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 (Ephesians 4:11-12, KJV).
Many believers disqualify themselves because they fail to realize it is Jesus Who ordains those in office. Through time, much of the church world has come to believe that unless a person has had four years of college, and gone through seminary, they are not qualified to minister in whatever capacity the Lord has called them to. While discipleship is of great importance in the Body of Christ, where is it written that one has to attend The College of St. Peter or The Seminary of the Apostle Paul? While education is good in of itself, it does not necessarily qualify the believer for service. While those who attend may gain valuable knowledge, their attendance may not necessarily impart the wisdom and spiritual understanding necessary for the task. Those things come through the Holy Spirit.
A person may know a lot of information. The question is, do they know how to apply that knowledge properly? There are a number of people who can quote Scripture; but do they live what they quote? There are pastors who have never had school available to them, yet they are filled with wisdom and the Word of God. They are very capable ministers of God, and in some cases more capable than those who have had formal training. The reason for their effectiveness is that they are yielded vessels. They spend time with the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to instruct them. They love God and they love His people. Because they walk in love, the Lord is able to use them.
Please understand that this in not to say a person should not have formal training; rather, the training and qualifications should be left to the Lord to determine. He knows what each person needs in order to fulfill his or her particular mission. If the Lord desires someone to have formal training as part of his or her spiritual upbringing, He will lead and provide. We have to allow the Lord Jesus to determine who is called to do what, and let Him decide what the qualifications are; otherwise, there will be a number who will miss it. Here is an example to consider: a person may go through all the “necessary steps of education” in order to become a pastor, but unless Jesus called him to be a pastor, he is still not qualified. Conversely, a person may never have formal training, but he is still qualified because Jesus called him to the office.
This blog primarily dealt with the gifts found in Ephesians 4:11; however, there are other areas of ministry and their qualifications. In the next blog, we will examine other ways people disqualify themselves, and what the Word of God has to say in relation to them.