I was a junior in high school when I made a commitment to Jesus Christ. My family attended the local Methodist church when I was a child. When I was in elementary school, I started visiting a Baptist church a few houses away from my home. Many of my friends and their families attended and were always inviting me to join them for activities at the church. Eventually, I joined a boys Sunday School class. Our teacher always ended the lesson with the same question, “Boys, do you know Jesus?”
One Sunday, one of my buddies, shared that he was going to “join the church” that morning in the worship service. I didn’t understand the difference in “joining the church” and committing my life to Jesus. That Sunday my friend, I, and several of the guys in the class “joined the church.” We went down to the pulpit area at the end of the morning service. Each of us filled in a membership card and gave it to the pastor.
Over the years, I became involved in all the activities and events of the church. I was busy doing things that were good like youth choirs, senior adult home ministry, etc, but something kept nagging at me. I just felt that I was missing something in life but I didn’t know what.
I was in high school and our church held their annual fall revival services. The evangelist asked the same question my former Sunday School teacher asked, “Do you know Jesus?” He explained that we must have a personal relationship with Jesus. Then he asked, “Do you?”
I went home and went to my bedroom and began pondering that question. I realized that I had been in church most of my life. I had participated in a lot of good activities. I reviewed my life and felt that I was not a bad person. Yes, I had flaws and I sinned but I was, in my eyes, as good as someone else. It was then that I realized that I knew of Jesus, much like I knew of George Washington or some other historical person, but I didn’t know him personally.
Over the years, I had shared a pamphlet called “The Four Spiritual Laws” to tell other people about Jesus. I went to my dresser and once again pulled out the familiar pamphlet. I reread that (Law One) God loves you, and has a wonderful plan for your life. That (Law Two) man is sinful and because of his sin he is separated from God and can’t experience God’s real love and plan for him. The Third Law was how Jesus Christ, God’s son, is the only provision for man’s sin. It is through asking (Law Four) him to forgive us of our sins that we can know God’s love and plan for our life. I had to receive Christ by personal invitation. It was not knowing of Jesus but knowing him personally through the forgiveness of my sins. I prayed and not just asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins, but to become my savior.
The next night I went back to the revival services. When the preacher had finished his evening message I went down to the pulpit and shared what had happened the night before. The relationship that began that night in my bedroom is still unfolding and developing today. Several weeks later I was baptized.
As the years have unfolded I have sensed God’s calling on my life to serve Him in the area of educational ministry. I started by serving at my home church as interim Bus Evangelism Director. God then opened the doors for me to serve several churches as youth minister. It was exciting to be able to help youth grow in their relationship with the Lord. I attended our local university and graduated with a degree in secondary education. The educational courses were a great asset to the ministry God was opening up for me.
I continued my education by attending seminary. During this time I served as a youth minister. After graduation, God opened the door for me to serve as minister of education in two churches. During this time God continued to confirm His call for me to follow Him in the area of education, The life experiences, training, skills and abilities and the leading of His Holy Spirit continued to confirm His calling to me to minister.
For the past twenty years I have continued to live out His calling as the Church Development Director of the association. So many of the experiences God allowed me have been building blocks in His call of ministry in my life. As I look back, it is exciting to see how God has worked in my life. It is also exciting, and with a sense of awe, that I look forward to what God has in store for me in the future.
What I enjoy about my area of service.
As a Christian educator, I enjoy having the opportunity to train workers across our association in various areas of ministry. It is extremely rewarding to see the ”aha!” moment. That sudden, unplanned moment, when someone sees what you’ve been sharing and they realize how they can apply it in their life.
Also, I enjoy the opportunity to have an expanded ministry. I have the opportunity to minister to over 100 churches. Many ministers are only blessed with ministering in a few churches or ministry areas in a lifetime, yet God has given me a great opportunity to be able to minister with many churches to make an impact on the people in our area.
I thank each of you for allowing me to serve as your Church Development Director.