You Don’t Have to Go to Bible College to Minister!

You don’t have to go to Bible College to minister. Isn’t this good?

Don’t believe the myth that to be spiritual you need to go to Bible College. Also, don’t believe the myth that to be spiritual you need to be in full-time ministry.  This is not true. In fact, those who accomplished the greatest feats in the Bible were not the full-time ministers of the day – the priests in the Temple.

The overwhelming majority of the great people of God were not full time priests but instead were farmers, businessmen, military men, or government officials. These include: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, all of the judges, David, Daniel, Nehemiah, Esther, all but a couple of the prophets, all of the apostles, as well as the other notables of the New Testament. Very few of these people prepared for their ministry in a formal school. They arose from what we call “secular” professions or trades.

Can you think of anyone from the tribe of Levi (which were the “full-time ministers” of the Old Testament) that became one of the great heroes of the faith? In my search I have found only five – Aaron, Samuel, Zadok, Ezra, and Ezekiel. Even in the Old Testament, most of the great men and women of God came from normal trades and professions, not the professional priesthood. This is a trend which we see continuing in the New Testament, and a trend which the Lord Jesus Himself established by the 12 leaders He chose. I believe a trade or profession can be a great place to learn Christian leadership and ministry. Most of the character & skills I have personally learned have come from the business world.

Our job may be the most important training we will ever get. Our jobs can probably do more to prepare us for our true calling than any Bible College could. Just consider how the professions of the great men and women in Scripture related to their callings:

  • King David was a shepherd, and God called him to shepherd His people, Israel.
  • Peter was a fisherman, and the Lord called him to be a fisher of men.
  • John was mending nets when called, and the Lord used his gospel to tie together the others, his Epistles to tie together the others, and the book of Revelation to tie together the entire Bible.

In fact, the primary way God prepares His people is through discipleship & practical experience. We need to return to the original way of training for ministry where we work alongside someone who is more experienced than we are. The concept of needing a Bible College degree to minister is an artificial barrier we have erected which keeps people from ministering.

I am not unappreciative of the role Bible Colleges play in the church. I do highly esteem what a Biblical education can provide. They have a significant place in helping keep the church moored to sound biblical doctrine and for research that can greatly edify the church.

However, few leaders who will do great things for the gospel will have a formal Biblical education. Note I did not say “any,” but rather “few.” However, the great majority of Christian leaders will not come from a seminary background by God’s design.

Why is this? The main reason is because Christian ministry is meant to be implemented in everyday life. This is why Jesus did most of His works in daily life settings.

So if you didn’t go to Bible College it’s all right. You are in good company with many Biblical characters! Keep learning and ministering wherever you are!

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