I’ve Decided to Accept my Call into Ministry

Detail of the Verduner altarpiece in Klosterne...
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I guess I’ve been fighting it too long. I mean, I was running, but you know how that is.

I’ve had to think about how I got to Seminary. I had everything ready to go to St. Andrews, but at the very last minute, something vital fell through. But just as quickly, United Seminary – SEMINARY – opened up. Not only that, everything, and I mean everything, slipped into gear easy enough. Ask some of my fellow students about some of the administrative headaches, and me? Everything feel into place.

Plus, as you know, I was a minister before, in the little fundie church – the only one going to heaven mind you. Us four and no more. I gave it up because of some of the depravity which I was witnessing. I am not going to rehash everything, but it was not even the tip of the iceberg and when the ship finally hit the iceberg, I took the lifeboat and swam away. Maybe I’ve been feeling guilty about the entire thing – you know, abandoning my post. Plus, I sorta feel like if I had given it up, then it wasn’t mine to claim any longer. So I had two things working against me. The guilt that I had abandoned my post and the fact that I had given it up.

For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn. (Rom 11:29 NLT)

Okay, and I know that, but I think that maybe, for a while, I still had that David/Saul mentality. You know the one – where you know you are supposed to be King/Pastor, etc… but you have to wait for Saul to be taken down first. I guess I was waiting for my call back.

Plus, there is that entire ‘I preach too loud to be a Methodist.’ I enjoy talking about God and the things of God. And, plus, I have that ‘pentecostal fire’ in my, so when I get passionate about God and the things of God, I get loud and I move around a lot. The Christian life is a journey, and I spend most of my time preaching walking that journey. I mean, could I, in a Methodist church, get into really preaching loud (not angry or hellfire and brimestone)? Would it be acceptable for me to ‘serve the Lord with enthusiasm’ and not be confused with the Pentecostals or Charismatics?

So, as you can see, everything that I’ve mentioned – if you know me personally – you know that I’ve struggled with. Some guilt, some remorse, lots more guilt for not being able to stop the moral depravity, the abuse, the sin at my former locale and then hoping that something would be rectified… and then wondering if I would actually fit in.

But, I’ve been a Jonah for far too long now. The good thing is, is that my boat hasn’t capsized and no one has thrown me overboard yet, although, admittedly, I think that some of my classmates wonder if my baptism shouldn’t have included a lot more water, continuously.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know who holds the future. I am tired of running and it is time that I walked the walk instead of just talking the talk. I am announcing this now to that by the time July rolls around, I might be able to take a position. I mean, who knows…

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12 Replies to “I’ve Decided to Accept my Call into Ministry”

  1. You brought tears to my eyes! I have suspected you were called to more. I’m so happy for you. Your journey has been amazing and I can’t wait to see what happens next!!

  2. Joel–

    I would have appreciated finding this out from you by a phone call, rather than read that our business is dissolving thanks to some “call” you think you received…

    You should have tried the antipsychotics when I told you to.

    RJW
    Former COO of Wilson Watts

  3. If it indeed is,as I suspect, an April fools joke…this is a doozy. You’re gonna have equal amounts of popcorn coming from all sidelines.
    The boy can write,that’s for sure.:)

  4. Make sure you take that tongue out of your cheek before you start preachin’ and all – you might get too excited and bite down extra hard…

  5. Joel,
    As much as we disagree, I hope this is indeed more than an April Fool’s joke. I think you have the heart for ministering to hurting people.
    I trust you shall indeed be used to the glory of God in Christ.

  6. You’re not alone: UPC pastor Corlis Dees has been serving as a United Methodist pastor in Indiana since 1991. Apparently, it doesn’t matter that he doesn’t believe in the Trinity. Ironically, the church he now pastors is named Trinity UMC. UPC worship leader Lanny Wolfe served as his music minister. Dees seems to have a reputation for bringing failing churches back to life. See his website: http://www.corlisdees.org/our_ministry_story
    Dees is not alone. David Walters, former UPC District Superintendent of ND, is serving as pastor of the UMC in Harvey, ND.

  7. Just so you know, some Methodists really do preach loud and strong. Some are a bit quieter, but we have our share of charismatics. I’m sure God will have a place for you which will use your gifts, and give you more.

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