How Christian Are Your Ministers?

Courtesy of Photo Rack

I’ll never forget my first few messages in youth ministry for two reasons.

  • One, they were poorly written.
  • Second, I felt like I had no authority.  
I grew up Catholic and took a few theology courses in college; but that was it.  In the early years of youth ministry I would constantly question my knowledge, I would wonder if teens were really growing to know Christ or if I was just playing youth group.  Looking back, those feelings were all due to a lack of confidence and certainty in a new profession.  Anytime we start out in a job we’ll question what it is we need to know and what we are supposed to do.  Fortunately, I’ve received training, and accountability to help me in my personal relationship with Christ and my professionalism as a youth minister.

Some of us jump in, others of us know where we were going and got the education and background needed.  But, no matter how you start your journey, if you apply yourself to go deeper and understand the craft you will eventually grow in ministry.  That can be the same with most careers.  
Makes sense for those of us who are full or part time; but what about the volunteer ministers on your team?
You know the volunteer ministers who moonlight as teachers, lawyers, police officers, stay at home moms and pizza deliverers?  How versed are they in church teaching and scripture?  Should they be?  Is their theological knowledge an expectation or a bonus?
Often times we’ll read that a great volunteer minister needs to:
  • Love God – They might not be theologians; however, they need to be committed to their faith.  If they walk in bashing God, it’s obvious they shouldn’t be there in your ministry.
  • Love Teenagers – Doug Fields would say like teens because we have to love everyone and he’s right.  Therefore, it’s obvious that we want adults who want to serve teenagers and not kids, the elderly or small household pets.
  • Consistent – A good minister is someone who makes the ministry a priority.  Granted it doesn’t have to be number one, but it can’t be an afterthought.
  • Authentic – When you are wrong you are wrong.  When you don’t know you don’t know.  An authentic minister is someone you want to be around because you know what you get and that builds trust.
I’m sure you could add to the list; however, the question is “How versed in discipleship, should your ministers be?”  Do they need mad Bible skills?  How about church history and dogma how much of that information do they need to have?
Granted we should always be growing as disciples as we grow other disciples; however, where is the expectation when it comes to knowledge in faith?  Can a volunteer minister be new to their faith or even non-Christian?
Leave your thoughts.