Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Every Christian Should Consider the Call to the Ministry

Our contention is that every disciple of Christ, male or female, should covet the Christian ministry and in this attitude of mind sit down to examine the question of a personal call. Thus Christian parents in prayer and consecration should offer their sons and daughters to the Head of the church for the best possible service in the establishment of his universal kingdom. Should one in every Christian family be accepted the world would not be overstocked with ministers of various kinds, pastors, evangelists, teachers and deaconesses proclaiming saving truth to all nations, peoples and tribes. Such is the present disproportion between the harvest and the laborers. Timothy was well prepared to be the successor to St. Paul in the care of the churches, because his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois had diligently instructed him in Christian truth and dedicated him to the ministry of the gospel. Thousands have been trained in the theological seminary of a pious home. Bishop Simpson says that when an eminent preacher is needed the Lord first calls some praying mother, some Hannah to train her Samuel for the service of his holy temple. Others who have toiled all their lives in small churches in obscure places, unknown to fame, and others who have become world-renowned preachers, have come into the Christian ministry through the gateway of a mother's faith in God and careful spiritual training of her offspring.

It may not be an unpardonable infraction of the canons of sacred rhetoric for the writer of these lines to give this public expression of his gratitude to God for leading him into this sacred vocation through such a portal. In many instances the stars which are supposed to belong to the minister's crown rightfully belong to his faithful mother, some Monica wrestling with God for the conversion of her wayward Augustine, or some Susannah Wesley closeted weekly with each of her children in prayer and spiritual counsel. It is no wonder that from the nest which she builded and brooded in the humble Epworth manse there flew upward two eaglets till they were seen first by all England, then by all the world; the one "the greatest ecclesiastical organizer of a thousand years," and the other the writer of hymns for all the coming generations. If there were more of this offering children to God in the closet instead of sacrificing to the Moloch of fashion or of mammon, there would be fewer downfalls in the slippery paths of youth, and no scarcity of reapers in the ever-widening harvest field of the church of Christ.

— edited from Jesus Exultant (1899) Chapter 5.