Called to Preach

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Nicholas25, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. Nicholas25

    Nicholas25
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    God called me in July of 2009 to be a youth minister at a Southern Baptist Church. Before this calling and after, I have stood behind pulpits during Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday night services, at my church and others. People have asked me if I was a preacher and I would normally answer that I was a Bible teacher and youth minister. I had always heard stories of men describing their calling to preach God's word and never experienced any dramatic thing like so many others described. Although I do feel my primary calling is to be the youth minister at my church, this summer, God has gave me the liberty to call myself a preacher. I now feel he has equipped me to preach His word. I am curious if your callings was a slow process over time or a instantaneous.
     
    #1 Nicholas25, Aug 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2011
  2. Old Union Brother

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  3. Amy.G

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    My pastor said he was called to preach when he was very young, and he knew it. But he didn't want to and instead became music minister. God never let him have peace about it though and years later He convicted him of it and so he submitted and began to preach. He says the best way to know God's will is to try not to do it. :laugh:

    BTW, he's the best preacher I have ever heard.
     
  4. glfredrick

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    I will never forget any of the distinct calls of God on my (and my wife's) life.

    I was called into His presence for salvation by His orchestrating circumstances in my life when I was an atheist, and at war with His church.

    I was called into a local church that I never knew existed until He, again, made it known (I didn't know ANYTHING about Baptists and never would have thought to even check them out).

    I (we) were called into youth ministry when God gave us a vision for how we could effect the youth of our community during a conference that we attended on a lark. Our little church (at that time) ran less than 25 people and had only 2 youth. We went on to see over 100 young people come to know the Lord during our time in that ministry, and also to be greatly used in the local high school, as the principle would actually call us in to deal with problem kids. We were more effective than detention. We also went on to lead regional Centrifuge camps where the youth from many of the State Convention churches attended and saw further movement of God. Some of those youth are now on the mission field and serving in ministry!

    While doing youth ministry,God expressly called me to full-time vocational ministry. It was sudden, dramatic, and yes, I "threw out the fleece" on more than one occasion during the process. It started while I was reading my Bible while working (I hauled bulk milk and it often took as long as an hour to pump the milk onto the truck at a farm stop). I did the "spiritual" thing and just flipped open the text to a spot and started reading. I landed on John 12:26, "If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him." As I read, it was as if the text was in neon. It stood out from the page. Tears (for seemingly no reason) streamed down my face. I contemplated what that verse said, "if anyone serves me..." I talked to God, "You know that I am already Your servant. What do you mean?" I had the impression that God wanted more, so I prayed more. I told God that I was rather dense, and that if He was wanting me to do something that He would have to make it abundantly clear to me.

    About a week or so later, same scenario, only this time as I flipped to a verse, I landed on 2 Tim 4:1-2, "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction." Same reaction, tears, text just LEAPING off the page, and my pleading with God for clarity. "It seems like You are asking me to become a preacher!" If that is so, You know that you will also have to call my wife, for she is in this ministry with me." And, so I left that episode without telling anyone else about it. It was too, well, supernatural, for most to believe, even me.

    About another week went by, and after some non-descript sermon from the pastor, my wife went to the altar to pray. As she stood, tears steaming from her eyes, a shiver went down my spine that is still there to this day some 20+ years later. She told the church that God was calling me into ministry, and that she would follow me wherever He led. The church agreed and set in motion the process of licensing me for the gospel ministry, and I began to preach on a regular basis on top of my youth ministry duties.

    After about 3 years of that, I had an impression that God wanted me (us) to gain more and better education so as to become more effective in ministry and also to prepare to plant and grow churches in the Great Lakes region. Since being licensed, I had moved to the position of senior pastor of that church (that now ran over 120) and had moved my job from the truck to working inside the dairy plant so I could be at church on Sundays. I started sending for information about seminaries, and weirdly, only one of the seminaries responded -- Southern in Louisville. We decided to make a visit to Louisville to check out the school during a preview weekend, and while there, praying for God's guidance, He made it clear to us that we would be attending that school, but He did not set a time-table. We continued on for another year or so, then had this feeling that we could not express -- that something would remove us if we did not move willingly -- so we, "on faith" put in motion the next phase, which included making application to the seminary for admission (no small thing for anyone who has done it).

