My calling chose me

I had no plans to walk in the calling I am currently serving in. I guess like most people, I ran from this calling for years before I finally accepted it. Just like countless others who are serving in ministry, our calling chose us, we did not choose it. Throughout the Bible, you see leaders like Moses, Paul, David, Jeremiah and even the disciples who were chosen. They did not volunteer to be leaders.

Growing up and being in ministry was the furthest thing from my mind. Like most young men growing up, I had aspirations of becoming a professional football player.

A year after high school, I found myself stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany, in the Army. While there, my real encounter with God began and I found out what it meant to really have God involved in my life.

Let me not move too fast; even as a kid I found myself having a heart to help people. I could not stand to see people hurting and not try to help. I was brought up in church, but I did not have the church in me.

When I went to Germany, I had to make a decision as to whether I would serve God or keep trying to do things on my own. I received Christ as my Savior, I got back in church, and several years later God called me into the ministry.

— Winfred Logan, Heart to Heart Ministries

I always felt at home in church

God called Moses to change his career through a burning bush. At an early age, Samuel thought his mentor Eli was calling him, but realized it was God. Yahweh got Saul’s attention through a blinding light. It was such a life-changing experience he changed his name to Paul.

Like these leaders, I did not choose to become a pastor, but was called by God, but, unlike them, my calling was not so dramatic. For me, from an early age, I felt at home in the church, had a deep interest and passion for God and knew I would be a pastor. Anytime I would entertain the idea of a different vocation, I became internally unsettled.

My calling was confirmed by my local church, Boy Scout Troop and others who discerned that I had the gifts and temperament needed as a pastor. During high school, my local church and Boy Scout Troop gave me leadership responsibilities that boosted my confidence that perhaps I could become a preacher.

The United Methodist Church has a lengthy process to help persons discern and understand their gifts and calling. In my career, I have been blessed to serve as a local pastor, youth director, writer, campus minister, college professor and missionary. When I first said “yes” to God, I never imagined the places I would go or the ways I could serve.

— Dale Clem, First United Methodist Church, Anniston