Called to the Ministry of the Word?

Westminster Presbyterian Theological SeminaryNews

The Christian church in Great Britain and in Europe is in desperate need. The need is for the proclamation of the Word of God. This Word of God “is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16). But what are the instruments God is using to proclaim the Word? God calls preachers to show forth the excellencies of Christ. They preach the gospel to the whole world and beautify the church, the bride of Christ, by encouraging, exhorting and sometimes rebuking the people of God with their preaching. Their preaching has always to come from the source of truth – Christ and his Word which is the Bible. Their preaching must be Christ-centered and glorifying to the Triune God!

However, is their preaching effective by virtue of their preaching the Word alone? By no means! Jeremiah preached the Word of God faithfully for a long time but saw hardly any fruit (Jeremiah 25:3-4). Isaiah was sent to preach the Word of God to a people that would not listen to him (Isaiah 6:8-10). Similarly, Ezekiel who was sent to preach to his own people in their own language but they did not listen (Ezekiel 3:4-9).

Therefore, what is needed in combination with the proclamation of the Word of God? Great oratory? Better arguments? While we desire these things, we do not rely on them. What we chiefly need is not great oratory but the inward enlightening of the minds by the Holy Spirit. Not better arguments but the Spirit giving conviction of sin and misery.

How does this come about? It is important to note first, that the Spirit of God is sovereign and works on his own terms. He cannot and will not be controlled by us. Nevertheless, we believe there is ordinarily a correlation between the preacher’s perseverance and the salvation of people (1 Timothy 4:11-16). There is a correlation between the prayer life of the preacher and the effectiveness of his ministry (compare Colossians 1:7 & 4:12). There is a correlation between the preacher’s realization of his own weakness and the power of God working in his ministry (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Finally, there is a correlation between the preachers willingness to suffer hardship and his value for the church (2 Timothy 1:8; 2:3; 2:9; 4:5).

What then is needed? We need men sent by God to be preachers (Romans 10:15) who persevere in the simple ministry of the Word and grow themselves by the Word. Men who wrestle continually on their knees for the effectiveness of their ministry. Men who know in their hearts their own weakness and insufficiency for the ministry and depend on the power of God. Men who are willing to be beaten, shipwrecked, scorned, attacked (physically and spiritually) and continually die to self for the glory of God. Men who are daily seeking to fulfill the greatest two of all commands – to love God and his neighbor.

If you feel that you are called by God to be a preacher and can point to some external evidence to such a call, please get in touch with us. We may be able to offer a paid internship position in one of the local churches and pay your tuition fees.