Yesterday I met with my pastor to discuss my gifts as well as my calling. Right now I’m trying to discern where God would have me go in that regard. Specifically, I’m prayerfully considering the possibility of entering into pastoral ministry. Ever since my senior year of college, it’s been on my heart to devote myself more and more to the work of God’s kingdom. I started attending seminary on a part-time basis in 2007 and this year I became a deacon in our local church. God has used me to a great degree already, but what about my calling in life?
I started seminary being open to all sorts of possibilities, namely being a teacher of theology somewhere. I definitely have a heart for teaching. Despite growing up with a speech difficulty, by God’s grace I have persevered in my public speaking abilities. As a deacon, I’ve been teaching at CRBC in the morning classes for some time now. From the feedback I get, folks are telling me that I’m getting better. Frankly I’m surprised at the encouraging comments. Along with this I’ve received constructive criticism from my elders. Praise God for giving me such ability!
Yet even though my strength as a speaker has increased, this by itself doesn’t reveal what my calling really is. I’ve given a lot of thought to possibly becoming a church planter. I plan to read some books on church-planting and understand how exactly that works. Another possibility would be the traditional path of many pastors, taking on the role in an already established congregation. I’ve also considered staying right where I am, maybe serving as an assistant pastor and being a servant in that regard (e.g., filling in for a pastor on Sundays when he’s gone and helping in other areas). Right now…I have no idea what will happen.
I’m certainly not going to make any major decisions any time soon. I still have to finish my seminary degree and sit under the teaching of the elders at CRBC. Over the next few months (and even years), I’ll be praying about this and carefully seeking answers. It will indeed be years before any serious decision is made. Yes, years. So many in my generation are so eager to set out that they lose all patience and they enter a given vocation unprepared. I definitely don’t want to do that, especially given the seriousness of pastoral ministry.
Now is the time for learning and preparation. These are good times for growth. I want to take it all in, get all the experience I can, and enjoy these times with my family. All the while I want to be sensitive to where the Lord will direct me. I want to be open to where He would have me go. I humbly ask that all of my dear brothers and sisters in Christ who are reading this would please pray for me as I continue this process of discernment. Especially pray that God would show me whether this is the path I should take. Whatever I do, may I do it for His glory alone.