Ordained ministers of the gospel, it seems, are not often respected in our culture. On television shows they are sometimes portrayed as dishonest salesmen who are just out to take money from their congregations. Some people think ministers work only on Sundays. Even in the church, there can be a reluctance on the part of congregations to place a value on the pastor’s time with his family. Thus, they can come to overburden him with expectations that no finite creature could ever hope to fulfill.
This lack of respect is particularly sad when we consider that preaching the gospel is a high calling indeed. After all, God has only one Son by nature, and He called this Son to be a preacher. All vocations are important in the eyes of God, but the calling of a preacher is special, and we should have the highest respect for preachers who carry out their task faithfully.
What makes preaching a high calling has nothing to do with pastors and ministers in themselves. Our pastors do not have a type of access to God or favor in His eyes that unordained people lack. In Christ, we are all priests of God, and we all have direct access to Him through the Savior (1 Peter 2:9). What makes preaching such a high calling is that preachers are bearers of the most precious gift God has given to His creation—the gospel. Paul speaks of the “gospel of God” (Rom. 1:1), the message of salvation that was designed by God. He has put this glorious gospel into the hands of preachers to deliver to us. Ordained ministers are carriers of a message directly from God to His people, and it is an incredible thing to be entrusted with such a task.
God has set ministers apart for the specific task of preaching God’s Word to His people on a regular basis. That does not mean, however, that unordained people do not share in the responsibility of gospel proclamation. The Great Commission is given to the entire church (Matt. 28:18–20), and we all have a part to play in supporting the work of the gospel financially, praying for our ministers, and sharing the gospel with the people we know.
Not all of us are called to full-time gospel ministry, but all of us can be used by God to preach His gospel. And there is no greater honor than to be used of the Lord to carry His gospel to an unbeliever and watch Him work in and through the message. As we are able, let us take part in the incredible privilege of making sure that the gospel is proclaimed.