I heard the Holy Spirit whispering in me, “I am a pastor. I am a pastor!” I heard the specific call to pastoring. Finally, I accepted, “Yes, I am a pastor.” Then I breathed, “Thank you.” And, “Help!”
Call to Ministry Stories
When I told my parents that I was applying to seminaries, they were delighted, but not at all surprised. “Jacob,” my father said, “You could have gone to seminary at any time since you were fourteen years old. But everything you’ve done since then is going to make you such a better pastor.”
Even though I grew up surrounded by many pastors and was a church activist, my calling to ordination was a gradual process where God showed his patience to me, responding to His love and grace.
I have always felt the call to a life of service and never remember a time when I questioned that call as a goal for my life. My wife, Sharon, and I often experienced this call together. God’s call was the guiding force in my life’s trajectory, and I view this as simply my journey with God.
I thank God for His faithfulness and love as God waits for my response to His calling.
Every day, I am more convinced that the best way I can communicate God’s radical love is by helping others to realize that God embraces and cherishes them just as they are.
I knew God was sending me, and I knew that wherever He sent me, He would also be with me, as He always has been.
It sounds like I should already be retired by now but God still gives me the grace to be part of His story.
The adults in my life did not plant the seed. Rather, I believe God had planted it there and entrusted my community to water it and give it a chance to grow.
At the tender age of 22, I found myself ushered into a version of the gospel I still find appealing.
“Michael, until you stop telling God what you’re going to do and start listening for God to tell you what to do, you’re never going to understand God’s purpose for your life.”
I did not have a vision. I did not hear a voice. In fact, the further along I went, the more obstacles showed up as well as unexpected curves.
When was I called to vocational ministry? You may say I was always called, you may say I was never called.