---John Newton, writer of Amazing Grace
In a general sense, we are all called to ministry and carry out the Great Commission of Matthew 28. My current ministry is at a secular organization. I work with intellectually disabled adults. No vocation is perfect and I have few if any, complaints. But there's burning desire to do more. God wired me a certain way.
I enjoy speaking in public and reading. These are two essential elements of a successful ministry. For several years, I wanted to get involved in ministry. However, I was unsure of where I was called and you can't call yourself. The answer was so simple. God was preparing me for future service, but He had not yet called me to serve in a particular area. In the meantime, he prepared me by allowing me to minor in Religious Studies as an undergrad. As a graduate student, my capstone project was about how to start a teaching and apologetics ministry. God was at work in my life even as a child.
I have had a passion for ministry ever since I was a little child. Our preacher was the person I most admired. The cemetery my grandfather was buried in had a few tombstones with open Bibles on top of them. I would stand at the tombstones and preach at four years old, before I could even read! I learned to read when I went to school. I got some gerbils when I was 8 or 9. I would then take my Bible and preach to the gerbils. I began reading my way through the Bible at 11 years old and I got saved at a revival when I was twelve.
In the past 4 years, I have written two Christian non-fiction books. I am currently working on a book concerning the eternal security of the believer that details my own journey of obsessive compulsive disorder and depression. I have also been down some very wide, deep, and dark vallies. These are experiences I wouldn't wish on anyone, but has allowed me to be more compassionate to those who are struggling. More importantly, they have cause me to me more thankful when things are going smoothly. I think its like the sinner who has been forgiven much (Luke 7:47).
I have gone to the altar almost every week this past year trying to figure out what God wants me to do. I preached some last year at Potter's Wheel. I have been researching as much as I can about what it means to be called and how to know for sure. I read "Discerning Your Call to Ministry" by Jason Allen. But not even a book by a seminary president can tell you for sure whether or not you are called.
For the past few weeks, I have been praying what I call a dangerous prayer. I ask God to either give me another passion if I am not called, but to not let go if I am called.
Sunday May 19, 2019 I got the call to preach.
The pastor gave the invitation, I wanted to go and pray about this. I wanted my wife to go with me. However, when I tried to ask her, I just couldn't get any words out. When the baptisms were taking place, something happened. I felt like someone grabbed me on the shoulders. Even though I only knew one person, I wept every time someone went under. I almost didn't make it to the end because I was afraid I'd bawl like a baby. I have had a passion for ministry for several years, but it was only recently that I got the actual call. Moses wanted to deliver his people, but it was nearly 40 years later when he received his call.
Last Sunday, I preached at Potter's Wheel. Most of my earlier sermons sounded more like teaching. However, this past week, I had been given supernatural power from God to boldly proclaim the Gospel. I preached with God's power rather than relying on my own. It was my most powerful sermon to date.
Several pastors I have spoken to have quoted the prince of preachers, Charles Spurgeon that if I could do anything else, I should do it. Spurgeon also said, "if he cannot help it, and he must preach or die, then he is the man."
Is there another career I would rather do? At one point, that would be true. But God has removed both the desire or opportunity to do those things. God has called me to preach.