Full Text for Why Not The Ministry? (Text)

I 4 Why Not The Ministry? 1 CHARLES L. TAYLOR EDITORIAL NOTE: The following article WHY M INTERSEMINARIAN, April, 1962) Taylor, Executive Director of the American Association of cal Schools, who recently spoke to our faculty on the Springfield's accreditation and membership in the Amer ciation of Theologkizl Schoo of interest to every me ceived permission to pu dates in its history in per cent of our graduati record, artd we who si Great Commission should gelize the world, to say not to have to recruit a great m been doing. Perhaps D and to encourage and instruct some of our pastoral readers. sincerely hope so. W HAT are the major reasons for lack of interest in the Ch tian ministry as a live option for a young man's life? 1. No healthy-minded person is averse to adventure, but if he is asked to volunteer for packed with involvement in others' troubles, re than the average salary for men of his a clear picture of what his auditory rather than visual me certain sound, who shall prep if you can stay out of it" was, at its best, an bit of advice. What the man hears the chu something like this: 'We don't really take enough to urge you to consider it. In our priority to finding, equipping and educating the officers o Why Not The Mi~zistry? 5 in our church we'd like to have a good minister twenty from now, but are not doing anything about it. God will pro- sible that even this distant possibility (a) has not has been put in terms that repel rather , such and such a church announces en each year to replace those who die, aintain the status quo, but who wants tatus quo, and why? Where is the call to some- e denominations t be room for candidates uch about what is wrong with the churches that they was right? Does the very writing of this article make ther than more natural for a man to seek this calling? emphasis on the ministry of the laity, one of the truths recovered by the Protestantism of our time, ob- urgency of an ordained ministry? an upper floor of a comfort- what we're saying is quickly Or, the minister of the mid-twentieth century is obviousl; called upon to spend much of his time in counselling. Why no6 then become a professional counsellor, almost sure of a large bc- come, likely to work under controlled professional conditions rathd than in the hurry and worry of a minister's life? f-j 7. Economic factors certainly play a part in the decisions ofj young men that steer them away from theological schools. It % hard to give these their due weight without making them the do& nant consideration. They are not. The man who has a clear ception of what God wishes him to do, or even a strong faith that% he must explore this calling, will not stick at finances, but when4 there is confusion or uncertainty, then the dollars tip the scales.1 This was illustrated by the falling off in theological school enr0Jl-i ments in the autumn of 1960, when during the year pri presidential election, there was a slight economic recession. expiration of G.1, Bill benefits had something to do with enrollments. A man with a family is likely to choose a endeavor-work in the business world, a profession the pr for which is subsidized, or a career that in the end will well so that he may retire his debts incurred through his e -rather than a life in which he foresees scraped earn substantial scholarship aid, and little salary. All honor to the wives who Nevertheless when there are children husband and wife, all too well known, from which any man who is not deeply motivated shrinks. Medical education, after many yew of an abundance of students, is now feeling the need for a program of recruitment, and even the future engineers have declined in number for three straight years. d8. Essentially the reasons why many men are not seeking ministry are deeper. The calling itself does not currently mak sufficient claim. The preacher may supply a neat illustration of need-just as far distant from the great city reservo on the purity and abundance of which the he pends, so, unless the moral and spiritual reserv hidden sprin s, the people perish. But how o work regarde a as the leading of men into general run of college student has little un worship and is unlikely to have been nurtu He is unlikely to think of himself (fortuna the moral and spiritual resources of his e ately he does not often feel a sense of personal responsibility for himself to be used by God in the way that shall bring maximum response to the world's greatest need, or even consciously seek to solve part of the world's chief ~roblem, rather than add (as we all do) to that problem. 6. This is not only to say that astronautics and other scien- tific appeals are stronger than those which call men to the more one begin to reverse this process in or herbage that in turn leaves the soil 11. In the Matthean account of the feeding of the five thou4 Christ is the truth, if clare that this world is God's, if on1 ing and purpose, if alternatives o wanting, if it is the ambassador of dimension cannot be shrugged o to lack ministers of reconciliatio