Thursday, May 24, 2012

Celebrating 25 Years of Ministry

Today is a milestone day for me. 25 years ago I was ordained into the Christian ministry by the elders of my home church. I am grateful to the Lord that He has allowed me to serve Him and His people all these years. I am humbled by the opportunities He has given me to preach and teach and tell people about Jesus. I still sense a very strong calling to this work. I am thankful for the people who have influenced and mentored and encouraged me.

Through the years people have asked me what I would be doing if I were not in full-time ministry. I honestly don’t know. It’s not that I can’t do anything else, but I cannot imagine doing anything else. I love it! Like Paul… “I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:16). Like Jeremiah…”his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot” (Jeremiah 20:9).

I feel like it’s halftime now. If the Lord tarries, I would love to serve at least another 25 years. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. To God be the glory!

3 comments:

John Dobbs said...

Mike, I hope you do have another 25+ years to go! Your ministry has touched so many people - and via the internet has reached out and touched my life. I'm so glad we've been able to meet a couple of times at conferences ...your friendship is valuable to me. God bless you with a rich and exciting ministry until He comes.

Joe Thompson said...

Mike, I've told you many times just how grateful I am for your ministry because of the way that you poured into me when I was just a kid. I don't know if you hadn't invested in me if I would have taken a different career route but I'm confident I wouldn't have some of the foundational principles of ministry that you taught me just though spending time with me.
You taught me the importance of being a leader and growing as a leader. A leader is reader, you taught me. I have never been a reader for pleasure but I learned from you the importance of drawing from others to grow as a leader and a follower of Christ.
You taught me to love people with grace. Even in those times that we might have had a good rant session with each other about a situation and probably cracked a few jokes, you still showed me the value of loving people and meeting their needs.
I have always been impressed with your hunger for God's Word. I brag to others about your diligent study of the Bible and your constant faithfulness to study and preach it.
I even learned to preach by listening to you. I have a similar style to structures and delivery of my messages that you do and I'm certain it was because of the time that I spent listening to you at Northampton, at camp, at the DelMarVA camp, at the Hillsboro Camp, on tape, now on iTunes...I love to listen to you preach and I constant am engaged and spurred on by delivery of God's great message to us.
I also value your wisdom. You have a great way of accessing a situation and seeing different angles and graciously reacting.
I hate that distance separates our lives and ministry but I am grateful to know that God still connects us through a bond of love for Him and each other.

Enough with the sappy drivel...now for some inside jokes...
Mexico Man!
Mike, I can see your bone
El Guapo giving the heimlich
Are we there yet?!
You're compassion is overwhelming...as usual
Where's a good place for the Hey's and the Ho's
Joe, turn the music in the Cavalier building down
Joe Dirt for Christmas
Endless Tommy Boy quotes
Water Balloons and Copy Machines
Tracy! Can you get me another bag of frozen peas!?
the room goes quiet. Joe screams! Mike? I think I just peed my pants
Why is there an Apple Farm on the Appalachian Trail?
So many more....

Willis said...

Well done brother! Keep on keeping on for Jesus!