Countless numbers of Christians desire to be ministers of the gospel. All may not want to stand behind a pulpit however. Some may want to minister in nursing homes, or children’s ministry, or even in the marketplace. There are countless opportunities for ministry, but for those who desire such an undertaking, there is protocol to follow. The Apostle Paul started right off with his protege Timothy establishing some fundamental things he needed to know::
15 Always be eager to present yourself before God as a perfect and mature minister, without shame, as one who correctly explains the Word of Truth.2 Timothy 2:15 (TPT)
One of the first requirements for anyone who wants to minister is to be willing to do that which God has called Him to do. Perhaps equally important is to have a teachable spirit. Zeal may motivate some people to step out in ministry and yet they have no clue what is actually involved. If we are going to be effective teachers who can "correctly explain the Word of Truth", then we have to be taught by someone. It’s not just about content, even though that is very important. It’s also about how you present the material. Paul presents guidelines to help the young Timothy and others:
22 Run as fast as you can from all the ambitions and lusts of youth; and chase after all that is pure. Whatever builds up your faith and deepens your love must become your holy pursuit. And live in peace with all those who worship our Lord Jesus with pure hearts. 2 Timothy 2:22 (TPT)
Running away, is often just as important as running to! Lust is one of the primary ways that preachers lose the respect of their parishioners and the world as well. To avoid the temptations of the flesh, it is necessary to keep on some running shoes. What Paul says next I think is power packed enough to keep you from all trouble:
"Whatever builds up your faith and deepens your love must become your holy pursuit."
I love this. This is not something that God expects us to get from osmosis. Rather building our faith and deepening our love life is our holy pursuit. It is something we have to diligently seek after. With this as our daily pursuit it is no wonder that living a life of loving others with a pure heart is attainable. This is not out of our reach when we first posture ourselves with the right attitude.
Paul then instructs Timothy how to keep himself out of conflict:
3 Stay away from all the foolish arguments of the immature, for these disputes will only generate more conflict. 24 For a true servant of our Lord Jesus will not be argumentative but gentle toward all and skilled in helping others see the truth, having great patience toward the immature. 25 Then with meekness you’ll be able to carefully enlighten those who argue with you so they can see God’s gracious gift of repentance and be brought to the truth. 2 Timothy 2:23-25 (TPT)
We are in a climate today where everywhere people are arguing. As a minister of the gospel it is important to determine where your emphasis should be. Trying to argue your viewpoint will not produce the harvest you want. Only by remembering that at one point in your life you needed someone to help you to mature; and they guided you into truth with love and patience. The mentors who are most effective are not arrogant and proud because of what they’ve learned; and overcome rather they are meek and humble – remembering that the love and support they needed to help them grow is something they have to give to others.
Let’s "love" some folk into the Kingdom.