    We waited and waited to hear back from the seminary, but nothing ever happened. I finally called after about 6 months, and after the seminary checked our records, they discovered that our application must have been lost or something. It was not on file, so they asked me to begin the process of application again. I was in the process, and we decided to list our home at a high listing price just to see what would happen. That was the last week of August, 1997. We knew of a "Christian" Realtor in our community (use that word lightly when one talks about Wisconsin, "Christian" is not always what it seems) who offered to list our home for 3% commission. Our home was on the COVER of the state-wide realty magazine over Labor Day weekend! Even the Realtor did not know that would happen -- pure grace of God! Well, we were out of town visiting a famous off-road race in the north of the state during the weekend and were shocked to find our home on the cover of the magazine when we returned.

    We were even more shocked when the Realtor gave us a call the next Saturday while were were cleaning up the basement "just in case someone actually wanted to view the house, ha, ha." He said, "Your home sold over Labor Day weekend for full asking price -- in cash. Closing is on this date in one month! To say that we were shocked would be an understatement! But what came next is even more of God's grace. About 15 minutes later, we received a call from the seminary (on a Saturday no less -- we now know that they NEVER work on Saturday!) and the person calling said that they had found our application package and that we would be approved to start school in January! My wife and I sat right on the basement floor and bawled like babies.

    We cleaned up and went to my parents to give them the news. Sitting at their kitchen table was a stranger that we had never met. Turns out that he was a new auctioneer who had moved to town and he was talking to my father about selling the huge toy tractor collection my dad had. Yes, he was also a "Christian" man, and he offered to host our auction on short notice for 2% commission! Only God could orchestrate circumstances like that, but that was not even the start of the whole process. Miracle and supernatural occurrence after another happened, from the moving van starting in -30 weather without being plugged in to Gods MAGNIFICENT grace to send us funds anonymously when we were flat broke and had no food, no job, and no hope.

    Later, I was called to lead a church start in Wisconsin while still a student at Southern. I again laid out several prayer requests that only God could fulfill. My wife needed a leave of absence from work for an entire summer, we needed a job for our son who had just graduated high school, we needed to have the income needs met to keep both our apartment in Louisville and one in Wisconsin for the months while we did the church start. We needed insurance coverage for the family (no job, no insurance!), we needed the approval of NAMB, the church, and the Nehemiah Project coordinator (Ed Stetzer, yes, THAT Ed Stetzer, we later transcribed his first book!). We also asked for a new laptop computer (this was 1999 when those things were out of reach financially). On the morning I prayed that prayer, my wife called at lunch time and said that her boss came up to her and said, "I suppose that you will want the summer off to go back to Wisconsin." He was ALREADY prepared to give her a leave of absence before she had even said a word to him. NAMB called about 2 pm and said that I would be accepted through the Nehemiah Project (rare, as I should have been just a planting intern, not the lead planter!) and that they would supplement the stipend that Nehemiah Project student interns received to a level that was far above our normal salary -- oh, and they also offered us insurance. My son came home from school that day and said that he had a solid job with a person that we knew and trusted (he would live in Louisville alone as an 18-year old). And, that night at a meeting at church (still no one even knew that we were talking about a church plant!) a deacon at church asked me if I would "break in" his new laptop computer for him because he wanted to use it over Christmas break when he did campers on mission work. All the prayer requests were answered on the first day! God's grace magnified!

    We're now about 15 years into this venture and it is time for the next "big" call. God has arranged for me to be released from my job, and has laid something on my heart. Time will tell, we've been disappointed a time or two in the interval (several pastorates that beat us up, several church plants that never really took off -- the initial one is now 10 years in and running over 150!), and a host of moves and job changes to stay afloat. We are eager and excited about what comes next. I'll praise God in advance because I know that it will be His grace once more in ways that we could never even imagine by our own efforts.
     
