The CallOver the last three years I have been immersed in Marketplace Ministry. This new journey has changed my life, my calling, and my view of how best to serve Christ and transform the congregations and communities we live in.
In many ways, this journey has been a rebirth and renewal of my call from God.
It all started, twenty five years ago when I was called out of the business world and into full-time Christian Ministry. I had been blessed by learning, being challenged, and growing by working in the business world. I developed a deeper understanding of how the business world functions from some very positive mentors and both corporate and entrepreneurial experiences. However, even though I was a Christian and faithful to God in many ways on Sunday I was building my kingdom on Monday through Saturday instead of God's Kingdom.
God called me into ministry. But I was not sure how God was going to use me. My grandfather was a minister and his advice was to do anything else, but being a minister if you could. His wise advice was warning me of the great challenges of being a minister. However, he also said that if you were truly called by God then you could not do anything but be a minister.
As I discerned God's call I moved from Columbia, South Carolina to Wake Forest, North Carolina to enroll at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I decided to wait six months before entering seminary to reflect on God's call and seek more insight through prayer and reflection.
The models of ministry seemed pretty simple. If you were called by God you would either serve as a pastor in a local congregation or become a missionary. As I prayed, I knew I loved missions but could not see myself going overseas to witness and serve God. I deeply valued and appreciate the work of a missionary but could never receive any personal peace of becoming a missionary.
As I entered seminary, I was confident that God was calling me to pastor a church one day. Little did I know how my journey of faith as a pastor in three different traditional churches would one day lead to a new and deeper calling in Christ. The closer I found myself closer to God and the hurting community of both the faithful and lost the further away I would find myself from the organized and institutionalized church I loved. God poured me into the funnel of life and ministry. The more I responded to God's challenge and call to minister the more I found myself questioning if the institutional church had lost its calling or I had.
To be continued...
I will rotate each time I write between my personal journey (The Call) and new insights and principles on Marketplace Ministry (New Wine).