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.


Blogger Dave said...

Good paper. It reminds me a lot of myself...except that I'm still just a youth group volunteer.

10:18 AM  

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