Legal Minister Credentials

While reading a fellow hubber today, an ad flashed across the page promising to make me a legal minister giving me legal credentials I am sorry, but I had to laugh. The ad went on to explain that I could even perform weddings and as the ad put it, "...and funerals, too." After I was done laughing, I had to stop and think--what is a legal minister?

I suppose some think of me as a minister since I am a pastor, but if the truth be told, we are all supposed to be ministers. There are several Hebrew and Greek words translated minister in the King James Bible. They have basically the same meaning--that of being subordinate while attending to others. If I am performing my pastoral duties correctly, I am nothing more than a servant to others.

My guess would be that some think that I need special credentials to be a servant. I must have to have a license to visit someone in the hospital. I must have to have special permission to encourage someone with the Word of God. I must have to have a license to preach God's holy Word. Did you know that at least in Pennsylvania (and I would guess most states) anyone can perform a funeral. Some would think I must be officially recognized to do such a thing. What is the difference between me opening the service in prayer (needing certification) and the son or daughter giving the eulogy (without an ounce of special training). Certainly he must be board certified--right? Come on! You get the point

So I must have a certain number of credits from a school to be a state certified preacher. Excuse me, but nuts with the state. I am not a preacher because of the state. I am not even a preacher because I choose to be. I am a preacher of the Gospel because God called me to be His minister. It is not something I would have chosen for myself, and there was much wrestling with God before He got the victory and I agreed His way is best. God created me for His purpose. He did not choose me because I am a "good guy". It is totally His doing. It is completely His plan. That being the case, I answer only to Him and no one else.

He called me. He prepared me. He ordained me. He licensed me. By His grace and only by His grace do I have any hope of being a proper servant to others. I believe that serving others is the highest calling anyone could receive. And I leave you with this. You too, are a minister called by God to serve others. You are legal. Just go and do it for the glory of God.

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Comments 15 comments

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

It is just one more area the government wants to control. They force certification so they can apply fees and strictures. I can minister and witness and will. Good article lifegate.


GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 5 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

Thanks lifegate. This was a good article. Too many people think that the pastor is supposed to do everything in the church. But the pastor's main job is to prepare God's people for works of service (Ephesians 4:11,12). God expects his people to all be ministers, just as you said. Keep up the good work.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hyphenbird,

You're so right! Keep on witnessing and ministering.

Godtalk,

Yep, you got it! Thanks for the visit. It's good to hear from you.


A M Werner profile image

A M Werner 5 years ago from West Allis

Credentials are all about the world applying legitimize to any and all endeavors. The world is filled with certified ministers who have purposefully used their licenses to seek out fame and fortune. People often turn to them because of their training in the field of pastoring - in some denominations, ministers are taught "how" to speak, "how" to emphasize certain words, certain phrases and "market" their product. I'd rather remain a voice crying in the wilderness, if that be the Lord's will, then have a giant congregation and accomplishing nothing good the Lord wants done. May the Lord keep blessing your calling! Peace


lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

A M,

Absolutely. If the anointing of the Holy Spirit isn't present, there's not a piece of paper anywhere that can build God's Kingdom. What people call "Church" today is not much more than glorified entertainment, and truthfully, it makes me sick.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota

Agreed we are all called to minister. I know many who view it as the pastors responsibility to do most ministry work. This amounts to quite a large burden on one person that many are called to do.

Its always important to remember the Christian life isn't a spectator sport. Everyone gets to play.

I love your answer that you are minister because God called you to be one. The only truly valid credential.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

TJ,

Boy, I really like this--"Its always important to remember the Christian life isn't a spectator sport. Everyone gets to play." It's too bad most people miss the game.


Eddie-Perkins 5 years ago

Awhile back I was asked to perform a wedding in another state. Not sure if I could do that we decided to drive to this neighboring state and ask at a court house. First we stopped to eat and I overheard a couple ministers talking so I asked them my question. They laughed and said they though a dog catcher could perform weddings.

Amen, what a wonderful message! The gospel of Luke presents Jesus as the Son of Man – the perfect man and Luke is very careful to leave out His genealogy credentials among others.

I agree with you, when we learn to humbly serve then we have become more like our blessed Savior. Vote up – Beautiful ~ Thanks


lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thanks Eddie for the visit and the vote. Glad you stopped by. Once I performed a wedding and the day of the wedding I realized the marriage license was for another county. We performed the ceremony anyway as the marriage took place in the eyes of God, not the state. The "legal" stuff took care of itself. God is so good.


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 5 years ago from Manila

Great hub very encouraging. I find this a great source of exhortation. Yes as long as your heart is upright before God, you can be God's servant. Thank you for sharing this encouragement. Remain blessed always. May you have a great day today. Regards.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Yes Cristina, anyone can be God's servant, and He's just waiting for volunteers!


"Quill Again" 5 years ago

Hi lifegate.. thank you for writing this piece... as you are aware I have been ordained as well as a Pastor. It is a high calling in many ways but the first thing I learned is there is no need to wear a collar to do His work.

Blessings and Hugs as always...


lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

QA,

I've been ordained as well and have a seminary degree which means absolutely nothing if God didn't ordain me first and prepare me in the school of hard knocks. I'm still attending that school. Thanks for the visit. Good to have you stop by.


Eddie-Perkins 5 years ago

So true – piece of paper – I’m not sure when I last looked at my ordination certificate, but when I do it is more for the pleasant memories associated with it and Bible College. The fellowship with men and women who honored God with their gifts He gave them. The love we had for each other – oh what a meeting in heaven! It is so good to make contact with you.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Amen, Eddie. There are a lot of good memories for me too. And after all these years, I have a piece of paper that really means nothing. All glory to God for His plan, His work!

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