HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED BY THE LORD TO PREACH AND BE IN MINISTRY?
Charles Spurgeon gave several ways to examine if you have really been lead of the Lord to be in the ministry. From Spurgeon’s book: Lectures to My Students, which I have read several times.
1A There will be an "intense, all absorbing desire for the work."
2A There will be an "aptness to teach and some measure of the other qualities needful for the office of a public instructor... If a man be called to preach, he will be endowed with the ability, which he will cultivate and increase."
3A There will be "a measure of conversion-work going on under his efforts."
4A There will be "as a needful proof of your vocation that your preaching should be acceptable to the people of God.... God usually opens doors of utterance to those whom he calls to speak in His name."
LOOKING BACK ON MINISTRY
I am not sure if returning to those yester years is a benefit or not (The Lone Ranger) I am certainly delighted I am on this side, rather than on the other side ready to enter into the next phase of life.
THE YEAR 1976 LIVING IN GRAPEVINE, TEXAS.
I left off yesterday with the statement" I was smart, intelligent and perspicacious" I was just being humorous. That word "perspicacious" means "keen and smart" But after thinking through this post today, and talking to Charity, I need to find an antonym for perspicacious which is stupid. I was twenty-seven years old, I should have been smart enough, experienced enough. Nevertheless the idea of getting back into ministry overcame any negative thinking.
We received a call from Dr. Tommy Leatherwood, from the Mansfield Baptist Temple in Mansfield Ohio. "Charles, I would like for you to come to Mansfield and be on our staff and be the Camp Director of Pleasant Valley Ranch." Now that was exhilarating to think we were invited to come to Mansfield.
KNOWING WHEN TO GO AND KNOWING WHEN TO STAY! Sometimes I think there is a problem with this process that we go through in the ministry. When you are an Independent Baptist you are indeed eccentric, an individualist, a non-conformist, and self-reliant And it seems most of the time a maverick, and I am not talking about James Garner.
I have two great jobs that I am working at, and the work at FBC in Haltom City is going very well. I love preaching and teaching, but when I get this call from T.L., I am ready to move.
Looking forward to the possibility of working as a Camp Director it seemed at the time a great opportunity for me, looking backward on this opportunity it was an experience of both hurt and blessings.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN IT’S THE LORD’S DIRECTION TO ENTER INTO A NEW OPPORTUNITY OF MINISTRY? Should I have stayed in Grapevine Texas?. Bro. Mosley stayed at FBC in Haltom City until he died in 2006.
Sometimes you are in the position to make a decision and in that moment you make a choice that you fully believe is right. However, when you get into that ministry, you certainly think differently. I had always prided myself in thinking I could make good decisions. You would think by now, I would have had little confidences in any decisions. Just note the decision to go to Wooster, or Minford, or even Victory. While I would say they were very good ministries, in the final analysis or upon the examination or investigation of the events that were to follow, you would say, "Why did I believe I was led to go there?"
What are the evidences that would make any sense that you made right choices? Humanly speaking?
John MacArthur says, "To know the will of God, sometimes it’s after you have been there for a while that will determine His will." If you look at the ministries at Wooster, Madison or Victory, you would conjecture the ministries were very successful. But then upon further examination, because I left because of the will of the Pastor, or church members, you would say differently.
I have said, "I will leave, but it’s not the will of the Lord that I do." I did not really want to leave any of those ministries. Too many good things happened while in those ministries not to think we were in the Lord’s will for our lives.
Why after a near collapse of the belief that I was to be in ministry, did I jump back into it at FBC of Haltom City? I am glad I did because my confidence was raised back up to the point I believed the Lord wanted me in ministry again. And this time I was leaving on my own free will.
So now we are going to move to Mansfield, Ohio, with little money for gas, or moving. We were leaving a good job, a good ministry, and a good place to live.... we move to Mansfield.
When we arrived at Mansfield, we discovered that we were going to live in the upstairs that was in the gym on the Ranch. We learned that our salary was about $50.00, and I was going to have to go to work another job as well. Thank the Lord for Adam Giess, who gave me a job in his business of siding houses. This was going to be a very difficult ministry from the first day I arrived to the day I left the Camp Ministry.
At the time I had little reason to comprehend this was going to turn out an awful ministry. To me at the time, this was an experience of a life time. This was a large, respected church, a pastor well admired by many, and I was personally appreciative to be working for him and the church. And as a matter of fact in spite of the experience, I still love T.L. and the church. I had the time of my life, preaching at the church and sitting on the platform with some great preachers. I thought I was on the top of the world in ministry.
The ministry of being a Camp Director was short lived due to the fact that T.L. left the church
Following Bro. T.L. leaving the church after twenty-five years of ministry, we stayed in the church and were asked by the next Pastor, Richard Folger to teach the Young Single Adult Class. While we continued to work for Adam Giess, we had a wonderful time teaching the young adult class. Randy Webb, was in our class. He was a young man who had a great desire for the ministry at the camp and has to this day, been a good friend. He has some good stories to tell. The Lord has taken him through the fire and back, but he keeps fighting back, and we are thankful for him and his family.
Charity has put up with me now for seven years, (1969-1976). We have moved a number of times, from Fort Worth, to Wooster, Ohio to West Portsmouth, to Minford, to Portsmouth, to Grapevine, Texas, and to Perrysville, Ohio and now Mansfield, Ohio. And we are still 28 years old. Oh Lord.....
Now we have been in a lot of places in houses and apartments. Oh my! At the Ranch we moved from the ranch’s gym building to the old ranch house. In the winter of 76-77 the snow was the worst in Mansfield’s history. We were snowed in for a month. During one blizzard we lost all heat in the house. Thinking we could hold out for a while in the house, we gathered all the blankets we could to keep warm. We would have died had it not been for the caretakers on the Camp, who were able to secure some heat and we stayed with them. Thank goodness we survived the snow. Eric was six and Becky was a year old in Feb 77.
With all this said, if My God, in His Wisdom and Will, has Chosen this experience for us for His Glory, then we will give Him glory.