Thursday, June 5, 2008

Q & A with the Pastor

1. What would you be doing right now if you had not been called into the ministry?

My first career pursuit was in Metallurgical Engineering after being discharged from the United States Army. I went to work at Westinghouse which offered an excellent opportunity and career channel in this field. Shortly thereafter I gave my life to Christ and it changed everything. Suddenly I was in a tailspin - my interests immediately changed. I realized that the cause of Christ (for me) was the greatest thing I could give myself to. A few years later I felt called into the ministry – which I responded to. Even if God had not called me into the ministry I probably would NOT have stayed in the metallurgical field – it was too technical for my enjoyment. I probably would have switched to education or became an entrepreneur (I’m kind of an independent, maverick type, and not well suited to being hemmed in).

2. How did you transition from being a church member to entering the ministry?

My call into the ministry was a gradual one. Over a period of years, about four or five, my love for the Bible grew, my hunger for God increased, and my passion for lost people continued to burn red hot. I signed up for every volunteer position in my church that I could work in – bus ministry, youth group, Sunday School teacher, men’s prayer meeting, and hospital visitation, just to name a few.

I craved good preaching, and began listening to a certain preacher (B H Clendennen) who became a mentor to me. He was an ex-marine, who fought in WWII in the South Pacific,(on the island of Peleliu), and was a no-nonsense type of guy. I was attracted by his authenticity. He didn’t fit the typical stereotype of a preacher, (you know, with all that hair piled up high on top of his head like Southern Gospel singers have). He was real. He preached with vigor. He loved Jesus, stood up to church bullies, chased trouble makers away, and passionately communicated that the gospel of Jesus Christ was the greatest cause a man or woman could give themselves to. It had a profound effect upon me.

Eventually I began to sense that maybe God was leading (calling) me into the ministry. After a great deal of anxiety and wrestling with this question, I left my home church and volunteered to serve as a co-pastor in a small country church. (Boy, those were the days). That move began the journey.

3. Do you know any Greek?

Yea, a little fellow who sells sausage down at the corner. Beyond that, I use a Biblical concordance.

Οχι, δεν θέλω να απαντήσω στην ερώτησή σας....... Aren’t you impressed? Don’t ask me what that says because I don’t know either.

4. What are your spiritual gifts?

I think my three primary gifts are teaching, evangelism, and leadership – but not necessarily in that order. Whatever is needed at the moment seems to emerge to the front. Beyond that, my secondary gifts are things like helps, hospitality, and faith – as listed in I Corinthians 12, 13, and 14.

5. Before becoming a believer, were you ever a bad boy?

Yes. That’s why Renae married me.