Our call to ministry.




A look at the ministry call that Jesus makes on each one of our lives.










The full background to this teaching is available online at this link
For serious students only



Online links to scriptures (New International Version [NIV] unless otherwise stated) are shown in blue




Today there are millions of people involved in Christian ministry around the world. Some work fulltime, others in combination with other employment. Some are paid a living wage, while others receive no monetary remuneration at all.

So what motivates people into ministry?



This question has many individual answers. It includes those seeking to please God, those wanting to help others, through to, at the other end of the scale, those who see it as a way to make a living, or perhaps, do not know what else to do with their lives.

Upon observation and from reading history, there seems to be a pattern to church leadership. New movements that start up under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit are led by those who are 100% sold out to God and fully committed to what He is doing, irrespective of the cost to themselves. As these 'pioneers' are succeeded by those who are followers of the vision, there soon comes a greater formalisation of leadership in which structure, theology, learning and qualifications assume greater roles. Until you reach the situation where no-one can be appointed to a leadership role unless and until they have requisite qualifications recognised by the group concerned. At this time the leadership of the Holy Spirit is replaced by regulations, authority structure and appointment patterns devised and operated by humans, done of course, in the name of God. As God goes, theology and qualifications fill the void and take His place.



But what does the New Testament say about the appointment of leaders? The primary verse is found in Ephesians: 


Ephesians 4:11



Their role is to be: 


Ephesians 4:12-13



In the initial stages of a movement, the people, most of whom are rejected by the established church and, most likely, by society as well, are trained by an enthusiastic, committed leadership operating informally on a similar level as the people, with little or no financial reward, to do the work.



However, as the movement grows, leadership attains status, and formally or informally, reverts back towards the intermediary or priestly system of the Old Testament, where they, as paid professionals, are expected to do the work on the people's behalf. This arrangement generally suits both leaders and led, but it is not, as we can see above, biblically correct.

Leaders are to be called by God, not appointed by man.




How do we know then, who is called by God?

A leader must receive a clear call on his or her life from God.

For me, I was working in my flower fields when God, minding my own (or the flowers) business, when the audible voice of God clearly called me into ministry. He clearly explained what the thrust of the ministry was to be. Unlike the fishermen disciples of the New Testament, I didn't have family to take over my role in the business, so I worked half a day, and spent half a day in ministry.

A few years later, God asked me to go into ministry full time. As proof, He said He would bring a buyer along for the business within a month. He did so on the very last day!

As a lifelong businessman, I tried to organise to provide financially for myself and my family. This, to cut a long story short, ended up in bankruptcy! Then, and now, I became dependent upon Him for ministry funding, and as hard for me, upon my wife Kathy, for day to day living expenses.

Over the past 10 years the 'opportunity cost' (an economists term, for I am a trained economist) of being in ministry as opposed to running businesses is in the million plus range of dollars. We now live in a rented home, owning only our household effects.



We operate in this way because of the power of the call on my/our life/lives. It is not a job, it is a call. Financially it is hugely costly, but the motivation is not financial. It was, and is, simply an act of obedience. Had I/we not been obedient I would have regretted it for the rest of my life.

Those who are truly called will be prepared to pay the necessary price. A call is not a comfortable job. Just ask Paul!


2 Corinthians 11:23-5



Leadership is a call, costing all, not a profession. 




... as we look at God's call from the point of view of leadership. 




I understand that you might find this series to be what you might consider to be impractical or idealistic. It may be!

But we do need to look and see things from god's perspective rather than our own. So, I simply ask that you do not reject it out of hand!

Pray about it and see if the Lord challenges you too!


Could Hazael seen here be the same man who was anointed by Elijah?

This Ivory Statuette standing nearly 7 inches tall represents Hazael, ancient King of Aram Damascus (Syria) who fought against Israel. In the Bible the Lord sent the prophet Elijah to anoint Hazael to be king over Syria in the future. Many years later the Syrian king Hadadezer became very sick and Hazael suffocated him and seized the throne. Hazael reigned for about 37 years (842-805 B.C.). He went to war with Israel in the north and Judah in the south. Assyrian records indicate wars with Syria, and an inscription by Shalmaneser III mention Hazael and his son Ben-hadad by name:

"I fought with Ben-hadad. I accomplished his defeat. Hazael, son of a nobody, seized his throne."

"In the 18th year of my reign for the 16th time I crossed the Euphrates. Hazael of Damascus trusted to the strength of his armies and mustered his troops in full force. Senir (Mount Hermon), a mountain summit which is in front of Lebanon, he made his stronghold. I fought with him; his defeat I accomplished; 600 of his soldiers with weapons I laid low; 1,121 of his chariots, 470 of his horses, with his camp I took from him. To save his life, he retreated; I pursued him; in Damascus, his royal city, I shut him up. His plantations I cut down. As far as the mountains of the Hauran I marched. Cities without number I wrecked, razed, and burnt with fire. Their spoil beyond count I carried away. As far as the mountains of Baal-Rosh, which is a headland of the sea (at the mouth of the Nahr el-Kelb, Dog River), I marched; my royal likeness I there set up. At that time I received the tribute of the Syrians and Sidonians and of Yahua (Jehu) the son of Khumri (Omri)" - Shalmaneser III 842 B.C.

"Ben-Hadad II (Heb.), was the king of Aram Damascus at the time of the battle of Qarqar at 853 BC. He, along with Irhuleni of Hamath, led a coalition of eleven kings (listed as twelve) against the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III, at Qarqar, and fought Shalmaneser six times with the aid of Irhuleni twice more and possibly the rest of the coalition that fought at Qarqar. He appears again in the Tel Dan Stele as most likely the unknown author's father. " - Wikipedia

This ivory statuette came from the palace of Hazael the ancient king of Damascus. It was discovered in the ruins of Arslan Tash in north Syria (ancient Hadatu) and is important in the study of Biblical archaeology. Several artifacts from the palace of Hazael are now in the Aleppo Museum in Syria.

2 Kings 13:1-3 "And the anger of The Lord was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael, all their days."

Note: The Stele of Zakkur also mentions "Bar Hadad, son of Hazael".

Source: www.bible-history.com


So until next week.......

His servant and yours

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Previous parts of this Series (When applicable) are available to be read at:





156. In God, being led to lead is a calling. Leading when not led, guarantees an appalling mauling!

David Tait         




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