How old should God's servant be as he starts ministering?
By Pastor Steve Van Nattan
There is nothing
tricky about the answer to the above question. In ancient Israel, a man
was not considered ready to minister until he was thrifty years of age. What
does the Bible have to say about this?
Numbers 4:35 From thirty years old and upward even
unto fifty years old, every one that entereth into the service, for the work in
the tabernacle of the congregation:
Samuel 5:4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty
David did not inherit the throne--
God chose him. God made sure David was not an offense of a youth in the
2 Kings 22:1 Josiah was
eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in
Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath.
The mention of Josiah's mother was a way of
the writer to defer to the parental authority over the boy king. This implies
that Josiah, though in line to inherit the throne, was in submission to his mother
as a boy.
That "preacher boy" you are pushing forward is NOT ready
for the work of the ministry until he is thirty years of age. It has nothing
to do with his knowledge. He lacks two things:
2. The respect of the older men.
ALL "what if" notions about the boy you think is the exception. Any young
man who cannot wait for maturity to really be in place is a jerk and not worthy
of the Church's attention.
Luke 3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came
to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape
like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved
Son; in thee I am well pleased.
Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the
son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was
led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and
when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
Luke 4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there
went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.
The baptism and temptation of Jesus did NOT come into His life until AFTER
he reached his thirtieth birthday. After these events, He was ready to begin
His ministry, and the public received Him. Of all the young men in human
history, Jesus could have skipped the observation of this standard in Israel,
for He was sinless and He was God in the Flesh. But, Jesus patiently waited
for year thirty. He undoubtedly made benches and repaired many tables in
the carpenter's shop in Nazareth while waiting to begin His ministry.
If your preacher boy cannot wait until he is thirty or older, he must be
a better man than Jesus. OR, you and your preacher boy are deluded.
am fed up with this silly show when a 14 year old boy comes weeping to the altar,
and he tells the church that he has been fighting God for a long time (at least
since he stopped wetting his diaper) and he has finally "surrendered to preach."
Big Whup! This kid is not even ready to leave school yet, and he has not been
tested with the real world of adult cares and struggles. He has no idea if he
will or will not preach one day in the future. Pastors need to stop pandering
to this show of will worship. By the way, "called to preach" is not
in the Bible anywhere!
The Apostle Paul was a "Pharisee of the Pharisees"
so he would have been thirty years of age himself before starting out on a "ministry"
to chase down believers in Jesus Christ and persecute them. He would have been
even older before Christ knocked him off his horse and started him down the road
It will be said that Timothy was a "youth" as a pastor.
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy
youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity,
in spirit, in faith, in purity.
This may well
mean Timothy was about thirty years old, while ALL of the Apostles would have
been much older since they had been with Jesus as established men in middle life.
ALL the Apostles would have been well on in years, including Paul. Timothy,
though thirty years of age, would seem like a mere youth next to Paul and Peter.
Also, note the marks of maturity in the verse at the end. These life
qualities are NOT found in a novice of age 18 or 20. They take time to develop
and mature, and the community needs time to believe the qualities are there to
stay and not transient a thin candy shell.
Timothy 5:22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's
sins: keep thyself pure.
3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth
a good work.
2 A bishop then must be
blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given
to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given
to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not
4 One that ruleth well his
own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the
church of God?)
6 Not a novice, lest
being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which
are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued,
not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon,
being found blameless.
11 Even so must
their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
If your "preacher boy" is not married, he is NOT qualified
to be a pastor or have a pulpit ministry. I don't care how you re-define
the thing, you are playing tricks on the Apostolic order for the Lord's Church
by pushing the young men on the saints and by trying to exalt him as credible.
The above life qualities take time, as we said before, to develop and be
approved by the community. Don't shortcut the Holy Ghost's plans.
worlds youngest preacher" -- This is blasphemy
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