Oh, I remember those early days of walking with Jesus.
Studying the word, listening to teaching/preaching tapes, going to bible studies, and meeting with friends to share with them the latest revelation the Lord had given me.
You see, I was called to preach.
All I needed was a pulpit, a classroom, or some leadership position where I could showcase my gift.
At least, that’s what I thought.
However, the Lord wasn’t nearly as impressed as I was; nor did He believe I was ready to handle such responsibility.
No, what I needed to learn was serving and submission to authority (among other things).
And He provided two pastors to help me learn those lessons.
We attended a small church. The pastor, whom we really loved, not only pastored the flock but also worked a secular job.
We’d arrive early at church on Sunday morning so we could fellowship a little before Sunday School. The pastor would always be busy running the vacuum cleaner in the hallway, so if I was going to fellowship with him, I had to follow him up and down the hall while he worked.
So that’s what I did.
While he vacuumed, I told him all the neat things God had shown me throughout the week.
Then one day he resigned.
We were crushed!
I met him a couple days later for breakfast, in an attempt to talk him into changing his mind. I even offered to help; I’d help with the teaching/preaching duties.
What I needed to do was put my hand on the vacuum cleaner.
He wouldn’t change his mind, so after a while, a new pastor arrived.
By then I’d learned how to run the vacuum, so I started cleaning the church. But I was still called to preach, so I wasted no time letting the new guy know.
What a patient, patient man.
He’s the one who told me I needed to finish my bible courses instead of looking for the quickest way to ordination.
He’s the one who loved me enough to reprimand me when I “hired” a co-youth pastor without talking with him first.
He’s the who, though understanding and recognizing the call of God on my life, didn’t let me off the hook if I needed to hear something for my own good.
I asked him one day if I could help him with some hospital visits; one in particular. I asked him what he thought would be best thing to do.
He told me some practical and pastoral things, like, be there for the family and stay out of the nurse’s way.
Since I was called to preach, I told him what I thought I should do.
His response? “If you didn’t want my advice, why did you ask?”
I finally learned the calling doesn’t make the preacher. The anointing doesn’t promote or defend a preacher, either.
Character counts, regardless of the calling. A godly, disciplined character not only pleases God, but demonstrates to others traits such as faithfulness, integrity, and truthfulness.
Are you a young preacher, on your way to changing the world? To whom are you submitted, and committed? Are you helping someone else fulfill their calling, their God-given dream while you prepare for yours?
If you can’t be trusted with another’s dream, how can you be trusted with your own?
Are you a “seasoned” preacher; busy winning the world to Jesus? Are you doing everything by yourself, because it’s easier that way? Or are you helping that obnoxious wannabe preacher learn what it takes to go after their God-given dream?
We definitely need one another. I know I did back then, as well as today.
So, what are you going to do about it?
“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:1 – 2:2 NKJV)