The latest discussed topic that surrounds the church is the Mark Driscoll controversy. Pastor Mark Driscoll, Senior Pastor at Mars Hill Church, is an international speaker, writer, and a celebrity in his own right. A man known for his comments against sin, homosexuality, and various other controversial comments, he came under the scanner as information started trickling in about his sermons and books being plagiarised.
Whatever will be the outcome of this controversy, both Pastor Mark and his church may not see the glorious days they have seen in the past any time soon. He may never sign another book writing deal either. The damage caused could be irreversible.
As a Christian, as I watched these events unfold over the past couple of weeks, I choose not to moan nor celebrate these controversies. What I do choose is to pray for Pastor Mark, his family and church. Falling into temptation is so easy. The narrow road is so tough to walk on, for all of us.
However, here is what I have learned from this episode: Character is greater than talent. The world celebrates skill/talent. Wherever you turn, employers want skilled or talented staff. Most résumés boast of years spent working in a specialised field. Most places employ talent and not a ‘good father’! But that’s where Jesus is so different. He picked up random, inexperienced guys and made disciples out of them. He did not look for ministerial qualifications.
The Bible often gives priority to character over skills. For example, 1 Timothy 3 gives us clear instructions about what must be the qualifications of an Elder in the church.
– he must be above reproach (overall character)
– he must be the husband of one wife, managing his own household well (character in the family)
– he must be self-controlled, sensible, respectable, not addicted to wine (character in personal life)
– he must be able to teach (doctrinal character)
– he must be hospitable, not a fighter, gentle, peaceable, having a good reputation with those outside the church (character in relationships)
– he must be free from the love of money (character in relationship to money)
Do you see that the emphasis has never been placed on talents? Skill sets don’t qualify you for ministry. Love for Jesus is the only qualification for employment in the Kingdom (Click to Tweet). Look at David, John or Peter.
Jesus spoke about this in Mathew 7:21-23. He said when they come and speak about their accomplishments, He will say, “I never knew you.”
The word ‘knew’ is a Greek word ‘ginosko’ which describes intimacy. Our ministries have to flow out of our intimacy with Jesus, not our talents and educational qualifications.