To the one who thinks they are unqualified; to the one who thinks they have nothing of value to share; to the one who feels untrained and not expert enough in the Bible to have a voice…THIS IS FOR YOU !
In the world of church organizations, celebrity pastors, and seminary degrees, it can be easy to think that you are unqualified for ministry. But don’t believe it! You are eminently qualified!
You are completely qualified to share, proclaim, teach, and explain the message of the gospel; the message of grace. “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to human standards, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong” (I Corinthians 1:26-27).
These verses used to puzzle me. I say it humbly, but as a geophysicist, I was considered pretty smart by “human standards”. I made straight A’s in school. I can do algebra in my head. Does this ability disqualify me in God’s view? What does Paul mean by “foolish things”?
I now believe that these verses have nothing to do with innate intelligence. I think they are related to what I would call religious expertise and status. And I think Paul’s point is that religious expertise and status as the world sees it is not required to proclaim the good news. And I see a very practical side to this understanding as we see these verses come to life right before our eyes.
We are witnessing, in our day, an incredible grace revolution pouring out around the world. And the part that is crazy and inspiring at the same time is that God is using the “foolish” in terms of religious status to proclaim it. For the most part, you and I are not “the professionals” so to speak.
The grace message of the finished work of Christ to secure our salvation is being spread across the globe by realtors, school teachers, eye doctors, soccer players, homemakers, furniture restorers, rocket scientists, college students, mechanics, investment bankers, counselors, IT professionals, salesmen, pastors, blackjack dealers, craftsmen, business owners, hospital technicians, musicians, and even a lowly geophysicist.
If you have believed the gospel message of Jesus Christ, Christ Himself is living His life through you. The Holy Spirit is teaching you. Christ is guiding you. The Father is empowering you. You are qualified to proclaim grace to those God brings into your circle. (And thanks to the internet, that circle is getting bigger and bigger.) Never be ashamed of what training or expertise you lack. You are fully qualified to announce the good news!
As I was writing the last paragraph, I recalled a gospel story of someone like us. In Luke chapter 8, Jesus healed a demoniac in the region of the Gerasenes. The cured fellow sought to follow Jesus across the sea of Galilee. “But Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you.’ And he departed, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him” (Luke 8:38-39).
Did the cured demoniac go to seminary? Did he go through a training regimen? Did he enroll in a discipleship program? He simply shared his grace story of healing. You and I all have our own grace story of the great things Jesus has done for us. And your story is a story that you are fully qualified to share.