How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
I was at my dear friend, and brother-in-Christ, Jeff’s wedding. I was an usher at the wedding and I was getting ready with the other groomsmen and the father of the groom.
All the other guys were ready and headed out into the narthex of the church. I was left along with the father of the groom, Ron, who was also the presiding minister of the wedding.
Ron, at that time, was also the District President of the South Wisconsin District of churches in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. I, on the other hand, was a radio host and producer at KFUO in St. Louis. I had taken an extended leave of absence from my seminary studies but with no plans to continue those studies.
I thought he meant he needed my help with something else on his tuxedo or something for the wedding and asked him what it was.
He again looked me straight in the eye and said, “I need your help in the Church. I need you to go back to school, graduate, and be ordained as a pastor.”
I didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t really say much of anything.
But I never forgot that.
One year later, I re-enrolled in seminary and five years later was called to serve Christ Lutheran Church in White Cloud, Michigan and ordained on June 25, 1995.
The people of God at Christ Lutheran in White Cloud called me to be their pastor. I served among them for 25 months until I was called to serve in South Wisconsin, which I did for nearly nine years. Serving with Ron, by the way.
It was – and is – my privilege to preach the Law and Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit moves those who hear me to believe in Jesus. It is my joy to be called and sent by the people of God in various places – Michigan, Wisconsin, California, and Illinois – to tell the Good News about Jesus.
It is the Holy Spirit who calls men to be pastors and men and women to be teachers, deacons and deaconesses, directors of Christian Education, and other workers in the Church. The Holy Spirit calls these workers through the congregations of the Church.
And it is our awesome privilege and responsibility to tell, proclaim, teach, and preach the Law of God and the Gospel of Jesus.
And as we proclaim and call, people will then believe in Jesus as Savior.
And when people believe in Jesus as their Savior, they are then able – and encouraged – to call upon their Heavenly Father for help, support, strength, protection, and to give thanks for all that God has done for them!
A member of a Christian congregation has a great privilege and responsibility. To not only hear the Gospel and believe in Christ, but also to tell others the Gospel. And to support their congregation and pastor(s) and teachers.
It is all part of the overall Great Commission of the Church that Jesus gave us:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” Matthew 28:19-20.
Heavenly Father, for the benefit of your people you call faithful men and women to serve in a variety of offices in your Church. Grant that your Holy Spirit may lead and guide the Church to call qualified workers to serve among us according to your gracious will; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
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