One night as I prepared to go to sleep, I asked a question of God concerning my future. I asked what God wanted me to do with my life. Then I asked, “Do you want me to be a minister?” I was clearly impressed with the answer, “Yes.” This happened on March 16, 1964. I have never forgotten that night or that call. Sometime later I clearly heard one of my teachers say that the bottom line for doing ministry is remembering and being faithful to your call. That no matter what you face in life or what challenges beset you – remember your call.
When it comes to ministry, it’s all about the call from God. I believe God is calling out to everyone on earth first to find salvation, and then to serve God. That is the call. Some hear and act on the call. Some hear and run from the call. Some hear and purposefully ignore it. For others the call is overwhelmed by their circumstances and the challenges of life. But I believe God continues to call out to us unless we say, “Stop.”
I was licensed to the Gospel Ministry by my home church almost exactly three years later. A few months after graduating from seminary, I was ordained to the ministry 37 years ago next month. My mentors and friends in ministry participated in a beautiful service where I was set apart, consecrated is the old term, for the vocational ministry. The challenge of the sermon by Dr. James Dunn was to follow the call of God until God says stop. He gave me a written copy of the message that I cherish dearly.
This Sunday, April 25, we will take the time to set apart, consecrate, two men of God that we have seen mature and grow in the faith over the past ten years. Francisco Gaona has served for many years as one of the deacons of our church ministering to our Hispanic families. He has been serving as co-pastor with Rev Ariel Benitez as they have launched the ministry as a free standing church. Alexander Flores has matured as a young adult in our midst demonstrating a heart for God and service. This is one of the most meaningful times in the life of any congregation. They have answered the call and have demonstrated their giftedness to ministry before God’s people. Will you stand with them?
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Answer the call. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.