Exciting Personal News – As many of you know, I have been a called pastor of Jesus Christ since 2004. In 2012, I left the Nazarene denomination and continued to minister as the Lord led. However, as an independent pastor, there has been one aspect of ministry that I have not been able to preform since 2012; the ritual of marriage.
I am happy to announce that after working with the county, I have become accepted as a credentialed minister outside of the organized church without a certificate of ordination. This allows me to serve as a wedding officiant.
I do not take pride in the fact that I have side-stepped the ordination process. All ministers should be called by God and that call should be recognized by the unity found in the Fellowship of Christ. A minister should also be accountable to those he serves knowing that all men and women make mistakes and are not above rebuke and correction. Yet with the call of God on my life to preach the Word (and many witnesses to that fact), I can wait no longer for the organized church to give me a piece of paper to justify that calling as it continues to hinder the Lord’s ministry in my service and call.
For many years I had a dream that I would have the people that I love come around me and in a worship service and commission me to preach the Word, but I was never given that privilege. I pleaded with God to allow me to compromise what He was placing on my heart so that I could play the role of the respectable pastor. I could have had a large church, if I kept my mouth shut I could have remained in churches that provided me with a full-time income. I could have sat in the place of honor in the denomination that I grew up in and love, but I gave that up to preach what God gave me to say without compromise or adulteration.
For years I have been faced with a choice. I could become a yes-man and join a denomination and preach what they told me to preach so I could get ordained. I could go online and for $30 get registered as an ordained pastor knowing that I would be yoked with all of those other people who were ordained the same way. Or in humility, I could just be a pastor with no credentials and serve anyone God placed in my life.
Today is a happy yet sad day. I am happy that I can now preform marriages for the people I have been serving in the Kingdom of God for years. I am happy that God has made a way from me to preform the ritual of marriage without compromising the call He has placed on my life as I minister to those who are leaving the established church.
However, I am also sad today because I have mentors; I have spiritual fathers, sisters and brothers in the faith that I have learned from for years. I am sad for those pastors, professors, Sunday school teachers, the men that showed me what love really was in church and at camp, and the countless who have prayed for me many times. For they are the foundation of the harvest that God is and will be working in me as I sow more seed through the love I received through them by means of the Holy Spirit. Ordination is not for the minister. Ordination is a celebration for those who have sown in tears and invested the Lord’s love and holiness into that child of God that has now grown into a minister of the Gospel. Ordination should be the tangible harvest of a deep love for others; a celebration of what God has done through those sacrifices.
I lament that I cannot give so many of you that tangible expression of what you have meant to me as I have invested the love that you have shown into those God is calling me to serve. All I can say is thank you. And know that if God would have let me, I would have jumped through every hoop placed before me to give you that time of celebration and joy you all deserve.
In humility, I will continue in my call. I am a minister of the Gospel, commissioned and serving under the power and authority of Jesus Christ. I have given up much to do so. And I will continue to serve the Lord in that end until He relieves me, or until I see His face. This is a happy day for our family. I just wish it was a day that our complete Family could have enjoyed it together; the Family of God.