By Dante Jemmott, Director of Youth and Student Ministries, Mississauga City Baptist Church
After a 16-month internship, Dante Jemmott now serves as the Director of Youth and Student Ministries at the church that has served him all his life–Mississauga City Baptist Church. Dante was previously a thespian working on stages in both Canada and the United States, but along the way, God planted new desires in his heart that would prompt him to walk a new path. When asked about this new beginning, this is what he had to say:
A new beginning? I was happy with my middle, ambitiously treading a path towards what I believed to be a fulfilling end. To begin anew would strip me of my agency, rendering me a weightless leaf thrown whichever way the wind blew. My call to ministry was a gentle whisper for years before becoming a conspicuous, convicting command, but the trajectory of my career in acting was promising. How could I abandon it?
The overwhelming power of the Spirit’s leading meant that the culmination of my youthful dreams, vigorous training, focused efforts, and notable achievements would crumble to ash at the touch of my fingertips. Unyieldingly, I resisted, but would anyone be surprised to read that my resistance was only met by God’s surpassing persistence? When I initially dismissed the call entirely, He persisted. When I sought out to negotiate His call for me, He persisted. When I endeavoured a co-lordship relationship with God where my will and His would live in tandem, He persisted.
The will of God cannot be ignored, and while I knew this in theory, it took me three years to understand it in reality. I conceded, and God breathed life into a new, unfamiliar passion. He incinerated the vain objectives I had envisioned myself accomplishing, and has positioned me to live according to His purpose alone. At my crossroads, I was told where to go, and upon choosing obedience, I now have a rested soul. Praise God! As I now begin my tenure as the Director of Youth and Student Ministries at Mississauga City Baptist Church, I do so without resentment or discouragement over what I have needed to sacrifice. My joy flows from the God who leads me.
The context in which we all experience new beginnings varies, but they are circumstances in which we can thrive when we trust in our loving, faithful God. Brothers and sisters, do not resist God. Rather, embrace fully the seeming danger of your calling with steadfast assurance in the all-encompassing safety and goodness of Him who calls. Wherever your new beginning, be confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.