Fulfill Your Calling
By Chris Rathbone
Fulfill Your Calling! As many of you may know, at the end of August last year, my ministry as pastor at Mine Creek Baptist Church came to a close. For approximately 8 years, God gave me the privilege of pastoring this wonderful church family. They certainly took my family in and loved us like we had always been there. I hope that God used my preaching and ministering to be a blessing to Mine Creek. God told me to go there and simply help and He had shown me that I fulfilled what He wanted me to do there. We certainly grew to love that church family dearly and miss being with them. God had richly blessed over those years and leaving was hard, especially when the ministry of the church was going so well. However, something I have learned over the years is when God speaks to your heart about something, you better listen. He is leading us for a reason, even if we don’t necessarily see what that reason is at the time.
While it is hard to not have our own church family to worship with, the last few months have been a blessing. There’s only been a couple of weeks where God has not allowed me the privilege to preach somewhere. We’ve traveled to several counties filling in for pastors who were away from their churches and also for churches without a pastor at this time. My prayer since August has been for the Lord to show me where He wants us to be next. While He doesn’t always show us right away where He is leading, I know we can trust Him that when we get there, He WILL reveal it to us.
That being said, there has been something burning in my heart over the last couple of months that I want to share. Several of the churches I have preached at are without a pastor/preacher, some for over a year. One of the recurring statements that I have heard is this, “Preacher, we’ve asked several men who have been called to preach to just come fill in for us awhile and none seemed to be interested.” This statement has me somewhat puzzled and troubled.
First, let me get something out of the way. Every man who feels called to preach by the Lord must pray and seek God’s will on where the Lord may lead and in what capacity he feels led to serve. These are things that each man must search out personally. If a man is genuinely called by God to preach/pastor, God will certainly show him when and where. One thing I have noticed is that many young men I know who have surrendered to preach, often never go too far beyond their home church. They may preach here and there on occasion, but for one reason or another, seem reluctant to commit to serving a church. I’ve had several churches tell me that they have asked a few young men who have answered the call to preach but have declined to just fill the pulpit every week. Again, I realize every man must pray and seek where God may lead. However, when this becomes a recurring theme, it personally causes me concern.
There are quite a few churches in our region that are without pastors/preachers. Some are small churches, some bigger churches. Some churches have been through struggles and are having a hard time. In some cases, a pastor has gone on to be with Lord and a church needs a preacher. Churches are struggling to find someone just to bring God’s Word to them while they search out God’s direction for the future. The point is, there is a great need in our churches!
If you are a young man whom God has called to preach, this message is for you! Fulfill the call of God! Stop allowing fear and doubt to hinder you. Every seasoned preacher started somewhere. Every preacher had a first interim, first pastorate, first baptism, first revival, first everything. If you are called, you need to fulfill what you promised God you would do. There are churches out there that will give you an opportunity. They are hungry for the Word and just need a man of God who is willing to love them and preach to them. When God has a church for me and my family, He will show it to us. But I have to be willing to step out on faith and follow His lead. You must do the same. You must fulfill the promise you made when you surrendered to His call. You must fulfill your calling!
In Christ, Preacher Chris
Preacher Chris Rathbone is the former Pastor at Mine Creek Baptist Church and is now serving the Lord as needed while preaching the Gospel. You can read more Good Christian News from Pastor Chris HERE.
You can connect with Preacher Chris on Facebook HERE.