free flying soul

"this world has nothing for me and this world has everything...all that I could want and nothing that I need"

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Location: Macclesfield, North Carolina, United States

Born: 1970; Graduated High School: 1988; Married: 1991; Children: 1996, 2000, 2005; Graduated College: 2008; Figured Out This Faith Thing: In Progress

Monday, September 26, 2005

A Paper I Wrote For Class

I made a 100 on my first Youth Ministry paper. That brings my average back up to a 94. I made on 90 on that first test because I didn't study very hard for it. Now I can salvage my grade and get it back to where it should be.

Here is the paper I turned in.

Why I Have Been Called Into Youth Ministry

In his book This Way To Youth Ministry, Dusty Robbins elaborates on H. Richard Niebuhr’s belief that there are four different calls that come to one entering into the ministry (Robbins 73). Those calls are as follows: the call to be a Christian, the secret call, the providential call, and the ecclesiastical call. After much prayer and consideration I feel that I meet all four of those calls and am being led into full time youth ministry.

The first call is the initial call to Christ. Robbins says that responding to any other call without first responding to this one is like a fireman rushing into a burning building without anything to fight a fire (Robbins 78). How can one share Christ with others and not actually know Him? I received and answered that call when I was eleven years old. After hearing the Gospel presented I knew that I was a sinner and needed Jesus Christ in my life.

The second call is called a secret call. Robbins describes this call as “those deep inner nudges” that God sometimes places inside us (Robbins 79). The prophet Jeremiah described it as a “burning fire” within his bones (Jer. 20:9). Sometimes people can get excited at a conference or revival and feel like they need to go into the ministry. I don’t believe that is the secret call Robbins is talking about. I can remember hearing a missionary speak in chapel once. His message was passionate and convicting to most of us in the audience. Days later I was still fired up and convinced that I should go overseas. But as time went by that feeling quickly went away and life returned to normal. It was obvious that I wasn’t feeling a true call to go into overseas mission work. However, the desire to reach young people with the Gospel is something that has been with me for as long as I can remember. There have been times when I got sidetracked and found myself doing other things but there was always an overwhelming desire in my heart to work with kids. I believe that it is that secret call.

The providential call basically says that God will not call us to do something that He doesn’t prepare us for (Robbins 82). Our experiences and education play a big role in this calling. I can remember being a teenager and feeling like I had no one to turn to. I went to church every time the doors were opened but there really wasn’t anyone that I felt I could trust or open up to. There was no youth program outside of Sunday School and V.B.S. I didn’t feel as if anyone really cared about us. Once I hit my teen years there was no one there to help me when I hit rough spots. My parents didn’t always fulfill the roles they should have so there was no one for me to turn to. I believe I made a lot of stupid decisions because I lacked that guidance during those years. As I got older I realized that my situation helped prepare me for future ministry. I know exactly what can happen when there isn’t a positive adult influence in a young person’s life.

The ecclesiastical call is fulfilled when the body of Christ recognizes that a person’s call to ministry is genuine (Robbins 84). Over the past ten years I have volunteered in the youth program at my home church. I taught classes, I chaperoned trips, I helped with the youth worship, and sometimes I just sat down and listened when kids needed to talk. I didn’t do those things simply because they needed to be done. I did them because deep down inside I honestly cared. Those in the church recognized that I had a heart for the youth and constantly supported me as I ministered to them. I had several people encourage me to return to Bible college to finish my education. When I finally made to the decision to return they supported me not only with their prayers but with financial backing. They believe I have been called into full time ministry and are willing to support me as I pursue it. I have met their call.

I truly believe that God has put me here to reach out to young people. I believe that He set me apart a long time ago and has been preparing me for this work over the past 35 years. He has placed a deep desire in my heart and He has confirmed that calling through those around me. He has led me to this school to complete my education so that I can fulfill the call He has placed on my life.

Sunday, September 25, 2005 update.

It's been a while since I've updated this thing....I apologize. School and family burn quite a bit of my time up. I've also been fairly active in a church here in the area. BUT I have spoken with two churches just North of here and they both want to interview me for possible youth minister positions. I'm preaching at one of them next Sunday and will hopefully meet with the elders at the other sometime this week. We'll see what happens.

School is going great. It's been difficult at times but I knew it was going to be. There's much more reading than I remember. It's a good thing that I enjoy it so much, eh?

Here are the classes I'm taking this semester.

Early Hebrew History (Pentateuch)
Introduction toYouth Ministry
Introduction to Counseling
Public Speaking

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Bob Larson: Demon Hunter

I'm watching this A&E show on Real Exorcists. I'm automatically skeptical because they are profiling Bob Larson. I don't know how many of you know who he is but I was turned off by his blatant anti-rock crusades of the 1980s. He was one of those guys who went around condemning all rock music, even when played by Christians. He's a shady one.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Where Am I Going With This?

Today was not much different than any other day I've had since school started. I got up, took a shower, ate breakfast, took my son to school, and then walked across the street to class. I went to chapel in between classes and I came home to my family. I can honestly say that I've learned some things in the first two weeks of school but I still wonder where this journey is leading me. I'm in Bible college and I'm supposedly learning how to do ministerial things but I sometimes wonder if I will ever end up in one of those positions. I hear people talk about callings and I wonder what a calling sounds or feels like. I have to write a paper next week explaining why I feel I've been called to the ministry. I honestly dont' know what I'm going to say. I can talk about why I feel it's important to spread the Gospel and I can share how I believe my past experiences have prepared me to do so. But...can I explain how I know I've been called? Can I even say that I have been. It should be an interesting exercise.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Sometimes there really isn't a whole lot you can say. I want to present two things to you tonight to prove that we live in a crazy world.

There were people actually shooting at ambulances and helicopters trying to rescue survivors in New Orleans. I can almost understand people breaking into stores and stealing food for their children, but to shoot at the people trying to save you...that's just unreal.

The second thing is this:

Go and read it if you don't believe me.