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.