TOO MANY MINISTERS AREN’T QUALIFIED FOR MINISTRY

In 2002 in a lengthy season of prayer and fasting I saw a glass ceiling above me and everything I desired in ministry was on the other side—favor, anointing, power, significance, open doors, impact, etc. But while I was gazing at that glass ceiling God pointed me to the floor and began speaking to me about my foundations and character. He came to test me on a book I had just written called Soulish Leadership.

On the heels of several well known ministers who recently died, among them some who were overcome by sinful lifestyles and vices, this is a sober reminder. God anoints men. Men qualify themselves with character (1 Tim. 3). Men are enamored with anointing, gifts, charisma, and talents. God places the premium on character, and He will test you, especially if you are crying out to be like Him.

My father in the faith, the late Kenneth E. Hagin, ministered to 1000s of pastors and churches in his lifetime. He told us that very few of those pastors qualified for ministry. He even predicted how their children would turn out by how the parents were living. His predictions were 100% correct. Character should be the highest priority in life and ministry.

Don’t tell me about how great your gifts and anointing are when your marriage and children are out of order. Don’t tell me how you’re going to conquer the world but you can’t even conquer your lusts and addictions. Today it’s common for ministers to be caught in adultery or very unethical practices and continue on in ministry, and their pitifully poor followers continue to defend and worship them as gods and hold up their thou-shalt-not-judge card. Personally, I think the false concept of judgment is one of the deadliest in modern day Christendom. It is the reason for such a dirty and defiled version of Christian ministry. Paul knew judgment was in fact the key to keeping the church clean.

Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?  If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? (1 Cor. 6:2-4)

The least esteemed in the church to judge are those who say, thou shalt not judge.

This lack of righteous judgment should break our hearts and send us to our knees to pray for the sad state of much of the body of Christ. Why are we so driven by ungodly success and popularity? Why are we so mesmerized by celebrity style ministry, a stage, bright lights, and a microphone? Isn’t it because we don’t know Jesus very well at all. We have no private life with Him. We don’t know Him in the secret place.

By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit the apostle Paul outlined character qualities for those who aspire to leadership in the Church (1 Tim. 3:1-7). Ministers of the gospel and local pastors and elders need to familiarize themselves with these character qualities instead of being so driven by unscriptural success. Even deacons must possess certain character qualities to serve in the church, after first being tested and found blameless.

“But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless” (1 Tim. 3:10).

Blameless! That means there is not to be found anything in his character that could be used against him. Why have we lowered this standard in the Church today?

People say, “Well, nobody is perfect.”

“We’re all flawed and have shortcomings.”

“You can’t be legalistic.”

And of course the infamous, “don’t judge…God is the judge.”

Why then are these character qualities listed in the Word? Paul gives us the reason:

“I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). 

Paul wanted to deeply impress upon young Timothy that the Church is the great defender of the truth in the world, and that the truth which the Church is to maintain is of utmost importance. One commentary says this: “This relates to the incarnation of the Son of God, and to the work which he accomplished on earth (v. 16)–a work which excited the deepest interest in heaven, and the true doctrine respecting which it was of the utmost importance to keep up among people.”  This great truth is further elaborated on in the next chapter (1 Tim. 4), by showing that the time would come when, under the influence of Satan, these great doctrines would be denied, and the truth would be corrupted and perverted. We are living in that time.

These character qualities are so basic and foundational to Church leadership that it amazes me how far we’ve drifted from them in the Church today. I’m concerned about young ministers today who rise to publicity and popularity so quickly. Many of them are like shooting stars, here one day and gone the next. It’s better to be a shining star and just keep shining day after day through transformed character, not gifts and talents. Many are mistaking gifts and talents for God’s approval and qualifications for ministry. No, gifts and talents are the equipping for the calling. God equips us through His gifts and anointing, but we qualify ourselves through character. If we don’t prioritize character we will be candidates for deception.

