555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

365. What Are the Qualifications of a Minister?

A true minister of the Gospel must possess, above everything else, an intense love for Christ and a great love for his fellowmen. These two qualifications will necessarily give him an intense passion to save souls, and this is the true secret of success. He must love Christ so much and love people so much that he will long to proclaim Christ's message to men and win them to him. He must understand the Gospel—must feel its operation in his own heart and must know that "it is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth." He must understand that the Gospel is the message of God's free grace to men by which he forgives and sanctifies them, and he must know how to lead men, not to try to save themselves by efforts and vows, but to accept humbly God's infinite gift of a present salvation. A minister should have common sense and a well-balanced mind. He should have a clear voice and the ability to express himself clearly and forcibly in speech; if eloquently, so much the bet ten He should have modesty and tact, and these even without much social experience, will lead him to conduct himself correctly and winsomely. His studies should lead him to know more of Christ, to know more of the Gospel, to know more of men, and to acquire more skill in delivering the message. He must study voice culture, rhetoric and some elocution—though this last is dangerous, as it is apt to make a speaker affected, which is fatal to real success. He must study the Bible and should study theology, and psychology. Special emphasis must be laid upon understanding people. A technical theological education sometimes lifts a man away from the people he must help instead of putting him into closer touch with them. He must understand how people live and work and suffer and think and must be sympathetic with and well informed about the movements they are making toward greater liberties and better social conditions. This understanding of people, individually and in groups, will help him to convince them of their need of Christ for their souls and for society. He should, if possible, also have some knowledge of business affairs so that in the conduct of his church he will not fall into financial and legal snares.