Writing about my call to ministry reminded me of my first chance to give a sermon in the Methodist Church. A small church in Kaplan, Louisiana, needed a fill-in speaker for one Sunday. Their pastor had been injured when the church bell fell and struck him on the head. Fortunately, he survived and only needed some time to recover.
I remember several things about that first sermon:
One, I did not know how to prepare a sermon. My sermon consisted of me reading a Bible story and then talking about the story. The minister’s wife was present, and she told me I had done a good job.
Two, I remember how beautiful the church building was. Some of the attendees sat in the loft and I felt as though I was preaching to a large congregation.
And last but not least, I recall that I felt peaceful while delivering my message — something I did not expect to feel.
That was over forty years ago. As I look back on years of pastoring, radio and television ministry, camp meetings and tent revivals, I truly am thankful that I had those opportunities to share my faith.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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