God has always called, equipped, and raised up leaders among his people to proclaim His Word and to do his Will.
When Jesus saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and said, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few!” “Pray that laborers will be sent (thrust) forth into the harvest” (See Matthew 9:35-38). Other translations say, “The harvest is great, but the workers are so few.” Thus we see the Scriptures depict the crop as large. But the reapers are scarce!
Jesus also said, “...Follow me, I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Now, anyone knows there are a lot more fish than fishermen.
Souls are dying and going to hell everyday; and all the devil needs to succeed is that good people do nothing! There is a need to recruit more men and women to “...Go out onto the highways and hedges and compel them to come in...” (Luke 14:23).
Throughout history, every great religious revival has been spearheaded by those inspired individuals who left the huge stained glass cathedrals, to carry the Gospel of Salvation and Healing to the lost, the sick, the poor, and the hurting—those in the streets, market places, hospitals, jails, and prisons. Do you care about men, women, boys, and girls? Do you want to win souls to Christ?
Well, from the beginning, the Church has recognized three grades of ministers:
Along with this, there are three phases of entering the ministry:
- A deacon, exhorter, or general church worker.
- A licensed preacher.
- An ordained minister.
Also, Ephesians 4:11 teaches that Christ gave five Gift Ministries to the Church; Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers.
- A calling time.
- A preparing or training time.
- A sending time.
In John 15:16, we see it was Jesus alone who ordains us; so one might ask, “Is that not sufficient?” Yes, if every time you witness, teach, or preach, you can back it up with some sign, wonder, or miracle. The sinner man has little inclination to read the Bible, and if he does, he doesn’t understand much (See 1 Corinthians 2:14). So he doesn’t know what to believe in this world of religious confusion. When you enter a city to do something for God, one of the first questions people ask is, “Where are you from, and who are you with?” If you say, “I’m with God.” They say, “Yeah, that’s what all the kooks and cults say too.” We are not of this world, but we are in it, and we must deal with people the way they are, not the way we would like them to be. If you have Heavenly approval, why not get earthly approval too, especially if it can lend you more credibility in this skeptical, secular world? The fact is, that credentials can be very helpful in opening doors of opportunity. Also, in most states you cannot perform wedding ceremonies without them. So, it’s a great advantage to be recognized by some established, reputable Christian body.
- You must be saved or born-again as 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things become new.” We expect our ministers to be free from self-will, lust, greed, bitterness, anger, and pride. We must all keep out old flesh nature crucified according to Galatians 2:20. We cannot license a baby in Christ (1 Corinthians 3:1) , nor a novice (1 Timothy 3:6), so we required a person to be saved or reclaimed a minimum of two (2) years.
- God gave not the Spirit by measure to Jesus (John 3:34) and every Christian has a measure of the Spirit of God (Romans 8:9). But the Baptism into the Holy Ghost is separate and subsequent to salvation (Acts 8:14-16; Acts 19:2; Ephesians 1:13). A survey of the Acts of the Apostles shows that the common pattern of experience when believers receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, it that they speak in tongues (Acts, chapters 2, 8, 9, 10, and 19) which builds up faith (Jude 20), and brings more power (Acts 1:8). However, not all believers may experience this since the Gifts of the Holy Spirit vary with the individual (1 Corinthians, chapter 12).
- A minister must be living a clean life, free from alcohol, tobacco, and all other substance abuse. They must be persons of good moral character and conduct, abstaining from all appearances of sexual activity outside marriage (1 Thessalonians 5:22). We expect our ministers to refrain from gossip, evil speaking, backbiting, and sowing discord among the brethren.
- You must be definitely called by God unto the ministry, with a strong desire to serve others for Christ’s sake (Isaiah 6:1-8; Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 5:20; Acts 13:1-4; Acts 26:16-18). Evidence of a Divine calling is a vision for God’s work, and anointing of God’s presence, and a burden to feed his lambs and sheep. If you have a desire to be used of God, out of the motivation of love, for the Glory of God, behold, you ARE called of God. If in doubt, pray through and wait until you are sure.
