But when He, Who had chosen and set me apart [even] before I was born and had called me by His grace (His undeserved favor and blessing), saw fit and was pleased To reveal (unveil, disclose) His Son within me so that I might proclaim Him among the Gentiles (the non-Jewish world) as the glad tidings (Gospel), immediately I did not confer with flesh and blood [did not consult or counsel with any frail human being or communicate with anyone]. Nor did I [even] go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles (special messengers of Christ) before I was, but I went away and retired into Arabia, and afterward I came back again to Damascus. ~ Galatians 1:15-17, AMP
The secular world is not the only place where “job” applicants face mind-boggling pressures and intense scrutiny. Oddly enough, globally speaking, Christian ministries and churches also have been requiring well-written résumés and cover letters; plus proof of credentials, which includes work experiences, letters of recommendation or references, and/or a spoken “good” word from past or current employee(s). Moreover, expecting written proof of God’s “calling” on someone’s life (proof that ministry and/or church administrators or church officials, who are masquerading as human resources specialists, deem legitimate and adequate) follows the way of the world more so than the way of Christ Jesus’ genuine ekklesia.
As with secular employers, usually written proof for Christian ministries and churches will include the following MUST have documents: original raised-seal copies of degree(s) from a theological seminary, divinity school, or Bible college where a person was trained (“earned” at least a bachelor, but preferably a masters degree); years of experience “working” in a specialty field or skill (a well-written résumé that shows how long a person was a senior pastor, youth pastor, teaching pastor; or a praise and worship leader, or team member; or a prayer ministry participant, Bible teacher, Christian writer, missionary; and so forth); and letter(s) of recommendation from past pastor(s) and/or other ministry and church official(s). Some ministry and church “employers” might also require a spoken “good” word from people within the sought-after ministry or church (or from the ministry or church organization the person is leaving).
Well, what is the problem with requiring written proof of God’s “calling” on someone’s life? Here’s what is wrong. In place of Christians using their spiritual discernment, which would confirm for them God’s place for His “called,” “empowered,” and “ordained” Kingdom workers, and/or instead of Christians waiting for God to send someone to fill a ministry or church need, most of today’s Christians are following the secular world’s examples. Instead of seeking and relying upon the aid of the Holy Spirit, the men and women in church and ministry leadership roles are advertising on the Internet and in various forms of print media, or they are social networking, or they are hobnobbing with well-known “religious” leaders, all in the name of finding “potential employees” who will fill “their” ministry or church’s “open positions.” Consequently, what once was the secular working world’s motto, “getting one’s foot in the door,” now has become this millennium’s mantra for young, middle-aged, and seasoned Christian ministry seekers who also have come to realize that the competition for “working” in a ministry or church’s leadership position is extremely aggressive.
This aforesaid behavior is a MAJOR sign indicating that Christian leaders and members in today’s ministries and churches have strayed away from the unadulterated Word of God, especially the Word of God that pertains to Christ Jesus’ ekklesia. Indeed, in the majority of today’s Christian ministries and churches, the credentials of men (diplomas, certificates, degrees, recommendation letters or references, job experiences, and a spoken “good” word, which “man” says “applicants” must have) are given more weight than the credentials of God (godly “called,” empowered, and ordained men and women who have been filled with and who are being taught and led by the Holy Spirit). This truth is evident every time truly Holy Spirit anointed, appointed, equipped, and sent by God spiritual men and women are not permitted to minister as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, and so forth, unless they have valid degrees from “acceptable and recognizable” seminaries, divinity schools, and Bible colleges or universities, and unless they have documented proof of their spiritual gifts (video clips of sermons they preached, or clips of worship services in which they sang solos or led a worship team, or clips of mission trips they went on, and so forth).
That’s right! To add insult to injury, today’s Christian ministries and churches have established a prerequisite that translates into Christian hopefuls, who want to get the opportunity to minister, first “selling” themselves, over and beyond doing so in their submitted credentials. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that sometimes Christian applicants’ credentials are not enough for many of today’s Christian ministries and churches to consider Christian hopefuls as potential candidates. Before some Christian applicants can become sought-after candidates who end up getting a “foot in the door,” sometimes many Christian ministries and churches will have made sure that these applicants first demonstrated their abilities, talents, skills and experiences, either in person or by submitting the aforementioned video clips.
