Qualifications before preaching

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Bern

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi all,

I've never attended a church where anyone who spoke from the pulpit had any formal qualifications for preaching, except the pastor. Is it a requirement that people be qualified to preach in a church? If not, how can you decide who is suitable for preaching and teaching?

Bern
 

Kevin

Puritan Board Doctor
It is up to the elders of that congragation.

Often it will be a student of theology or a layman that has some gift. But it is up to the session to decide.
 

Joseph Scibbe

Puritan Board Junior
I think that it is up to the qualified elders of a church to allow someone a position of preaching or teaching. The Bible does tell us to me very careful to desire a position of teaching because we will be held to a stricter judgment.
 

LeeJUk

Puritan Board Junior
"any formal qualifications for preaching"

You mean they never had a degree or a certificate from some leadership training program?

If thats what you mean, then yes people who don't have seminary degrees/other qualifications should be wholeheartedly allowed to preach in any biblical church.

Though of course the elders should examine the man's doctrine, and see if its sound and biblical. but if hes not a heretic I see no reason biblically why he shouldn't be allowed to preach from the pulpit.

I mean what is it Paul told timothy? send your young men off to get a degree? no he said basically teach those in the congregation and prepare them yourself for leadership.
 

Bern

Puritan Board Freshman
Thats the way I've always understood it to be... but I'm under the impression (don't know why) that some denominations REQUIRE formal qualifications before being allowed to preach.. is that true?
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
"...They have run, but I have not sent them." --Jehovah, speaking derisively of self-appointed messengers.

Of course, to preach a man must be called and sent by God. No one appoints himself to such a task. Even Hebrews describes Jesus Christ as one appointed to his ministry, as were ministers of old.

It is the church who recognizes that God has called a man to service. A degree is nothing in one sense; but in another it is a valuable thing, in that it ought to serve as a pre-indicator that a man has received the minimum requirements of theological instruction that a good minister must have.

Timothy was an apprentice to Paul. Not a bad course of instruction. In Ephesus (where Timothy eventually served in the ministry) Paul set up daily instruction in the Hall of Tyrannus. He put future ministers through a two-year course of instruction--men like Epaphras who then went to establish churches in the Lycus valley (Colosse & Laodicea).

Ultimately, the true "certification" for preaching is the ordination by the church, not a sheepskin. But if a well-ordered church wants her ministers properly trained, she needs some sort of standard and some form of training. When she invites a candidate for ministry to test his gifts in the pulpit, it is a trial--for both the man and the church. Trials are significantly different from regular duties.
 
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Bern

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks for that Rev B,

How would the church leadership come to the conclusion that a man is called to preach?
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Timothy was an apprentice to Paul. Not a bad course of instruction. In Ephesus (where Timothy eventually served in the ministry) Paul set up daily instruction in the Hall of Tyrannus. He put future ministers through a two-year course of instruction--men like Epaphras who then went to establish churches in the Lycus valley (Colosse & Laodicea).

I've never read of this before. Where does this information come from; an ante-Nicene father? I'd like to read more about it.
 
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Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Bern,
Does the man have any sense of "internal call"?
Does the man display any of the gifts and aptitudes for the ministry?

These are the first two of the three ordinary Reformed signs or indicators of a man's being called. The third question is logically final: has the church actually called him?

Other related questions:
Can his sense-of-call be promoted by teaching in Sunday School classes or Bible Studies? Or by encouraging him to go to seminary? Can latent gifts be encouraged through private study, or a semester or year at seminary?
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Timothy was an apprentice to Paul. Not a bad course of instruction. In Ephesus (where Timothy eventually served in the ministry) Paul set up daily instruction in the Hall of Tyrannus. He put future ministers through a two-year course of instruction--men like Epaphras who then went to establish churches in the Lycus valley (Colosse & Laodicea).

I've never read of this before. Where does this information come from; an ante-Nicene father? I'd like to read more about it.

The Bible tells us Paul took Timothy away with him (from Galatia), I believe it was the second missionary jouney.
It tells us Timothy later served the Ephesian church in the role of principal minister, an Evangelist following the apostle's era. Paul writes him those letters as pastor in Ephesus.
It tells us Paul set up shop teaching theology in Ephesus for two solid years, I believe on the third missionary journey.
It indicates to us that few or none of the Colossian church was known personally to Paul.

Epaphras took a two-thousand mile journey to confer with Paul in Rome about problems in his churches.

The rest is offered as sanctified reasoning based on the available Scriptural evidence.
 
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bug

Puritan Board Freshman
King Charles asked John Owen, “Why do you go and listen to that tinker (John Bunyan) preach?” Owen answered, “Your highness, if I could preach like that tinker I would gladly relinquish all my learning.”

Learning is important for a preacher, an understanding of theology and scripture, an insight into people, and above all a heart for the ministry, a heart filled with Christ are all essential. However an M.Div. doth not a preacher make! It seems to me that the biblical model is apprenticeship, not just seminary training. Don't get me wrong, the seminary is a very good tool when used properly, but Paul surronded himself with his trainees, he took them with him, he sent them on missions, he trained them on the Job. For someone to stand in our pulpit they have to show a propensity for the things above, and the potential for a gift, but they do need seminary training before they can preach.
 
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