How were you called?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by John of Japan, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I find in the Bible many different types of call to God's work. Moses was called through a miracle, Isaiah volunteered (God knew he would!), Elisha was called through another preacher, Ezekiel was literally moved by the Holy Spirit, Matthew was told directly by the Lord he would fish for men and had to leave his profession, Paul was blinded by a vision.

    My call was a little like Ezekiel's. I was clueless and had no desire to preach until Evangelist Bud Lyles preached in a special meeting. At the invitation, before I knew it I was standing at the front and didn't know how I had gotten there. But when Bro. Lyles asked me what my decision was, I knew without the shadow of a doubt that I was called to preach, and told him so.

    I was also clueless about missions. I was sitting in the back of the auditorium during the Highland Park Baptist Church missions conference (over 200 missionaries) when a missionary from Japan preached. Deep down inside it was as if the Lord said, "Would you go to Tokyo if I asked you to?" I didn't go forward all that week, but by Saturday had made the decision to be a missionary.

    John R. Rice's call (in case you haven't figured it out, we're related ;) ) was like Isaiah's. He worked at Chicago's Pacific Garden Mission while going to U. of Chicago grad school. One night he knelt by an alcoholic and led him to the Lord. He told the Lord, "If it is all right, I'd like to do this the rest of my life!"

    So, how did God call you? [​IMG]
     
  2. Brother Ian

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    It was during a revival with Rick Coram (who has become a pretty good friend). I sensed God's leading for me to do something, but I wasn't sure what. It wasn't for a month or so later that I knew the Lord had called me to preach. I had no desire to pastor. . .that would come about a month after that. The Lord has put this burning desire to help people grow spiritually and a deep desire to show people the Truth. Its all I think about now.
     
  3. PastorSBC1303

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    When I was about 17 years old the Lord began burdening my heart with a call to preach/pastor. I wanted nothing to do with it and proceeded to run from it for quite awhile. We had a dear faithful pastor at my church at that time and one day out of the blue he said to me "I think God is calling you to preach and I think you would do a fine job." I told him that he was crazy and there was no way. I continued to run from it.

    Almost 2 years later our church called a new pastor and in a conversation he asked me, "Have you ever considered that the Lord is calling you to pastor?" I could not believe it. I never said a word about my struggle inside to anyone, and yet both of these men sensed something from the Lord. And the Lord used their words greatly in my life.

    A few weeks after this conversation my father passed away from complications following a stroke. The Lord finally had all of my attention. One Sunday evening in my home church when the invitation came there was nothing else I could do but go forward and surrender. When I stood up it was literally as if there was a rope around my neck pulling me to the front and I knew I had to submit and follow the Lord. When I told the pastor what was going on, he got this big smile on his face, jumped in the air and said "I knew it, I knew God was calling you."

    A little later I called the original pastor that had told me he felt the Lord was calling me to preach and he told me, "well I am glad you finally realized what I have known all along."
     
  4. MikeinGhana

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    I was saved at about the age of ten. As a teen I was very active kind of leading our youth group. I felt God was calling me to preach but ran away from that. My uncle was the pastor and he led a simple, poor man's life. He gave away all that he ever had. That is all I knew about the ministry and did not want any part of that.

    Many years later, married with two children, a great job, new house etc., I got my life right with the Lord. That great job was not so great anymore because of the wicked things I was forced to participate in. I knew I had to get out so I began to pray feverishly for the Lord to give me a new job. I found this little booklet titled, Found: God's Will. It was an exposition of Proverbs 3:5,6. Through meditating on those verses God began to work in my heart.

    One night in a Holiday Inn in Levitown, PA I dropped to my knees after fasting for two days and told the Lord if He would show me His will for my life I would fulfill it faithfully. Of course I was expecting the answer to be another great job. It was, preaching!
     
  5. Shiloh

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    I wanted to get into something that would make me a lot of Money and a lot of Friends. Soooooooooo I decided to be a Independent Fundamental KJV Baptist Pastor. [​IMG]
     
  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. Hope of Glory

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    God let me know many years ago that he wanted me to preach and teach. He gave me skills and abilities to that end. However, I resisted for many, many years, running fast and far, until he dragged me kicking and screaming into where I was supposed to be.

    (Don't get me wrong, I am happy about the result, but it took me a while to come around.)
     
  8. TaterTot

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    When I was 16, I attended the Youth Evangelism Conference that our state Baptist convention held. The Lord was dealing with me very strongly about committing my life to Him for some type of service, but I was scared to death of it. First of all, I didnt know what it would be. My youth minister at the time, who is still to this day a mentor in the faith to me, asked me if God was dealing with me about something and I just lied and said no. The Holy Spirit just kept pulling on my heart and I couldnt stand it any longer, so I decided to surrender my life to His will.
    Later, after I began dating the one who eventually became my husband, we realized that he was called, too, that very same weekend at the very same place. We didnt know each other, and it was 3 hours from our hometowns. Cool stuff. We also realized that we had each gotten saved at a revival that was preached by the same evangelist.

