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Community Discussion: Why I Started in Ministry

God works in mysterious ways. Life does not usually go the way we planned, but God has a purpose for each of us. 

With that in mind, we asked our Church Communications group members how and why they started doing ministry.

Here are their stories:

“I was a young kid who liked computers, liked making things work. I had a youth pastor (who) saw that in me. It allowed me to try things and fail. He went to be a senior pastor for 8 years in a different church. He came back to be our senior pastor… Just like old times. I was saved to serve and I try to instill that into my team of 7.” – David Bowling

“Music career got me a music/youth gig during graduate school that opened a clear call from God (in)to full-time ministry.” – Mike Hunter

“1. Internal desire.  2. External affirmation from my local church.  3. Opportunites given that seemed wise.” – Aaron Swain

“My life was changed as a teenager and the impact my youth pastor had on my life made me want to have that kind of impact on others.” – Tom Pounder

“During a mission conference at my church, I felt that the only way I could obey God and feel in the center of His will was to make ministering to others a full-time life path. As a (pastor’s kid) I was not interested in that life up to that point.” – Joel Reiss

“When I was in college, my focus was on sports broadcasting. But in my senior year, God began to place a desire on my heart to do something ‘more.’ By that, I mean find a career that directly tied into my faith and advancing His kingdom. (I) graduated and got an internship at a church in video production… was hired full-time by that church two years later.” – Mitchell Ross

“I’d just quit a full-time job as a newspaper reporter to be at home more with my kids … eight weeks later there was an ad in the church program for a part-time admin position. Fifteen years later my role looks vastly different but I’m still here. God has an amazing way of putting you exactly where you’re meant to be.” – Kathleen Elliott 

“I’ve always loved the Lord and the Church but never connected with telling others about Him because I’m fairly reserved and shy. He called me into ministry when I was in college, and now I can’t imagine doing anything else.” – Kristina Cavanaugh

“I started volunteering at my home church doing office stuff one day a week. Eventually, they offered me a few opportunities to temp when the church secretary was on vacation for a week or two at a time. I loved it. After almost 2 years of that, one of my pastors decided he needed an assistant and they opened up that job. I applied and had to interview like everyone else. Volunteering for so long gave me great clarity in my decision. I knew I loved the work; knew I worked well with the pastor and staff. God gave me a clear vision that He put me there to be a support person for them. Altogether I’ve been there for almost 4 years and love it more every day!” – Tara Butterworth 

“Grew up in a home with an angry father (not abusive, just always angry and rude) and one day I met this crazy man that was hanging out with some of my friends and turned out he was the youth pastor of my soon-to-be church (now 15-year member/attender). This crazy youth pastor showed me that Jesus was for everyone and not just for the old folks that sat in hard-backed pews singing hymns and waiting to die (sorry about that description; that’s how I saw it back then). He hosted all these crazy events for us that piqued our interest and then during the event, he would share the gospel with us in a way that was relevant to us.

“The longer my friends and I stayed around the church, the more he would ask us to help and be involved. He was the kind of guy who was willing to stand on the frontline and in the trenches to keep the ‘rambunctious, obnoxious teens’ in church and live out the greatest love story ever told in front of us. He did things for us that our parents couldn’t or wouldn’t do. Because of his influence on our lives and his willingness to ‘act like a crazy teen’ himself, we wanted to help in any way we could and follow (in) his footsteps. We served in many capacities however we could. All this time later, I am in charge of the IT services at my church and I’m also the video tech at my church and run the slides every Sunday. It’s been a wild, crazy ride with my Jesus!” – Timmy Padgett

Conclusion:

We may have different personal experiences that God used to call us into ministry. What we all have in common is a desire to live and lead alongside our God. We hope everyone will answer God’s call on their lives; following Him wherever He may lead.

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