God’s Call To Me As A Pastor…
- Passion and Results
The LORD called me to full time vocational ministry to “preach the Word” (2 Timothy 4:2 NIV) in late March of 2004. After the LORD gave me these marching orders while I quietly read 2 Timothy 4:1-5 in my bedroom, I met with Senior Pastor Mike Woodruff for a thirty minute meeting to share this exciting news with him and to get his feedback. In trying to discern into which specific area of ministry the LORD had called me, Mike advised me to notice where 1. I have a passion and 2. I get results.
Since God opened the door for me to be a pastor in August 2005, I clearly see that I have a passion for shepherding God’s people of all ages in five main ways:
1. To lead them to Jesus as their Savior, Lord, and Best Friend (Salvation);
2. To help them mature as His children and realize their potential in Him (Discipleship);
3. To simply spend time with them, both in and out of church—I thoroughly enjoy being with them, whatever we are doing! (Relationship/Fellowship/Community);
4. To cast vision for the ministry, to develop strategies to realize that vision, and to administratively implement those strategies (Visionary/Strategic Leadership);
5. To build relationships with and equip volunteer leaders to partner with me in shepherding the congregation (Shepherd Servanthood).
As I have pastored 600 people for the past 7+ years, I have also seen clear and positive results as the LORD has worked through me. Other leaders have commented on these clear and distinct improvements within the ministry:
1. Overall Direction of Ministry
3. Team Dynamics Amongst Leaders
Simply put, God made me to be a shepherd of His people in a local church: I am enjoying the different aspects of the pastoral role, I am excited to come to the “office” each day, and through me the LORD is strengthening and nourishing others while drawing all of us closer to Him.
- The Confirmation of Others
Around the same time that I was meeting with Mike in March of 2004 I was also receiving feedback from my closest friends and family concerning God’s call to pastoral ministry. None of them were surprised at these marching orders from the King. They said that I was a natural fit for such a vocation based on my gifts, personality, and passions, and one close friend commented that she and her Mom had been praying for the day when I would realize what they already knew and saw.
I have had these same responses as I have pastored over the last 7+ years. Many people, leaders, personal friends, other members of this congregation, my wife and parents, fellow staff, elders, and deacons have confirmed that I was “made to be a pastor.” I currently have over 1,400 emails from such people encouraging me that the LORD has indeed called me to be a pastor and is using me mightily in that role. I have even had a friend share with me back in October of 2005 that she prayed to the LORD for a pastor with whom she could connect and who would help her grow closer to God. This person later said that God answered her prayer with me!
It is for these reasons, among others, that I believe the LORD has called/equipped me to be one of His under-shepherds: caring for His people, laboring for them in prayer, and teaching them from His Word.