I was called into vocational ministry during my college years – seemingly too long ago! One summer during college, I served as a youth minister at a small church in rural Oklahoma. I was driving our youth back from an amusement park one weekday and clearly heard God telling me that I was to serve in vocational ministry full time. That was not what I had in mind for my life, and I did not fully know what that meant at the time. Eventually I came to believe that this calling meant that I was to serve as a Christian counselor.
Over time though, I began to become more involved at Church on Mill and around 15 years ago was asked by the church to serve on staff as Associate Pastor. Over the last several years I’ve experienced a few changes – certainly in terms of my responsibilities and title in ministry, but even more so in my love for the church.
Two of my favorite passages of Scripture describe who I strive to be as a church member and as a staff member. First, 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 reads, “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.”
I want to serve Christ by loving and caring for the church well. I love our church. I love the people of Church on Mill. I love that the truth of Scripture guides all of our decisions and ministry philosophy. I love that we are increasingly reflecting the neighborhoods and people around us. I love that so many church members are fully committed to Christ and to growing up in him. And, I want to be found faithful in serving and in being a steward of the grace of God. A second meaningful passage to me as a church member and staff member is Colossians 1:28-29. “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”
There are many things that I enjoy about working on staff at our church. We have a wonderful staff, and I enjoy interacting with each of them on a daily basis. I also love the opportunities to teach Connection Classes, lead our Gospel Community, teach Disciplemakers, meet with guys one-on-one to read the Bible, and preach on occasion. Our God is worthy of our efforts to proclaim his glorious name to all around us. And, I’ve been grateful for the opportunities to do that both formally and informally.
I’ve been aware of the weight of the scriptural passages regarding elders being held to a high standard for several years. Though I’m by no stretch perfect, I desire to increasingly glorify the one who has saved me from my sins. And, I’ll certainly need your help and prayer as I continue to grow and more faithfully reflect the love God has for me.
The Discovering Eldership classes that I’ve attended in the past couple of years have served as a confirmation of the call that I received around 25 years ago. Though being called as an elder in a local church is one of the last things I would have expected as a teenager, it is clear to me that this is God’s call on my life. I’m grateful for this opportunity and am glad to honor him in whatever ways I’m asked to serve.