Concerning the required verifiable hiring credentials, since today’s secular job market is flooded with highly qualified workers, it does not matter whether secular businesses and companies are on the 100 Best Companies to Work For list, or not. Almost every one of this century’s existing business and company (large or small; long-standing or short-lived) receives a deluge of résumés, cover letters, applications, and letters of recommendation or references. Needless to say, human resources specialists always have to weed out those people who are considered to be “unqualified.”
As unbelievable as it might seem, the same is true of the majority of today’s Christian ministries and churches. A deluge of résumés, cover letters, applications, and so forth, also swamps most Christian ministries and churches (large or small, long-standing or short-lived). Consequently, every Christian ministry and church’s hiring committee also has the task of weeding out those individuals they believe are “unqualified” Christians (an oxymoron, to say the least). Moreover, these Christian ministries and churches’ hiring committees do their initial weeding, just like secular businesses and companies’ human resources specialists do theirs—Christian hiring committees speedily review the information found on the submitted résumés. What they are looking for is any information that indicates the hopeful individuals have enough training, education, and experience that meet their ministry or church’s necessary qualifications and requirements. The applicants whose credentials do not quite fit the preferred qualifications and requirements decisively are dismissed.
Another MAJOR sign that indicates that today’s ministries or churches have strayed away from God’s Truth pertaining to Christ Jesus’ ekklesia (His called out ones whom Father God has “ordained” and sent) is shown when said hiring committees put all, or most of, their trust in the institutions of men. By doing so, they once again have failed to give credence to the power, might, and authority of the Holy Spirit. The reason why they err is because most of these Christian leaders and members no longer believe in or teach about the workings of God’s Holy Spirit.
For this last reason, modern-day ministries or churches’ hiring committees believe that seminary, Bible college, or divinity school academicians holding doctorates in, for example, theological studies, biblical studies, or practical theology are the most qualified individuals to educate the men and women of God who seek to minister in “their” ministries or churches. These Christian hiring committees, and the ministries or churches they represent, truly believe that the faculty members at renown seminaries, Bible colleges, or divinity schools are the very best of all of the individuals who might be able to equip the men and women of God who seek to minister in “their” ministries or churches, even though there are some academicians in said Christian institutions of higher learning who neither are born-again Christians nor believers in many of the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith!
Moreover, many ministries or churches not only are NOT getting graduates from Christian institutions of higher learning who only were taught by born-again believers in agreement with all of the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith but also many ministries or churches are NOT getting graduates from Christian institutions of higher learning who are born-again believers in agreement with all of the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith. This problem exists today because far too many ministries and churches seeking to employ someone as a pastor, worship leader, and so on, rarely insist that “their” “called,” “licensed,” and/or “ordained” applicants be spiritually educated in God’s Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge, as provided by the Holy Spirit!
These deceived and misguided Christian hiring committees also have gone astray, because they encourage human strength and power instead of the might and power of the Holy Spirit. What these Christian leaders and members, who make up these hiring committees, fail to understand about the importance of the Holy Spirit’s workings is that the Holy Spirit is the ONLY One who truly equips every believer with the necessary spiritual gifts, anointing(s), power, and authority that allow each believer to function in Christ Jesus’ ekklesia, according to the Divine “function” God has “called” and “ordained” him or her to carry out. Thus, these Christian leaders and members’ misunderstanding about the importance of their “employees” being full of the Holy Spirit, as well as empowered and equipped by Him, leads them to value secondary or professional “training” of abilities, talents, and skills as being more beneficial and more suitable than the spiritual gifts, anointing(s), power, and authority that the Holy Spirit gives to each believer.
One final point, most of these deceived and misguided Christian leaders and members also have gone astray, because they declare that the times of miracles, healings, signs, and wonders, as well as the times of apostles and prophets, have passed. They make such a declaration either because these Christian leaders and members have NOT witnessed the same kinds of miracles, healings, signs and wonders that were performed by the first-century apostles and prophets, or because they never had or they are not using their own spiritual gifts in miraculous and wondrous ways. As a result, instead of embracing what the Word of God says about God’s “called” into ministry ministers, these aforesaid deceived and misguided Christian leaders and members proceed with making a mockery of His Word, by taking the information they gleaned from their verified, interviewed, and jumped through hoops applicants before “their” ministry or church for a VOTE.
In a democratic fashion, God’s “called” and appointed workers in His Kingdom are elected as new hirelings (people who are under ministries and/or churches’ contracts). These hirelings not only are elected as individuals who will function in a specific ministry or church position, such as pastor (either senior, or associate, or youth, or worship), or as director or coordinator, or as worship leader, or as caretaker, and so forth, but also they are elected as new members of that specific ministry or church.
