What would you say if I told you that education isn't everything? What would you say if I told you that not everyone behind the pulpit was called by God to be there? What would you say if I told you that our way is not God's way, and our thoughts, ideas, opinions and traditions are not God's? Somewhere along the way we have forgotten that people have to be chosen and sent by God, not by man. Paul opens his letter to the Galatians like this:
Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead. (Galatians 1:1)
Sent not from men nor by man. Because of this assurance Paul was able to face sufferings, trials, and hardships that no normal man would have been able to endure. If I thought my calling had come as a result of a man I would have quit a long time ago. No one convinced me of anything and no one tagged me to go. In fact, there are a number of people who are called by God that man has rejected because of some fault that we do not consider acceptable. Today, those who try to answer God's call have to submit themselves to a barrage of psychological, physical and mental tests. If these had been around in the 1800's I doubt many of the greats would have made it through.
God's calling is not based on good looks and talents, intelligence and speaking ability, management and people skills. God's calling is based on the anointing and gifting of God. God chooses by the condition of a person's heart not their ability to draw people. He looks for those who are willing to believe that all things are possible, who are willing to obey and who know how to confess and repent their disobedience. He is looking for a David's heart. King David, who should have been fired many times because of his mess ups but who always pleased God because, despite his mess ups, he loved the Lord.
For God it is always a question of the heart and no test can ever reveal that to the selection board. The thing that mature Christians can see is the anointing and calling of God, not revealed by outward mannerism but revealed by the Spirit of God. There are great speakers in the Church, with wonderful talents and intellect. We have others that are great managers and others who know how to follow the formula for building large churches. But the real question is, were they sent by man or God? I would rather sit under the anointed preaching of a plumber or brick layer than under the intellectual teaching of a man. I would rather be prayed over by an anointed garbage man than by a well meaning degreed pastor. We have to change our thinking to come back in line with God's heart.
We are trying too hard to be like the world, forcing the chosen to go to colleges and universities to earn degress so they can be more acceptable to the world. Some are called to go this way because God has a plan for them but others he has sent out to the highways and by-ways, to preach from the roof tops and in the gutters, to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. The person sitting in the tavern, drinking their lost and pathetic life away because they cannot find any purpose, does not need to hear the various theories of who wrote the letter to the Hebrews. He does not need to hear the various arguments around baptism or the latest debate on hell. What he needs to hear is that God has purpose for him, that Jesus loved him enough to die for him and that God has launched a rescue plan just for him, to bring him from the darkness into the light. Perhaps that someone chosen to bring him this good news is you.
It doesn't matter that you don't have a Bible College degree and it doesn't matter if you are awkward with people. It doesn't matter if you are afraid of talking in front of people or if you have no background in working with the homeless. It doesn't matter if you have had not training in how to craft a sermon. All that matters is if you are willing to be obedient to God's calling. If he has called you then he will equip you. I should know, after he called me he completely changed me to fit the purpose he had for my life.
Sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ.
And that is all that matters.