By PASTOR BRENDA TIMBERLAKE
Question: How long should it take to be ready to work as a minister? I am in Bible School now and some of my classmates are already dropping out in the first and second year to start their ministries (it\’s a four-year divinity program). I don\’t think I\’m ready yet, but I don\’t want to get left behind. I feel like I have a strong gift, but I\’m not sure of what to do now.
Answer: It is easy to be mislead when you are not seasoned in the Word. That is one way the enemy can slip in and get people off- track before they even get started! It is essential to receive anointed teaching from God\’s Word.
Although I have been in ministry for over 30 years, it was after I received Bible School training that I began assisting my husband. He mentored and taught me in the ministry and in the Word. Because of that, I was able to make a smooth transition into the pastorate after his passing (January 2002).
Ministry is about serving God and God\’s people. It is not about fame, notoriety or having a big church. â€œAnd he gave some, apos- tles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.â€ (Eph. 4:11-12)
The scripture says â€œfor the work of the ministryâ€â€”and ministry is work! I am in full-time ministry with a full-time staff, as well as hundreds of volunteers, and it takes all of us to do the work of the ministry for our local congregation.
The work of the ministry is challenging, but rewarding when you do all things decently and in order (I Cor. 14:40). So make your gift and calling sure before you step out into the ministry. Search your heart, seek wise counsel and seek instruction in the Word be- fore â€œlaunching out into the deep.â€ If you do this, your ministry will be much more fulfilling and meaningful.