by Gleason H. Ledyard
The Church has many needs today. One of the strongest, a cry that comes from every corner of the globe, is the cry for a man of God.
What kind of men does God need today? Let’s take missionary Paul as our example. Scriptures such as I Corinthians 9:9-22 and II Corinthians 11:23-27 show us the man Paul. Painful experiences crowded in on him. There were difficulties and there was torture—times when he was pressed almost beyond measure. Yet the cause of his Lord and the need of men kept him steady, and he endured until he triumphed. Paul was a man gripped by God for the sake of men. He preached as a dying man to dying men. He lived with the love of Christ as the constraining motive in his heart. And today’s world, hungry for the Bread of Life, look on and cries, “Send us a man like that.”
Send us a man who is not only converted in heart but transformed in mind. Send one whose attitudes are different; whose ideals, desires, and purposes show that the Cross has brought a deep-down transformation—a heart for a life of service.
Send us a man who has a burden to teach the simple message of the Gospel. There are many who complicate and cloud the clear issues of the Word. Send us a man who will deliver it today as it was from Christ’s own lips. He must have a heart burdened to tell men this simple message.
Send us a man who is filled with the Spirit of God, a believer in the gifts of the Spirit. He must have power in his life and ministry—power that comes from the Holy Spirit. His ministries must be broad—far broader than natural ability. He must use the gifts the Spirit gives to accomplish certain ministries.
Send us a man who does not care about the pleasures of this world and who is willing to sacrifice for the sake and joy of sharing the Gospel with others. He must be a man who has died to pleasure—a man who has willingly forsaken all that was endearing to him for the sake of Christ and His Gospel.
Send us a man who does not insist on financial security as an essential. Send one who knows how to look to God alone for his needs. If he is to reach the hearts of the people to whom he ministers, he must be willing to lower his material living standard to theirs. He must learn that God is his sufficiency. Then he will know how to draw from the banks of Heaven.
Send us a man who has a strong spine and is not afraid to get his hands dirty or his feet wet. There are many dirty jobs to be done in the ministry. If he feels that he is beyond manual labor and humble work, his people will not respect his message, no matter how well he preaches.
Send us a man who will stand up in times of discouragement, trusting God who gives the victory. Fellowship with other Christians may be limited; therefore, his greatest source of encouragement must come from time spent with God. The Word should be his strength, prayer time his greatest resource.
Financial stress, sickness, hardships, and loneliness may press on him. Converts will turn away from following the Lord, and he will be disappointed and broken-hearted at times. Co-workers may disappoint him. Only as he reaches out to God will he find steadfast, faithful encouragement.
Send us a man who can pray for himself, not expecting others to do all his praying for him. Things happen in the ministry that cannot be shared with others. Practically every battle the man of God wins, he will win on his knees. It is wonderful and important to have others praying for him, but few people will have the insight and burden for his people that he has. He must pray for the Spirit of conviction upon his people. He must pray for their salvation, for the Spirit’s working in their lives. And there will be man problems and pressures to be brought to the great Burden Bearer. The prayer life of a man of God must be rich if he is to have a blessed ministry.
Send us this kind of man for he will not be one of the many to leave the work too quickly. He will continue in faithful service. He will stay on the job, giving his love and his life for his people. He will have work that lasts, fruit that remains and multiplies in saved souls. Though he may never be well-known, his crown will be full of stars, for he will be faithful to the commission given him from God. He will be a real missionary, a man with a mission.