Monday, January 24, 2011

Qualified for the Ministry?

I have really enjoyed Charles Bridges' Christian Ministry. It's been a slow read thus far, however, because I have been deeply convicted and encouraged on nearly every page. I just finished reading through the qualifications of the minister. Without giving you all of what he says, I found this closing paragraph one worth posting.
A person may, in a general way, be said to be qualified for the Ministry, who has talents for preaching though not fitted for profitable private intercourse, or the affairs of Church Government. But this is evidently not a complete adaptation to the work. It is, on the contrary, a very imperfect one, and one with which no man should be content. For, all the aspects of Ministerial labour are, if not equally, yet highly, important; every one of them far too important to be trifled with. The right performance of each affords facilities for the rest, and gives additional beauty and efficacy to all. To be fit for only one department, cannot but greatly impede our activity, and diminish our success. To fill the Ministerial office with a degree of satisfaction and benefit commensurate with its capabilities, or with the desire of a heart awake to its importance, we must be all that it demands--men of God, perfect, completely furnished to every good work. This is an elevated standard. He that aims highest will most approximate to it."
After reading this, I'm glad he started this section by writing:
Mr. Newton's important remark may be considered as an axiom--"None but he who made the world can make a Minister of the Gospel."
I have found myself in much need of God's grace as a pastor. I have found myself lacking in areas that only He can fix. I have found myself driven to much prayer as I hear and think about what it means to fulfill this office of the church.

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