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If you sent your résumé to a pastoral search committee, what information would it contain? No doubt it would detail all your positive ministry experience. If you’d served as a pastor, you’d put that first, particularly if things went fairly well. If you worked as a youth minister while in college, taught a Bible class, or served a short-term mission stint overseas, you would include that information. You would add the contact information for several people likely to give a friendly assessment of your qualifications, character, and background.
Your aim would be to make certain your strengths stand out in bold relief so you would appear—on paper at least—better qualified than other candidates.
Paul - Résumé - Corinthians - Ministry - Qualifications
Paul offers us his résumé in 2 Corinthians 11:23–28, only his ministry qualifications read like the diary of a common criminal: imprisoned, flogged, starved, made to do hard labor—all things that portray him as a weak man. Why? Because, as Paul goes on to tell the Corinthians in chapter 12, he was called to suffer. The gospel’s work moves forward and the church gets built on the tracks of suffering, which demonstrate God’s power working through human frailty.
It’s clear from 2 Corinthians and other epistles that Paul expected all faithful ministers to experience some level of affliction. In 2 Timothy 2:3, he exhorted Timothy, his son in the faith, to “share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”
Paul - Ministry - Qualifications - Diary - Criminal
Paul’s ministry qualifications read like the diary of a common criminal.
As a herald of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I’m called to suffer.
History - Church - Jesus - Christ - Pattern
Throughout the history of the church of Jesus Christ, a pattern has emerged. Those God has used profoundly to build his church have suffered grinding affliction along the way. The church father Athanasius (AD 296–373) was exiled five times on accusations of heresy. Dozens of early believers were...
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