Original MySpace blog posted February 21, 2008
That evening, at work, I “heard” God speak again. “Go to church on Sunday, Steve’s church, Parkside, and join. Be baptized.” I didn’t wrestle with it at all, I was there the next Sunday, two days latter, and went forward during the invitation at the end of the sermon. Couldn’t tell you what the sermon was about. But I knew what God was speaking to me. I said I didn’t wrestle with it, maybe I did. For a moment, the Enemy was doing all he could to keep me back. There was a small civil war going on in my mind. But God won. I don’t remember the walk forward to the altar, but I remember shaking Pastor Dennis’ hand.
The following Sunday, I was baptized. And two weeks later, Steve was transferred to Peoria, Illinois through his job, so he could be closer to his daughter. His work here as a servant of God was done. He has since remarried and has two more kids. But I praise God because of the huge impact Steve had in my life.
I immediately got involved in the life of the church. Discipleship was very important to me. I wanted to learn how to be a disciple, or student, of Christ. I got involved in a bible study called Experiencing God, which taught me how to listen for God’s voice more closely. Mike Dickson met with me one on one for about six months, encouraging and teaching me. I tried out different ministry roles, such as teaching 9th grade boys, or helping out in the boy’s Royal Ambassador missions program. I was and still am involved in the Single’s ministry. I also learned I had a knack for drama, and was involved in many parts and roles in our drama ministry. I even directed 2 Christmas pageants, no small thing for our church. But I was given the opportunity to try many things, and fail at many things, in order to find my place.
To back up a little bit, on March 20, 1994, I discerned God’s call on my life to do something more for His Kingdom. I’ve never like the distinction between the laity and the clergy, because I feel we are all ministers, and the pastors are there to equip us for the work of the ministry. Nonetheless, I felt God was calling me to be involved at a pastoral level. To what extent, I did not, and still do not know. I feel a burden to plant churches, and neither of the traditional nor contemporary type. 1st century churches met in homes, without buildings, budgets, or huge staffs. The church was God’s called out ones, gathering together to build each other up and to encourage one another in ministry. We are so far removed from that today, but that is a slice of the vision of what I discern God is calling me to do, to get back to a simpler model of being and doing church. I love Parkside, and that is where I am for now. But God has called me to keep my ear to His mouth and to be prepared to follow His lead.
There is much more I could write about “my” story. I hope my little story points to His story. It is that story that has the potential to turn a world upside down to being right-side up again. I hope my story might encourage your story to point to his story as well. God Bless.