    Its a wonderful life, and I am so thankful for what he has done for me.
     
  9. Trotter

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    I didn't come to know the Lord until I was 22, already married and a father to boot. I fought the conviction to surrender to Christ, but He won out.

    Immediately, God began to burden me about something. What, I didn't know. Several people asked me if i thought I was feling the call to preach, to which I answered, "No, definately not... anything but that."

    I ran from it for seven years, until I could run no farther. When I finally stopped and gave in, i felt like the world rolled off my shoulders. Our deacon said he had known what I was fighting against for quite a while, as did our pastor.

    Things looked great for a while. Then our pastor resigned, leaving me without any guidance. The interims that followed were ignorant of my calling (and I didn't offer to tell them, as I didn't know them).

    We eventually left that church and moved to a different one. I soon told our pastor about my calling, and he told me that he would "help me along" in learning the ropes. This translate to getting to preach once every four months or so, and that was it.

    After a while (four years), I began to approach our pastor about things like what a pastor should do (responsibilities) and stuff. He acted like I wanted to take his job! And he wanted no part of anything that was planned and organized (including preaching) or he didn't think of himself. I eventually left that church, and my family finally followed.

    We are currently visiting a great church. We haven't joined yet, and don't really know if this is the place for us. The pastor doesn't know us, or about my calling.

    I am very discouraged at this point in my Christian walk, and about my calling in particular. Those who know we here on the BB know a little about my current circumstances and struggles.

    To be called is wonderful, but to be where I am is not.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  10. TaterTot

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    Trotter,
    We arent promised that it will be easy. But we do know that God doesnt call us then leave us without any guidance. I have heard it said that He doesnt call the eqipped, He equips the called. Its really not a pastors job to make sure you find your place of service and get the training you need. Maybe He has you at this point for a reason. I am still praying for you. I think you make a great minister, and these tough times will make you an even better one.
     
  11. Trotter

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    "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."

    Fire is used to temper steel. Fire can also be used to weaken and destroy it. The difference lies in what the wielder chooses to do with it.

    I trust the One who weilds the fire. But it ain't easy being on this end of it.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  12. exscentric

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    A pastor led me to the Lord while I was in high school but didn't disciple me. I shortly entered the Navy for the usual four years back then, and the usual lifestyle.

    God wasn't ready for me for some reason. Was among Christians now and then and nothing happened to challenge me, I had no idea what the Christian life was about. One evening I was standing outside a servicemen's center in Vallejo, CA. People were coming and going, and there I stood wondering what the place was. I became friends with a man and he took me to a Charismatic church - that worked well -- walked out before it was over.

    God wasn't ready but He was around to protect.

    Just after the Navy I found someone that would have me, so got married and we moved to Hawaii for a few months. While there someone asked us to a SBC church pastored by a missionary. He went on furlough and a Dallas student came to fill in for the summer.

    Through a few times at church with him and in fellowship times the Lord impressed on me that this stupid kid that wasn't allowed to take chemistry in high school because he wasn't smart enough, might be able to do something, maybe even be a preacher. The thought didn't stick too well.

    Couple years later a doctor we had been going to offered to pay my tuition to the University of NE. He saw something in me that he thought God could use. (Side note, met him about 25 years later and he could barely remember me and didn't remember the offer - but I certainly did and thank God for him.)

    We started going to church more often, and as I began to learn of the Lord and the Word acting on the preaching idea was stirred. One evening while driving alone, it just sank in that the Lord wanted this for me. I said yes, He said get to it and the rest is REALLY ancient history - actually all of the above is too.
     
  13. Mexdeaf

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    As for my 'call' to preach, it was more of a progressive revelation than a call. I think sometimes we put too much emphasis on the 'call' to the detriment of just learning to walk with God daily, as Enoch, Noah and Abraham did.

    Now the call to missionary service, that was something else. I always had a desire to be a missionary, even while I was at TTU. When Russia opened up I wanted to go so bad I could taste it. But circumstances hindered and revealed that was not God's will at that time.

    We started deaf ministries in two hearing churches in FL and were happily working; my wife at Chik-Fil-A and I at Bendix. I also had my own cabinet business building cabinets for all of the Cici's Pizza outlets in the SE USA. My dream was to do the cabinet work full-time, and I was well on the way to realizing that dream.

    One Sunday morning, my preacher made the statement, "Most Christians don't know the will of God for their lives because they don't WANT to know the will of God." Man, oh, man that statement hit me hard. I went forward at the invitation and told the Lord something to the effect that I thanked Him for all he had given us but we would gladly give it all up if He had something else He wanted us to do.

