I’d like to share a story in which I came to realize with greater clarity that I was called by God with a purpose to serve as a pastor. I became a member of Hollidaysburg First United Methodist Church in 2011. Shortly after joining I was invited by the pastor to have an article published in the church newsletter that I had written about finding inspiration in nature for our journey of faith. I think it was about a month or so after the article was published in the church newsletter that I began to feel unsettled with my job where I worked as a water sample analyst at a water testing laboratory in Altoona, PA. It was a decent job and it paid the bills.
I even had a few good friends who worked there. One of them was a fellow church member named Paul. Paul and I even participated in the same Sunday school class on the weekends.
Working at the lab was a decent job, but I felt that God was working on my heart to lead me in a different direction. I felt that God was desiring for me to engage in some form of ministry. And so I looked into different positions in the church which included everything from children’s ministry to custodian. I became more and more confused and even a little frustrated at what I should do.
That is, until Erin (my wife) asked me if I had considered that God might be calling me to pastoral ministry. I hadn’t considered that since I had grown up in the Catholic tradition where pastoral ministry and marriage don’t go together. But now I began to consider the possibility.
I recall a specific prayer that I prayed the day after Erin had said that to me. I had gotten into my car about 6:30am to head into the water testing laboratory for work, and I prayed. All I said was this; “God, if you are calling me to be a pastor, I need a sign. Please give me something.”
Well, 15 minutes later as I entered the lab my friend Paul was there just inside the front door. The first words he said to me were, “Rich, I read your article in the church Newsletter this morning. have you considered being a pastor? You certainly have gifts for it.”
I consider the events of that 12 hour period to be one of the most prominent firefly moments for me in which I came to know God’s call upon my life with greater clarity. That is a moment in which I came to know that God had called me with a purpose.
While most of us are not called to be pastors (some of us are!), God is faithful to call each and every one of us with a purpose. Take time to converse with God in prayer, you may be surprised!
Praying that you’ll come to know God’s call for you,