The Call to the Ministry

The need for bible teachers.

By W.R. French

The Need.—" What the church needs in these days of peril, is an army of workers who, like Paul, have educated themselves for usefulness, who have a deep experience in the things of God, and who are filled with earnestness and zeal. Sanctified, self-sacrificing men are needed; men who are brave and true; men in whose hearts Christ is formed, ' the hope of glory,' and who with lips touched with holy fire will preach the word. For want of such workers the cause of God lan­guishes."—" Gospel Workers," p. 61.

" Too little attention has been given to the education of young men for the ministry. This was the primary ob­ject to be secured in the establishment of the college. In no case should this be ignored or regarded as a matter of secondary importance. For several years, however, but few have gone forth from that institution prepared to teach the truth to others."—" Testi­monies," Vol. V, p. 22.

The need then is for an army of preachers, and the denominational col­lege has been established primarily to train young men for the ministry and young women for the Bible work; but who among our young men and women are the called of God, and who are will­ing to engage to be trained for service?

The Call.— A few principles by which to determine whether one is called, are: (1) Natural qualifications, such as a good voice and personality; (2) spiritual qualifications, such as de­votion, conversion, and consecration. It is my candid opinion that " the grav­est danger that menaces the church to­day and our denomination is that of a professional ministry rather than a called one." God has various ways of calling men to this, the highest serv­ice of the church. He calls direct, as in the case of Saul; He calls through His ministers.

" I saw that God has laid upon His chosen ministers the duty of deciding who was fit for the holy work; and in union with the church and the mani­fest tokens of the Holy Spirit, they were to decide who should go and who were unfit to go."— Id., Vol. I, p. 209.

The Training.— Men are not called to enter upon the work of the ministry without first receiving a training, as in the case of Paul. He did not at once go forth to his life work, but waited for the call of God, even after he had received the heavenly vision on the road to Damascus. The time required for training depends upon the individ­ual, and should be in proportion to his mental acumen. Some men with fourteen grades of education are more fit for service than are others with sixteen. Men who cannot read and speak correctly should not be sent out, though they may have managed to graduate from college. Men who have not learned the habits of physical cleanliness and neatness and appropri­ateness of dress, are not trained suffi­ciently to be sent forth. Men and women who are too indolent to ac­quaint themselves thoroughly with the Scriptures should not go forth; for they are not called to such high serv­ice. Those who are greedy of gain should not enter this line of work; and many who should engage in the min­istry are filling less arduous positions because of love of ease.

" God has been moving upon the hearts of young men to devote them­selves to the ministry. They have come to our college in the hope of finding advantages there which they could obtain nowhere else. But the solemn convictions of the Spirit of God have been lightly regarded by teachers who know but little of the worth of souls, and feel but little bur­den for their salvation, and they have endeavored to turn the youth from the path into which God had been seeking to lead them.

" The compensation of well-qualified teachers is much higher than that of our ministers; and the teacher does not labor nearly so hard, or subject himself to so great inconvenience, as the minister who gives himself wholly to the work. . . . Many have chosen the easier course, and have prepared themselves to teach the sciences, or to engage in some other employment, in­stead of preaching the truth."— Id., Vol. V, p. 85.

The Reward.— Daniel 12: 3 sets forth the glorious reward of the faith­ful minister. Let us aspire to shine as stars in the kingdom of God, and labor to have trophies of redeeming grace to lay at the feet of Jesus at His coming.

Washington, D. C.

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By W.R. French

August 1929

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