Where Do Preachers Come From?

Denver J. Neirneier
Brownsburg, Indiana

Some say men become preachers because God calls them in some secret mysterious way, making that person a preacher. To some others, men are preachers who go to school, undergo some training and teaching and come out preachers. To some, preachers come from men who love truth - who want to tell others about the story of the cross and use their talents and time to do so. According to the Bible, the latter is the correct answer to the question, "Where do preachers come from?"

Some of these men who love the truth and use their talents and time to tell others the story of the cross, look to those for whom they preach for all of the money needed to support themselves and their families. These are often called, "full-time preachers." Other men who love the truth and use their time and ability to tell the story of the cross work at a secular occupation for all or most of the money they live off of - and in many cases preach for a church that cannot support a "full-time preacher." These are often called "part-time preachers," even though the "part-time preacher" might preach as many sermons -teach as many classes - publish as many bulletins, and make as many visits as some "full-time preachers."

There are other men who work a full week's work at their job who also love the truth and use their time and ability to tell others the story of the cross also. This they do every opportunity they have. Some call what they do "preaching by appointment" and are called by some as "appointment preachers." That is, they are not preaching every week at the same place. They may preach one or more places in a month.

For years it has been said there is a preacher shortage. Most of the time it in reference to "full-time preachers" that this statement is made. You do not hear much about a "part-time preachers" or "appointment preachers" shortage. There are men who are willing, capable and eager to teach the truth. I grant they may not be as well known or polished as some "full-time preachers," but they do the best they can in teaching truth.

To many the idea of a preacher being "full-time" is a status symbol and those who are "part-time" or "appointment" preachers are those who are thought of as being some kind of a lesser preacher.

When the apostle Paul was making tents at times in his work for the Christ, I wonder if he was downgraded in his apostleship? Also, how many today who are "full-time preachers" can remember the time when they were "part-time" or "appointment" preachers? Many can.

I thank God for all - full, part-time, appointment, or whatever they might be called, who are willing to study, prepare, and go forth preaching the truth. May the numbers increase.

Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 20, p. 616
October 15, 1992