During my aforementioned 2002 season of extended prayer one rhema word from Jesus changed my life. He said, “The reason I’ve not opened the doors that you thought should’ve been opened is because of My protection. The deception would’ve increased in you had I opened those doors, and you would’ve ceased to be a man after My own heart.” I wept like a baby when I heard Him say that, and His love overwhelmed me when I realized He was protecting me from myself.

Then He brought me to a place when I didn’t desire public ministry any more but only to know His heart and ways and to be obedient to His will. It was a miracle of great transformation because of the mystery of iniquity that is prevalent in man’s heart.

God is always ready to use us in great ways according to His calling on our lives, but often we are not ready and qualified by character. We will shoot ourselves and blow up His perfect plan and purpose for us. Listen to the wise words of Kathryn Kuhlman:

“I looked up and said audibly “Oh dear Jesus, why didn’t you allow all of this to happen to me when I was sixteen years of age? I never got tired in body, I could ride those buses all night and then preach all day. Why didn’t you let this all happen to me when I didn’t need sleep? Why did you wait so long wonderful Jesus? There wasn’t an audible voice, but He did speak to me and this is what He said.

“Kathryn, had I given it to you then, you would have blown the whole thing!!” I knew exactly what He meant.”

The Father knows best. Work on your character and let Him bring forth the fullness of His will in His own timing.

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14 thoughts on “TOO MANY MINISTERS AREN’T QUALIFIED FOR MINISTRY

  1. This is a great article and very timely for this day and age in which we minister! Could I have your permission to 1) Repost this to Facebook & Twitter and 2) To print this out and share with two or three folks?

    Thanks!…Keith Stevens

    On Sat, Mar 16, 2019, 5:23 AM The Flaming Herald wrote:

    > holyfireorg posted: “In 2002 in a lengthy season of prayer and fasting I > saw a glass ceiling above me and everything I desired in ministry was on > the other side—favor, anointing, power, significance, open doors, impact, > etc. But while I was gazing at that glass ceiling God po” >

    • You have permission to share, and in fact, we encourage it! Use the social media buttons below to share it, and copy and paste freely as you wish.

      Thanks for your readership and spreading the message. Blessings!

  2. Thanks, Brother Bert. This is such a great example of how powerfully society has influenced the church. We get all PC about everything and “take on” the self-righteous posture of the world and call it good, kind, and, even Christian. We lose our spiritual edge and become dull and are lulled into error, siding with the world. What a horrible place to live. This is the fruit of being lukewarm–no wonder the Lord speaks out against it even more than outright rebellion. It’s deception–it worked in the Garden and it will work today if we allow it.

    I think people confuse the command to “judge all things” with “being judgmental.” One is of the spirit and the other is of the soulish realm. When we are more carnal, then that distinction is blurred, even lost The Word of God is what sharpens us, “dividing asunder of soul from spirit.” Judgment is meant to protect us, first judging ourselves, then judging what is happening around us. Judgment is not condemnation, it is a wake up call. A move toward correction. That is mercy.
    God bless.

    • Love your statement here: I think people confuse the command to “judge all things” with “being judgmental.” I concur with your perspective on this that judgment is indeed a means of protection.

  3. Thank you ever so much for this article it had me go imediately to the scriptures and reflect asking the Holy Spirit to search me.
    I see the absolute seriousness of what you stated.
    Again thank you
    Manfred Hack
    hackm@shaw.ca

  4. Awesome word that I am processing and want to keep in the forefront so I walk in holiness and let God refine my character. Thank you for speaking words of truth and power.

  5. Somehow it seems as if sin isn’t an issue in the Church anymore. Thinking of the “user friendly” trend–doesn’t that “give a pass,” even welcome serious sin, along with bad character right into the fellowship of the church? The idea of church discipline, calling out sin, confessing sins to one another seems like a polar opposite–but don’t we so need that, that the Church would show life?!

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