So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
Here's my outline of this scripture:
We are compelled by love (v14):
- to be selfless (v15),
- to gain a new perspective (v16, 17),
- to speak with authority (v18), and
- to offer grace (v19)
This call to ministry is for all who follow Christ. However, there is another kind of calling that is for those involved in specific, sometimes full-time or vocational, ministry.
Some colleagues and I are going through the book, Preventing Ministry Failure, by Wilson/Hoffmann. There are a couple of things that they said that are encouraging as we venture into unknown territory. First, I didn't choose this ministry, God chose me for this ministry! Secondly, I have never been at peace pursuing any other venture. From page 72, "The call into the ministry is the possession of a "knowing" initiated and sustained by God and validated by Scripture."
As we are praying for God to send people who will be joining us in ministry at Transformation House, we are each examining our own call to determine our fit. After reading through Preventing Ministry Failure, I came up with a list of qualifications and disqualifications for ministry. Check this out, and see if you agree.
Qualifications: talent, training, education, skills, experience, heritage, personality, passion, spiritual gifts, and an open door.
Disqualifications: struggle with sin, discouragement, previous removal from ministry, experiences, personality, and ego.
Before you get upset and stop reading, let me say that this list is written from a natural way of thinking. If these lists were correct, how would you measure up? How would anyone ever get into ministry? Would you just have to make sure that you had at least one more good trait than bad? Listen up, God does not agree with this list. There are people who have every qualification listed here who fall flat on their faces trying to "do" ministry. There are people with all of the disqualifications listed who are impacting our world in a dynamic way. What makes the difference? THE DIFFERENCE IS THE CALL.
When God called me to ministry He knew everything that would disqualify me, but He called me anyway. To me the question isn't "Am I called?" but "Will I answer?"