Picture these folks with me ...
One: Twenty-something young man. Full of energy and vigor and ready to take on the world if he has to. Head full of ideas and heart full of ideals. Slacks and tee-shirts his Sunday best. Infectious, toothy, ever-present smile.
Two: Teenager in torn jeans and plaid shirt over a tee-shirt that hangs haphazardly at the waistline. Scuffed and worn Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers in a bright shade of green. Full of energy; almost "in-your-face" when he is making a point. Taste leans toward loud music with a steady, hard-driving beat.
Three: Energetic young woman in her mid-twenties. Wife and mother. Highly educated. Big responsibilities. First foray into her new career. Excited about what she does.
Four: Busy man in his mid-fifties. Children raised. On his second career. Happily married. Musician with a creative streak. Hidden talents blossoming in the area of writing and teaching. Perpetual optimist.
Five: Middle-aged woman. Highly educated. Soft-spoken. Full of love for others. Soft spot for young families and college students. Always involved in activities that better the community.
Six: Middle-aged or older, probably 60 or so. Graying hair pulled back into a pony-tail. Leather vest adorned with American eagle and "Loud Pipes Save Lives" patches. Heavy chain hooked from belt loop to large wallet sticking out his back pocket. Black leather engineer boots under scruffy jeans and leather chaps. Silver and turquoise rings adorn several fingers. Non-descript tattoos run up each arm. Right at home on the streets of Sturgis or Daytona.
Seven: A charming, handsome man in a charcoal gray pinstripe suit, red tie, and a large "alma mater" ring on his right hand. Intelligent, eloquent speaker. Very professional and "in charge" when presenting himself; obviously CEO material. Married with two kids; lives in suburbia in a large home with a manicured lawn.
Eight: Short, round, bald man in his 50s. Hard to keep up with in movement or conversation. Passport filled with stamps from places he's been and always at the ready for more trips to far away destinations.
Nine: Service man in his late 40s and looking forward to retirement. Second tour of duty in Afghanistan after a couple of deployments spent in Iraq. Thinks a lot about his family "back home" as he listens to younger men and women talk about their loved ones and homes back in the states. Good listener.
Ten: Man or woman of any age; riding along in a patrol car as it makes its appointed rounds through the city streets. Ready to assist whenever needed.
So ... What do these folks have in common?
They are all ministers of the gospel.