26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
This was the text for Owen Carr who preached at my credentialing ceremony in 1985. In every way it was a memorable message and has stuck for a lifetime in ministry. The passage above reminds me of my calling. It also reminds me that God did not have a lot to work with when He chose me. Over the years the Holy Spirit has worked overtime to make me a vessel useful for the glory of God and I am so grateful.
There have been many opportunities to walk away from ministry in the 37 years I have served. At times it was very tempting. I have questioned many times over the years if I should have pursued teaching over preaching. I enjoy so much the classroom environment. In fact, this May I will finally finish my Masters degree in Practical Theology, an effort I began in 1997. For many reasons I had to push pause on my education but recently had the opportunity to finish it and I am so excited.
The call of God on my life was clear from the beginning and that is impossible to deny. He called me to be a Pastor a shepherd leader. In 37 years I have served only 3 congregations. I’ve preached about 5000 messages. Led worship in 2800 gatherings, served communion over 1000 times, made approximately 900 hospital calls, had the privilege of personally baptizing near 700 people. There have been baby dedications, weddings, funerals, counseling appointments and church business meetings.
At times I had to do accounting work, yard work, maintenance of all kind, cleaning, painting, building and demolition. I have driven large construction machinery and busses, negotiated lease and business contracts. I have held the hands of dying saints as they pass from this life into eternity. I have grieved with parents who have lost their children. Prayed over mothers,fathers, sisters, brothers, uncles and friends whose loved one committed suicide.
No two days in ministry have been the same. Very little of what I have done in ministry was taught to me in Bible School. No one told me about the late night emergency calls from people experiencing a life crises, the heartache you would experience when people left your church. The many hours required to prepare a message to preach, the last minute “call outs” from volunteers that would stretch your family and force them to serve many weekends.
There has been laughter and tears, celebration and correction, surprise and reward. Overall I would not trade it for anything. In all that I have done in ministry over the years by far the most fulfilling has been leading people to Christ. Assisting them in making their commitment to Christ and discipling them to grow in Him. It energizes me for ministry in ways I cannot describe. Ultimately it is the WHY! The Why I am in ministry.