    Well, a few weeks later was Missionary Conference. One of the missionaries there was a single lady missionary to the deaf of Mexico. We only had a brief chat on Sunday night after the church service when she invited us to come and visit for deaf camp. I promised we would pray about it. In the intervening days God plainly showed me His will from His Word was more along the lines of a permanent move to Mexico. And he confirmed it by the many miracles He did afterward to get us to the field. Too many to list but someday I hope to write a book. (BTW- I am now the director of the deaf camp I was invited to visit!) And Trotter, if you read this- I was a few months shy of my 40th birthday when the Lord called me.

    I heartily agree with D.L. Moody who said something to the effect that 'If God has called you to be a missionary, don't stoop to be a king.'

    Oh, yeah- and all the 'stuff' I told the Lord we would give up? We did, but He has replaced it with much better and enduring 'stuff'.
     
  14. Trotter

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    Thank you.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  15. John of Japan

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    Brother Trotter, it is an awesome thing to be called to preach. Let me tell you, we all consider ourselves unworthy when it happens, and every one of us feels confused and unsure about the next step after we are called. In my case, my Dad was a preacher, and it was just assumed that each kid would go to Bible college. So that is where I went and got further guidance and instruction. Have you been to Bible college or seminary yet? I would say that is the next step.

    And let me tell you, I've met several who were sad they didn't answer the call, but I've never met a person serving God who regretted saying yes to God's call.

    As for preaching, don't wait for the pastor to find you a place. Go looking! If you are called, you ought to preach somewhere: in jails, at the "mission" for homeless and alcoholics, on street corners, anywhere. If your church has no such ministry, start one! That will give you experience.

    You might even be led of the Lord to start your own church, and then you'll always have a place to preach! A young man was called to preach under my ministry in Yokohama. We left him in charge of the church and he failed miserably. Both he and his wife were diagnosed as mentally ill when they were young, but his father refused to let him be!! His dad simply told the psychiatrist, "Not my son," and the boy turned out well. Anyway, so they moved from Yokohama to her home town and started going to a church there, but weren't satisfied. So I told him maybe he should start his own church, he did and they are doing fine!

    God bless. [​IMG]
     
  16. John of Japan

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    Amen and amen! I wouldn't trade this awesome privilege for all of the world!
     
  17. John of Japan

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    We do resist, don't we? This thread proves that. I was caught by suprise by my call to preach--couldn't resist. But I resisted the call to be a missionary for a whole week, then the call to Japan for 4 more years. I wanted to go to Hong Kong. I love China, but Japan? Never!

    Aren't we glad we gave in? [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  18. tinytim

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    I grew up a PK, when I was 19 something happened in my life that made me think all Christians were phonies!
    I then met my wife, and we got married.. started back to church, started singing in a group, and the Lord got a hold of me... He renewed the fire I had when i was about 16. I fought it for over a year.. refused to even go to VBS and help teach because i knew if i gave in to that I would give in to preaching.

    finally, I couldn't stand my self any longer...
    one Wed evening after service I was driving home, and had to turn the car around and talk to my pastor.... He said, "We were just waiting for you to give in..we knew it all along"

    The next Sunday I went forward and announced it to the church..
    haven't regretted it since....
    And the thing about Christians being phony.....
    well I was wrong!
     
  19. John of Japan

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    I was a PK too, tinytim, and my parents didn't seem surprised at all when I got called. They told me they had given me to the Lord to be a preacher when I was a baby. That was a surprise!

    When I was called to be a missionary to Asia, once again they didn't seem surprised. They had been surrendered to go to Tibet in the 1940's after the war, and even went to the China Inland Mission boot camp. The Tibetans were very cruel people (Gentle Buddhists, hah! :rolleyes: ), so at that time there were more graves of missionaries on the borders of Tibet than there were Christians in the entire country. At any rate, the Communists took over and they couldn't go. They looked at me as repaying their debt to Asia--couldn't wait for me to leave!! [​IMG]
     
  20. j_barner2000

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    Hey Lamar, you could always come up here to MI. We have so many opon pulpits around here... Only catch is churches are so small most pastors need to be bi-vocatinal. Pray about it.

    We both surrendered at the same time, remember, about the same time Matt went to Missouri. I was wondering the same thing when the family came back to MI. Hang in there, brother and know you are still in my prayers.

    My calling came before we left MI., but I blew it off. In AZ., He placed me as the assistant teacher for youth S.S. class. The teacher showed up 1 time and I was named sole teacher and then youth director. The kids started calling my wife and their youth pastors before that. The pastor told me that I was missing my calling. This all happened in the first 2 months of 2000.

    We served at that church till 2002 and felt it was time to serve at another church. After serving in VBS I was ready to give in and do whatever He asked. I went forward and told the pastor. He answered it is about time. Seems sometimes other folks know before you do. Been here, back home since mid 2004 and God still surprises me with blessings.
     

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