Summary: Great resume, but still an unprofitable servant. Don't sweat it!

Having been in ministry of some form since 1975 I have seen a few things. Some have been great and others not so great. I have had some victories and fallen on my face. Yet, I have always had the desire to serve the Lord and have pressed on looking for His grace and wisdom to lead me on though many times I thought maybe I could do it on my own.

Having found that I cannot do it on my own I wonder how we got to where we are where so many things are considered for a person to serve that have nothing to do with Scripture. The process tends to place people in a position where they have to depend on themselves and the system to find a place of service rather than the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, if you look at the qualifications of a pastor and deacon in 1 Timothy 3 and then look at some of the “job descriptions” churches and organizations use to select people you will find a vast difference between them.

Oddly enough, the Apostle Paul had the 1st Century version of the credentials desired today and he counted them as dung and nothing to hang on to very tightly. He had the education, the references, the positions, titles and power that would make many a ministry salivate and yet after he was saved they were useless. He now had real wisdom and power. Yes, he used his background in ministry as all people do. I come from a variegated background to say the least and while I can use that to gain an audience once I get an ear it is not going to help me much. After that, God better be doing something or I am wasting my time building wood, hay and stubble as well as possibly preventing someone from being saved or committed to Christ if they are saved.

However, the flip side of Paul would keep him from serving in any large or famous ministry in America. He has been incarcerated several times so many a prison ministry may interview him. He has caused instances of community unrest even to the point of riot. He does not have a great oratory style or voice and he does use it to insult people from time to time. He will not look good even in an Armani suit because the scars from his stonings and whippings as well as the damage from being ship wrecked do not give him a great TV presence and with that voice radio is out as well.

He does good written communication work, but so much would have to be edited because of name calling and politically incorrect speech. He is so backward because he deals with peripheral issues like hair and how to behave at a church supper where communion is also offered that are non-essential to salvation so we must not be dogmatic about such things. After all, in essentials unity and in non-essentials, charity is a biblical mandate or is it?

What? He says women are to be submissive and cannot be pastors? Oh, if we ever published that in the Jerusalem Apostolic Times we would be sued and have massive protests outside our door! What is this nonsense of him wanting his young apprentice, Timothy, pastoring a church? Why, the lad is only 21! Paul knows that you cannot even be a member of the Sanhedrin until you are thirty and then only if you are married. Single and 21, what is Paul thinking?

If Paul would have a hard time finding a ministry what would the fishermen in the group do? Rough edged, burley, minimally educated fishermen would be out the door if they even got an interview. Yea, even Jesus based on His earthly background would have a hard time. I mean, a carpenter with a controversial heritage that creates unrest in the community. He takes on the PhDs of the Sanhedrin and says so many disparaging things about these pillars of the community and spiritual leaders. He would not be a boon to our donations as He started out with thousands of followers and then He ran most of them off with His deep theology so that only a relative handful remain. There is a rumor that He was under the scrutiny of the government as well. After all, His cousin challenged the government to the point of losing his head!

Did Jesus have a proven track record for His three years of ministry? Yes, He fed thousands, but in the end was deserted by nearly everyone. One of His own inner circle denied Him three times. He had no home or steady income so you cannot run a background check to see if He was fiscally responsible. He had no formal education yet He silenced the intelligentsia much like Amos did to the royal priesthood of his day.

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