina Moon. Give it a visit.
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