I have the joy, as part of my responsibilities as the Pastoral Leaders Development Associate, to walk alongside pastors who are in the process of accreditation with CBOQ. They share a common passion, desire, and determination to teach, preach and reach others with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They have, however, followed different paths on their journey to pastoral ministry.
Take for example, Edmond and Joel who were trained in the sciences and eager to pursue a career in their field. However, God had a different idea. Interestingly, they both encountered the power of the Holy Spirit when they were miraculously healed from ailments. The pressing insistence of God would not let out until they understood he was calling them to vocational ministry.
Darrel, Peter, and Kevin were police officers in different cities. Each were following Jesus while serving but along the way, the Holy Spirit revealed other plans. They all carry a love for marginalized people. Paul worked a full career in correction services when, upon retirement, the Holy Spirit enabled him to discern a new vocation in the service of Christ.
Ruth was not going to be a pastor, having grown up in a pastor’s house. But the gifts the Spirit gave her lined up to that call and, eventually, after much encouragement from others, including professors at university, she relented. Lily trained to be a pastor but only assisted her husband until he was called to further studies. God had it all mapped out and opened the door for her to fully use her gifts and skills as her church’s pastor. Helena, when she let Christ into her heart, felt the pull right away but did not believe that she was pastor material. The call was too loud for her to ignore, though, and she is now at seminary while helping her church.
These are but a few glimpses of how God works in the life of the people called to vocational ministry. Trust me—there are many more fascinating stories to share! Paraphrasing the Apostle John, “Jesus continues to do mighty work to ensure the mission of the church continues. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written (based on John 21: 25 NIV).”
Every time I speak with a candidate for accreditation, I am humbled by the privilege God has granted me to share their journey. It is encouraging to know that God continues to call, nurture and guide the Bride of Christ.