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QUALIFICATIONS FOR MINISTRY


What qualifies someone for a task? There is a story of the testing of a candidate for missions work:


One snowy morning at 5:00 A.M., a missionary candidate rang the bell at a missionary examiner’s home. Ushered into the office, he sat three hours past his appointment time waiting for his interview. At 8:00 A.M., a retired missionary appeared and began his questioning. "Can you spell?"


Rather mystified, the candidate answered, "Yes, sir."


"All right. Spell 'baker.'"


"B-A-K-E-R."


"Fine. Now, do you know anything about numbers?" the examiner continued.


"Yes, sir, something."


"Please add two plus two."


"Four," replied the candidate.


"That’s fine," said the examiner. "I believe you have passed. I’ll tell the board tomorrow."


At the board meeting, the examiner reported on the interview. "He has all the qualifications for a fine missionary. First, I tested him on self-denial, making him arrive at my home at five in the morning. He left a warm bed on a snowy morning without any complaint. Second, I tested him on promptness. He arrived on time. Third, I examined him on patience. I made him wait three hours to see me. Fourth, I tested him on temper. He failed to show any anger or aggravation. Fifth, I tried his humility by asking him questions that a seven-year-old child could answer, and he showed no indignation. So you see, I believe the candidate meets the requirements. He will make the fine missionary we need."


Spirit-given abilities are needed, but Spirit-produced fruit is more significant.


(Source: Green, Michael P.: Illustrations for Biblical Preaching : Over 1500 Sermon Illustrations Arranged by Topic and Indexed Exhaustively. Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file. Grand Rapids : Baker Book House, 1989)

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