The problem with this hiring procedure is that in John 15:16, Jesus the Christ is confirming that the selecting (choosing) of those who will sow the Gospel seeds that He has planted in them is a theocratic selection rather than a democratic election. Taken from the Amplified Bible (AMP), Christ Himself speaks in John 15:16, saying:
You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have planted you], that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit may be lasting [that it may remain, abide], so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as presenting all that I AM], He may give it to you.
From Christ Jesus’ words, it is apparent that no human being has the right to make decisions that only a sovereign God can make, unless God Himself, through the leadings and promptings of His Holy Spirit, has shown someone the person who should be chosen. It is God’s prerogative to choose whomever He judges as being fit to receive His favor, and God’s prerogative to choose whomever He will separate (sanctify) from the rest of mankind to be peculiarly His own children who not only are dear to Him but also are, through faith in Jesus the Christ, precious citizens in the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
Thus, as Heaven’s citizens, faithful ministers of the Gospel are not hirelings but rather ambassadors. As Christ Jesus’ ambassadors, they have been chosen and sent by God to witness to all the unsaved individuals, and to disciple those believers who have been influenced about accepting Jesus the Christ as their personal Savior. These faithful ministers of the Gospel are “called” and appointed to do the very same ministry that Jesus the Christ carried out when He was on this Earth, which is doing the Perfect Will of the Father on Earth as it is in Heaven. The apostle Paul confirms this Divine Truth when he writes:
So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20, AMP)
Moreover, as ambassadors, all faithful ministers of the Gospel must put their trust in God through Christ Jesus. When their trust is solely in God, God totally entrusts them with His Holy Spirit’s gifts: anointings, skills, talents, and abilities, which are the credentials of God that are necessary for God’s “called” and “ordained” to do the Perfect Will of the Father. Once again, God’s Perfect Will for every follower in Jesus the Christ is for these chosen ones to spread the Gospel to every nation, and God, alone, makes this Gospel spreading possible through the authority, power, and spiritual gifts that come from the Holy Spirit’s FIRE baptism.
SO when ministry and church leaders, and “their” members, dismiss God’s genuinely “called,” “ordained,” “endowed,” and “empowered” men and women, because of man-made qualifications and requirements, these Christian leaders and members, who make up hiring committees, should know that although they might think that they have a say about who will, or will not, “work” in “their” ministry or church, God has the final say! Sovereign God is the One who will decide either to overturn or to allow to be enforced, for a season, any and every ungodly decision that is made by men and women. Furthermore, every misguided and deceived Christian leader and member will come to know, if he or she doesn’t already know, that God not only is in control, but also He will achieve His desired outcome, no matter how many obstacles are put in His chosen ones’ way.
Finally, some urgent changes are needed. Ministries and churches no longer can proceed like it is “business as usual.” The spreading of the Gospel is NOT a business; it is an act of love. The love of God must fill the Earth, but this filling only can be accomplished when every believer is demonstrating godly love, one to another. This is the most important God-commanded way for believers to show the world what Christ Jesus’ ekklesia really looks like.
Therefore, to reach the goal of spreading the Gospel to the uttermost parts of this world, the institutional CHURCH also no longer can imitate the secular world’s hiring process. Moving from a democratic election procedure to a theocratic selection worldview is the direction the institutional CHURCH must take so that it once again could become Christ Jesus’ ekklesia. Additionally, since spiritual discernment is the gift of God that provides all believers with the necessary information about each other’s God-given credentials, and about where, when, and how each believer should be used in Jesus the Christ’s ministry, every spiritual leader in the Lord’s ekklesia needs to operate (flow) in the gift of spiritual discernment.
Last of all, the institutional CHURCH must allow God to open its spiritual eyes about accepting the Holy Spirit’s move in the lives of its members. All believers in the institutional CHURCH have to understand that they not only should place their trust (faith) solely in Father God who, through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus the Christ, makes His gift of the Holy Spirit and all other spiritual gifts and callings in His believers more than sufficient, but also they must accept the Divine Truth about the present-day workings of His Holy Spirit. Just like all believers must agree that Jesus the “…Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages)” (Hebrews 13:8, AMP), all believers also must agree that Father God and His Holy Spirit are the same yesterday, today and forever, as well!