Unlikely. I'm sure that word comes to mind when asked about leading in ministry. Most of us respond with: "That's for ministry trained people." or "I just don't know the Bible enough." While parts of these statements are true the other part is an excuse to skirt what God calls us to do - "Go and make disciples of nations."
I have a question for us. Do you think your pastor or other ministry leaders said they were unlikely to lead as it pertains to ministry? Didn't your ministry leaders at one point in time also not know much about the Bible?
If you're not catching what I'm trying to get at here, it's that I want us all to stop using the excuse of unlikely to lead in ministry. Of course, we are unlikely to lead! That's why God chooses us. We are His sheep, and he is our shepherd. He will guide to understanding His word through discipleship, community, and exploration of figuring out His will in our lives.
Let's take a look at another unlikely person that God hand-picked to be the ruler of His established people. Matt Allen does a great job of explaining how God used an unlikely person to make a covenant with:
God’s selection of a man named David to be the human leader of His chosen people follows God’s consistent pattern of selecting an unlikely person.
(Hint hint... God's consistent pattern of selecting unlikely people.)
As Paul states in the New Testament, man finds foolishness in God’s wisdom.
Ok, I want to stop here for a moment and drive home this point that Matt makes: "...man finds foolishness in God's wisdom." When picking someone to be your ruler or leader, we would normally look through a stack of resumes and do our best to find the most qualified person, right? To us God choosing the youngest of Jesse's son to be the king of His people is foolish. But stop and think. God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and the creator of all things. God doesn't need a stack of resumes that state people's qualification because he already knows that YOU and I are qualified. What he wants from us is a full commitment an agreement to carry out His calling to Go and make disciples of nations. It's foolish for us to think that God doesn't find us qualified for His work!
Alright, back to David...
David was the youngest son of an obscure Hebrew man named Jesse. God sent the prophet Samuel to find Jesse and anoint one of his son’s to be the king of Israel. Jesse received Samuel and brought all of his son’s to meet God’s agent. Samuel surveyed the brothers but discerned that something was amiss. He inquired of Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep” (I Samuel 16:11). Jesse sent for David and he was anointed by Samuel, and the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him (I Samuel 16:13).
The unlikely choice of a young shepherd boy to be the king of this nation is fitting given God’s passion for using the metaphor of His people as sheep and Himself as the loving shepherd.
Like David, we are not perfect, and we are going to mess up along the way. This is why God extends His grace, unconditional love, and guidance. Much like new employees, cadets, students, etc. they will all mess up along the way. As a wise man once told me: "Marines don't eat their own." In other words... when we mess up we must extend His grace, His unconditional love, and continue to guide aka correct/teach just as He did for us!
God covenant with David was to make him king and that he would rule over His chosen people. God has an agreement with all of us. We must answer His call and do our best to achieve making disciples of nations everyday.
Spiritual death is separation from God. Separation from God is hell. Live for His relationship daily. Fight for His glory daily. Further His kingdom daily.
Let's, please STOP with the excuses and start asking How. How can I better understand God's word so that I can fulfill His call in my life to Go and make disciples of nations! No one is fit for this job. We have all sinned and fallen short of the grace of God, but thankfully according to God's covenant with his one and only son we are allowed to be in a relationship with him. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, thus allowing us to enter into a journey of discovering all that God has in store for us to bring Him the glory and further His kingdom.
I want to end our time together with a question that Matt presents us towards the end of Covenant Theology - Establishing a People: David. "If God were to assess your life, and boil it down to good or bad, how do you feel you would be described?" Would God look at you and ask, "why did you question my wisdom, e.g. why did you say you were unlikely to spread my gospel aka the God News?
The scary part about Christianity is we are missing the boat. We continue to refuse God's wisdom and allow him to use us, the most unlikely of people. We sit in our pews Sunday after Sunday and walk out of our churches doing nothing. Hiding behind the excuse of "I'm unlikely or not qualified to spread the gospel." Instead, we do our devotions, say our prayers, and occasionally share a verse all the while patting ourselves on the back saying that's "good enough."
DO NOT misunderstand us. Devotions (time in God's word), prayer and sharing a verse are all good things and things you should do.
But God wants more, and he knows you're qualified to GO and spread His gospel to the people that need it the most. Break out of your comfort zone and say, "God I know I think I'm unlikely, but you know me. Use me today and the next and the next to spread your word!"
Our heart breaks, thus the urgency for FPAM and Biblical Foundation training. We want to train up everyone with the knowledge to GO and make disciples of nations. Sure we ride, hike, camp, etc. but this is so we can reach people for His glory, equip them, partner with them, and send them for His kingdom! We will do everything in our God-given powers and abilities to help people hear God's answer to the question - If God assessed my life how do you feel I would be described? Good and faithful servant you have been faithful to my call in your life to Go and disciple the nations.
Live for His glory... Succeed for His kingdom!