- You must be active. For actions speak louder than words. You ought to be doing something more than praying, reading your Bible, and going to Church; for all lay Christians should be doing that. The ministry is also much more than standing behind a pulpit delivering sermons to a congregation. The Church needs Sunday School teachers, musicians, altar workers, home and hospital visitors, telephone counselors and prayers and personal workers to witness in public. You could produce and/or distribute Christian literature, carry on rest home, jail, and prison ministry, perform good works such as feeding the poor, clothing the needy, conducting home prayer meetings, preaching on the radio and/or television—the opportunities of meeting the needs of people everywhere are unlimited!
- 6. You must be financially responsible. You should be either secularly employed or your full-time ministry is generating an income. “But if any provide not for his own, especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (! Timothy 5:8). We don’t want any lazy, Gospel Hobos mooching off others and owing everybody money (Romans 13:8). As Paul said, “If any would not work, neither should they eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
Now if you meet these requirements, we will be glad to license and ordain you as a minister. But you must also be prepared to face religious persecution, for ironically you may find some Church pastors opposed to your becoming a minister! They seem to have a jealous spirit like old King Saul did toward young David. As if their personal opinion is infallible, they may tell you, “You’re not ready yet. Just sit at my feet a few years, and then I will consider the matter.” Their competitive mentality may be compared to the following examples:
In Numbers 11:24-29, Joshua bristled with resentment when a couple of men began to prophesy in the camp, instead by the tabernacle where he was. But Moses corrected his wrong attitude.
In Mark 9:38-40, John forbid a man from casting devils out of people in Jesus’ name, because he wasn’t a part of John’s group. But Jesus rebuked John’s “party spirit.”
Now a license is legal in nature, relating to the laws of the land. Ordination is ceremonial and ecclesiastical in nature pertaining to the Church. The licensing may be done through the mail. However, the ordination, as dictated in the Bible, must be done by the lying on upon of hands and an anointing with oil. When you are licensed, you will receive a certificate of license. Once your are ordained, you will receive an ordination certificate.
The fees for this service is very modest, just enough to cover the administration costs. For individuals, the fee is $20.00, and for married couples it is $35.00 The yearly renewal fee is $15.00 for individuals and $25.00 for couples.
As stated above, the ordination requires the laying on upon of hands and an anointing with oil. You may find some one to mail you an ordination paper, and it may be legal in the eyes of the law, but is it legal in the eyes of the Lord? It is just like getting married through the mail. Ordination is a personal, spiritual, and public ceremony (Jeremiah 1:4-10; John 15:16; Acts 10:38-43; 1 Corinthians 9:14; 1 Timothy 2:7). Generally, our policy is after you prove faithful for one year, we will ordain you; but in some cases we do not require one to wait that long.
- You can come to us and we can perform the ordination here.
- If it’s not too far away, someone from here can come to where you are.
- If you are too far away, or travel arrangements cannot be made, we may have someone in your area that can perform the ordination.
NOTE: You may wish to invite family and friends with camera and tape recorder or a camcorder.
- We ask that you fast that day until after the service.
- Usually there are introductory remarks and appropriate Scriptures read.
- You will be requested to stand and face the minister in the pulpit and respond to examination questions about your commitment to the Lord and your dedication to the ministry.
- A sober, Scriptural, and powerful charge is delivered to you and a pronouncement of ordination in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
- Then you are asked to kneel, and you are anointed with oil, and the ministers present will gather around you and lay on hands, with inspired prayers and prophecies (1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6).
- Then you will be presented with a certificate of ordination, signed by the participating ministers, and sealed. (Free of charge). Then you will be asked to say a word.
Your application and records are kept on permanent file in our central office. The information is held confidential, except for your name and date of ordination, unless you specify otherwise.
I trust you see the great value of these opportunities and advantages, so let me encourage you to pray about it, and if you feel led by the Spirit of God, you may telephone or write us for an application.
- You will always have someone to stand with you in prayers and be your “spiritual covering,” without trying to supervise you or govern your ministry. You will not be in bondage to a denomination, but enjoy complete liberty to obey God.
- We can give you the names of our nearest ministers and their churches and ministries in your area for fellowship and cooperation.
- Upon request, we can provide a letter of recommendation for those ministers in good standing.
- Upon request we will counsel and advise you on how to establish, develop, and promote your ministry.
- We can supply you with further training through our Bible school, the Spirit of Truth Institute, or one of our affiliate schools.
- We can supply you with guest speakers and make you available to speak for others.