My Letter of RecommendationBy Andrea Griffith
May 26, 2022
As a pastor’s wife, I felt insufficient for the ministry God had called me to. As our church plant began to grow and the numbers began to increase, I felt like I had to know everyone, reach everyone and keep up with all of their stories. I was getting texts and emails asking me for everything from my view on eschatology to addresses in the church database.
On Sunday mornings I would be told where the trash can should be placed in the women’s restroom and then through tears told of adult children’s addictions. Often, I was one of the first to hear about the cancer prognosis, eating disorders, infertility, children who were walking away from the faith, or infidelity within a marriage.
I deeply felt the insufficiency. If you are in ministry, you probably are well acquainted with more needs that you have the bandwidth for. If you are there, know you are in good company. I think the apostle Paul must have felt it too.
In 2 Corinthians 3, people have apparently been asking Paul for references that prove he is worthy to come and speak to their church again. They are saying this to the apostle Paul who founded the church in Corinth! This church is asking him for letters of recommendation or references about who he is and why he should be able to come and speak to them. Paul answers by saying, You are my letter of recommendation. Your lives have been changed through the gospel and I had the privilege of being the delivery person. The Spirit of God is writing each and every story, and I was happy to be the delivery person walking beside you.
As the Corinthian church asks what credentials can you show us about who you are, Paul may have wondered, what makes does make me competent to minister? His answer is found in verses 4-6, “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God, not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant.”