Tuesday, October 10, 2012
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
I wanna be qualified, Friend.
Many years ago I was approached by a lady in my church. She said the Lord had directed her to open a home for troubled young women and their babies. I told her I was happy for her. My next question, however, seemed to put her off: “Do you have any experience or education in dealing with addictions, or adolescents, or underage moms?” She said, “No. But God will teach me.” She never did anything. She was the first of a long line of folks, most of whom seemed to be fine people, who had a desire to serve God in a significant and specific way, but had no technical or practical skills. They all believed God would somehow supernaturally empower them to do what others must strive diligently to accomplish. There have been budding musicians who don’t think they must study music, missionaries who see no need for language skills, and of course the plethora of preachers who don’t need training of any kind. “I’ll just open my mouth and God will fill it!” Oh, please.
I was blessed this last week to hear Rev. Tony Cooke speak to ministers on the subject of being qualified for ministry. In that message he defined being qualified as having both the technical skill and the character qualities to fulfill the job to be done. In church world we often suffer from the lack of one or the other. We emphasize character, and that is good. Most failed ministries fail in the area of morals. Many of our endeavors are hindered, however, because we have workers of high character, but who see no need to hone their skills. It is, after all, just church. As a result, we often suffer from a deficit in competence. What we could do is limited by what we know how to do. It is time we stepped it up a bit. Certainly we need competence in the pulpit, but how about competence in the non-speakers and non-singers as well? If you have a desire to serve the Lord, spend some effort to learn what you need to know in order to do it at a high level. We live in an age where information and training can be had by a click of the mouse. Jesus did His job well. His Church would do well to do well as well.
Somebody Said: The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor. Vince Lombardi
Scripture Reading: But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out His special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by His grace.
(1 Corinthians 15:10 NLT)
I’m a preacher so I study preaching. I lead worship so I study music. I am a leader so I study leadership. I work in Latin America, so I study Spanish. When I was a janitor, I studied floor wax. When I was a counselor I studied psychology. Take a look at what you are and where you are, then study and strive to be the best you can be. It will enrich you, and those of us impacted by you. You will be qualified.