  5. HAMel

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    glfredrick, good for you. :thumbsup: :godisgood:
     
  6. TCGreek

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    My calling was quite slow but sure. I could do nothing else and truly be satisfied. If God has truly called you to preach his Word, you will know it too, and can do no other.

    Blessings.
     
  7. Jkdbuck76

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    God called me into the deacon ministry very clearly. From there, I was asked to preach a few times. To make a long story short, God has given me some of the gifts of preaching.

    While we were between pastors, I had to do a funeral. It was immediately after that, the church and I talked about these gifts and then licenced me to the gospel ministry.

    At this point, I'm trying to find out if God wants me to be an ordained ministry, go back to college and enter the pastoral ministry? Probably not, but I'm a very good "second fiddle" or "go-to man". At work, I'm 2nd in command. When I taught martial arts, I was 2nd in charge. At our church, I've been the "go-to" man for two pastors now and when we were between pastors.

    So either God is going to keep me as "the go-to guy", or He is training me for leadership. I don't know.

    But I've always known that God has called me to preach since I was about 14. I have run from God for the past 20 years. God forgive my disobedience.
     
  8. Tom Butler

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    Brothers, thank you for relating your call from God. I have been interested over the years in how God calls people into the ministry of preaching--or to the mission field, for that matter.

    It's amazing to hear their testimonies, and they are varied. Yet all had no doubt about God's will in the matter.

    As I remember, only one said he thought he heard a distinct voice speaking to him. Others said God placed in them an intense desire to preach--a desire that could not be shaken.

    One of my pastors said he resisted God's call for five years, and God made him the most miserable man.

    I have never been called to preach,although as a laymen I occasionally fill the pulpit. But there have been times when God dealt with me. He literally cut me off at every point I tried to avoid his will, and left me with nothing but submission.
     
  9. Jkdbuck76

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    I thought I was called to pastoral ministries and was going to go to Cincinnati Bible College, but on old retired Reverend Doctor Ralph Dotson asked me point-blank "did God call you to be a minister?"

    I had to honestly look at him and say "no. He has not. But I WANT to be a minister."

    To this he said "Let me save you and a lot of other people a lot of pain and misery. Don't go to school to be a minister. It is nice that you want to, but if God hasn't called you, it will be nothing but pain and hurt."

    I took that advice. Went to IU and met my wife on the first day. Maybe God wasn't calling me back then, but maybe He is now.

    I had to learn to separate the "call" vs "my own echo."
     
  10. Crucified in Christ

    Crucified in Christ
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    Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!
    Brother, your testimony has been a great encouragement to me today. What an awesome and faithful God we serve!

    Thank you for sharing.
     
  11. Crucified in Christ

    Crucified in Christ
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    I have posted my experiences on here before, but I also started out in Student ministries (first as a volunteer youth Pastor, then was brought onto the staff. I began to preach in local nursing homes as well as at the church where I was youth pastor. Through the opportunities, other churches began to hear about me and invite to fill in there. I began to supply preach in addition to student ministries. Then I was offered a interim pastor position and I had to decide which path the Lord was calling me down- student ministry or pastoring in the context of a full congregation. I accepted the Interim position. God used all of these experiences to get me to the point of pastoring a church.

    All of this was to make a point...Every one of these opportunities came to me...I did not seek any of them out. THis has helped me see that God's call on me was always leading to where I am now, but He took me one step at a time, preparing me everystep of the way.

    If He has called you to pastor, you will begin to see others take notice and God will get you where He wants you. The thing that you need to do is always be faithful in waiting upon HIm and working as hard as you can whereever He assigns you. Always remember, you never know who is watching how you are carrying out your duties....it might be the person the Lord had chosen to take measure of you.
     

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