When I experienced God’s call to the ministry, I had no idea what the ministry really looked like. It was 1971. I was a sophomore at Howard Payne. I could not imagine the week I just had.
Monday was spent in outreach talking throughout the day about various decisions people wanted to make or needed to make for the Lord. There was also counseling and preparation for a funeral at midweek for a fine young man, the son of two friends and fellow travelers in the Crestview family. Tuesday there was staff meeting with both ministry and support staff. There were hospital visits to be made and countless calls to make and letters to write. Tuesday night there was a committee meeting that lasted till nine. Wednesday there was news of the passing of a dear friend and church member, a visit to the family, and the funeral for the young man who passed away at thirty two years of age. Wednesday night there was prayer meeting. For those who don’t know, I bring a brief message on Wednesday night. After prayer meeting, I had another outreach contact. I arose at 5:30 Thursday and arrived at our men’s breakfast where over 50 men were gathered at 6:30 AM. We ate breakfast, fellowshipped, I shared a devotional, and we broke into groups for prayer. At noon I spoke to our senior adult luncheon. That afternoon I visited two wonderful people in hospice care and prayed with their families. Friday morning, I caught a plane for Dallas where I participated in producing a video focused on witnessing. I was given one take on film to overview five days of study about reaching the people in your world. I caught a plane home arriving at our house at about eight. I immediately called the family of one of my Thursday visits who had gone to be with the Lord. Saturday I met with a precious family to prepare for a funeral, prayed with them, and rejoiced with them in their assurance of heaven. This morning, Sunday, I arose at 5:20 AM, prayed fervently for the events of the day, and looked over several sets of notes. I preached at the 8:30 service, led a bible study at 9:45, preached at the eleven o’clock service, grabbed a quick lunch and went back to speak at a funeral at 2:00 in the afternoon. We had church council at 4:30 PM, and evening worship at 6:30 PM. I was involved in leading both. Fortunately we had a missions team report which gave me a chance to rest my voice for a good deal of the service. We had a brief business meeting at the close of the service.
I am not sure how many weeks like this I have had since I have been in the ministry, but I can assure you they are beyond counting. I could never have imagined. When you pray for me, please pray that I can keep this pace and still be effective and fruitful. Pray that my heart will stay warm and tender and that the love of Jesus can flow with freedom through my life. Pray that God’s Word will come alive in my hand and burn in my heart. Pray that the Holy Spirit will loosen my tongue and have free use of my speech. Pray that I will be faithful until my work is done.
In His wonderful Love,