Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


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A Scholar, Fishermen, and a Tax Collector

  • Jim Townsley
  • Apr 15, 2016
I marvel at the variety of people God has used to further His work. There is a great difference between a scholar, (Apostle Paul) fishermen, (Peter, Andrew, James and John) and a tax collector, (Matthew). Though these men’s backgrounds varied widely each of them were used greatly of the Lord. None of these men were perfect yet God chose to use them in an unusual way. The same is true today. God uses men with varied backgrounds and abilities. It is amazing that He could use any of us.
There are Bible examples of men that were used of God in spite of their weaknesses. David had his failures and yet the Bible indicates he was “a man after his own heart.” Abraham also had his failures and yet he is called “the friend of God.” Gideon, while hiding behind the winepress, is called “thou mighty man of valour.”
It is said, “the best of men are men at best” but God has chosen to use imperfect men. The truth is that God uses ordinary men to do extraordinary things. Because we are ordinary people being used by God, it’s obvious that the power comes from God and not from us. He used a poorly educated man (D. L. Moody) to produce great results during the nineteenth century. God used a drunken derelict (Mel Trotter) to reach down and pull depraved souls from the gutter. As I consider the calling of God I am amazed that he can use me and many other common ordinary men to start and build churches. We must not forget, it is God who does the great work. It is our job to be faithful to Him. 
The calling of God on ordinary people is how God has chosen to do His work. I believe there are many who could be used of God that never fully surrender to His will. But for those who do surrender, many blessings are experienced. Consider the impact upon a community by a newly established church. Souls will be saved, many lives will be changed and perhaps men and women will be called into the ministry. Over time the church will have an influence on the residents of its community and eventually influence the moral conscience of its residents. 
How is it possible that God can call and use ordinary men to fulfill His “Great Commission?” The Bible does give us qualifications for pastors and deacons that are non-negotiable. But, the reputation of the pastor cannot be dissociated from the reputation of the church. No pastor is perfect but unless a man disqualifies himself God can use him to win souls and build the church. No man should feel worthy of the call to preach, but every man must recognize the tremendous responsibility to represent the Lord as His ambassador to the lost. 
Most preachers I meet indicate that they never intended to enter the ministry and were actually surprised that God called them. The examples from Scripture and throughout history testify to the same thing: that God calls ordinary men to undertake an extraordinary task. Keep in mind that if God called you to do this great work of church planting He is well able to help you complete this task. God can and does use men of varied back grounds and with different abilities and talents and He can use you.