From time to time, people will ask me how I ended up in the ministry. They ask the question as if they expect me to tell them that I applied for a few jobs and ended up being hired as a minister. I guess it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: being a minister isn’t like any other job or profession. While there are certain helpful skills we can learn from the business world (management skills, accounting practices), much of what a minister does is unique to the calling. I think we as ministers make a serious mistake when we try to pattern our lives after successful business people. Our roles and worlds are just too far apart.
My becoming a minister goes back to my childhood. I was raised in a Christian home, and most people would call my parents devout Christians. We were at church every time the doors were open. Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night and every special service and meeting — our attendance was never discussed. We were simply told to get ready to go. My mother played the piano and my dad was a deacon and Sunday School teacher.
Jesus was always in my home. I guess because of that and the way I’m wired, I’ve never had a crisis of belief. For me, I’ve never doubted if God existed or if Christ was raised from the dead. For me, these were just plain facts. Jesus has always been very real to me as far back as I can remember. Now, I’ve had crises of obedience and trust — all of them self-inflicted — but never a crisis of faith
I have always loved studying Scriptures. I love to read the Bible and there’s never a time that I read it that I don’t learn something. I understand more about God when I read the Scriptures. I understand more about His purposes and the hope we have in Him. I know more about me in the Scriptures. Sometimes, I get so excited about what I’m learning I wish I could call the church together and teach them right then what I’ve discovered. They won’t let me do that, so I have to hold it all until Sunday.
Following Christ has changed me. I’m not the same person. There have been healings, answered prayers, good gifts, peace, joy and love… all from my conversations and encounters with Christ. I know first- hand the difference He can make in my life and your life. That’s what I try to say every time I preach.
That’s why I’m in the ministry. I know what Christ has done in my life and I want you to know what He can do in yours. That’s why I preach. That’s why I teach. That’s why I do everything I do — trying to help someone else discover who Christ is and what He can do. I know that’s simple, but for me, it really is that simple.
And honestly, what Christ has done in my life has been so profound, if I hadn’t been called to preach, I probably would have volunteered.