38 years ago, I was drafted by the king of kings to be an Evangelist. How utterly terrifying (285)
Outreach was always a natural gift
On Sunday May 20th 1984, I had already been involved in a local church serving where I could for three years.
I joined this particular church because of its youth focus, I was seventeen years old and full of energy. The church community were very prolific in street outreach and every Saturday night they had a rock concert in a dark hall with a capacity of about 150 people.
The concerts were amateur at best and filled with the most unusual characters on the planet. From x drug dealers, hippies, back packers and me, a local Greek Macedonian who didn’t have much of a story compared to the rest of the crowd. I came from a humble migrant family that worked like dogs to survive.
Over the next three years I used the same work ethic I grew up with and gave my service to this local church, trying to be the best Christian I could be.
I always found it easy to bring visitors to this fast growing church. I loved the momentum, the creativity and the idea of seeing this church grow exponentially.
The pastor at the time recognised in me an ability to use different types of outreach programs rather than their normal method. I must admit, I have always loved extremes.
While the church continued to use their typical track pass outs in the city malls, I’d be emptying night clubs into the streets with radical drama presentations at the doors of the clubs. While the church would show films in a park or have their regular concerts in the Saturday night hall, I’d organise impact teams in the most crowded areas on New Year’s Eve in the city and have a boom box preaching at midnight.
I could go on and on about how I outreached but the point was simple, I just loved the results these outreaches created. People were added to the church and as importantly young people in the church loved the excitement of the next outreach.
Fast track that to Sunday May 20th 1894. By this time my outreach ideas were getting more extreme and the sky was the limit. I was now a mature believer, a Bible study leader and a well respected person in this local church.
On this particular Sunday we were in a revival meeting and a guest preacher. He presented messages that rocked my faith. He was a Navajo Indian.
It wasn’t what I expected from a pulpit, an Indian with long black hair and a three piece suit. He spoke with eloquence and reverence mixed with the fire 🔥 . He reminds me of a herald declaring majestic truths about a king that is greater than any other king.
It was in this atmosphere that I felt the finger of God pick me out of a line drafting me into His service to do the same as what this man was doing from the pulpit.
Rather than feeling excited about the call to the ministry, I felt dread. Surely God made a mistake. I was neither eloquent or had the training to speak such heavenly truths. After a few days of feeling terrible, I made an appointment to see the assistant pastor to seek clarification about being called.
As I explained how unworthy I felt, the pastor referred to the prophet Isaiah’s calling when he felt completely inadequate, saying to God ‘I am a man of unclean lips’.
The pastor affirmed that what I had experienced was very much a call from God because it didn’t appeal to my ego, rather, the calling was to lay my ego aside for something far greater.
It’s with this enthusiasm, I’ve tried to honour such a calling all these years later. To say, lay down your ego for something greater is something that is always a challenge.
The only way I’ve been able to retain the call is to trust the one who called me. Jesus is the one who has kept me from veering off track entirely, even when I went missing in action a few times over the decades. As true as His great parable, Jesus left the 99 sheep who were safe and came looking for me when I was lost.
How can I not proclaim His goodness till my last dying breath, because His promises are true. He found me, I didn’t discover Him.
Perhaps you’ve never felt the call of God to go into the world and proclaim His goodness. Perhaps it’s time to pray 🙏 and ask for God’s mercy to reveal His precious gift of salvation through Jesus the Christ. The moment you experience that, you’ll know why I am so enthused about spreading the Good News.
Perhaps this is a reminder of God’s love that you’ve missed for a season, Jesus is looking to restore your hope as He did mine.
I pray you have a brilliant day.