12885

As we are moving into the seasonal holidays with Thanksgiving and Christmas, depending on where you live and what you value more, the Church has recently seen two popular leaders step down from Christian leadership. Both Mark Driscoll and Bob Coy led aspiring congregations and pioneering ministries, both of whom I have previously read materials and listened to podcast channels online. Curiously, I don’t own physical books from either former pastor.

Without going into the ramification on personal details, I am sad to see that even here in the UK, where appointed leaders are easily consumed in distracting themselves from God’s divine authority. And as a result, I am in ways thankful that God has halted the inner call to pastoral ministry due to unforeseen circumstances that is beyond my control and understanding.

My unsurpassable stumbling block is that I cannot secure a reference letter from a very specific individual. No real reason other than he wants to safeguard his earthly reputation. Let’s just say he also engages in some high-powered handshakes underneath the tables. Yet ironically, the same heart also allowed another minister from the Presbyterian quarters, who struggles with his sexuality to preach at our church earlier this year. Go figure. Why stay, when you can’t grow?

Above all, and even in my recent vocational studies, there hasn’t been a bad word with regards to how I conducted myself in preaching, other than I come across as gentle-spirited and soft spoken. I never knew that a loud-mouth spokesperson was a requirement.

With regards to the rejection to grow in some kind of junior role in pastoral ministry, it’s frustrating that I am unable to learn in a mentoring role, and it troubles me that churches will happily (and legally) advertise publicly, yet predestine and groom a person internally. To an extent, I can understand why, but I see it way too often. And at the same time, I believe it also shows a lack of faith and wise counsel from God’s leading of the Holy Spirit. And yet, this recruitment strategy never occurs in the great mission field among missionaries, so why should local churches be any different? Anyhow, who am I to say. May God have mercy and conviction on such leaders who cling to worldly credentials and orchestrate internal affairs like a corporate boardroom.

Spiritually speaking, I am annoyed in one sense, because I still see great spiritual poverty in people relying on God’s Word, and I rarely get to hear the powerful message of God’s Word preached in its entirety, without the tickling of ears through light-hearted entertainment. If I want to hear jokes, I have YouTube. Why must I listen to podcasts and read of articles from expository preachers and Christian leaders from across the pond, simply to hear God’s Word being preached? Does Britain even care for the Good News?

Humanly speaking, in another sense, I am somewhat relieved, as I can now re-focus and re-align life “AS IS” which in my linear understanding is securing a stable job, grow in a career, continue to serve at a local church, await God’s provision for a godly wife, settle down with a family, etc. Perhaps not in a very uniformed and systematic manner as we all hope and wish for, but preferably in that order, especially the latter part as I value sexual purity. Sad and old-fashioned I may be, but I fear the LORD, not the trends of the world.

Like other singletons, I still believe the LORD will provide an opportunity that will allow me to serve and grow in a unique way, especially while I am still presently single. Either that, or the LORD simply wants me to use my single time to dwell in His presence and His Spirit – all of which is equally fine too. And I’m not afraid to ask God, why create companionship between man and woman and yet, not be able to experience that companionship in the form of marriage here on earth.

I don’t know about you, but I do find being single a humbling opportunity to learn how to love, by first loving our Saviour through the LORD Jesus Christ. And I admit that I am still learning how to love outside my parents and select circle of friends, most of whom are mature Christians around the age of parents.

Mind you, I’d rather be trained-in-waiting to be the best husband that I can be to my godly wife. And I also want to be the best dad that I can be to my kids, whom I want to raise with biblical and Christian values with my wife. Of course, and God-willing in a husbandly position, I would like the opportunity to embrace sexual intimacy in a relationship with a dear friend who would be my wife and companion. And I’m not embarrassed to reflect upon what it would be like to finally share your first kiss with your spouse on the joyous day of your wedding.

I feel for those in a similar position as myself who are rapidly approaching the milestone of 30 years of age. I am aware that some folk will simply want to tie the knot with any random person and simply make it happen, purely because of God’s natural ageing process. Some will find success. Others will not.

Yes, our reproductive organs that allows us to shoot sperms and create eggs to orchestrate a new creation is all very fascinating. Some people choose to grow comfortable in a career first before settling down, whilst some think a young age is the best way to prepare and start a family before securing any form of finances. My parents did the latter in the circumstances that was revealed to them, and by God’s grace, I dropped out into the world as a healthy kid. Finances was a struggle, but the LORD provided through the hard work and labour, not just from Dad’s working week (and weekends), but also my Mum’s motherly attention for me, while Dad was working.

Without jumping too far ahead. I look forward to the day that I will receive a phone call regarding a permanent job offer. If it’s not meant to be, I wonder if it’s two other possibilities, starting a unique business or pursuing overseas mission on a long-term basis. Due to wanting to maintain a good standing in my health, I can’t see overseas mission as a viable option, especially when I don’t feel called at this moment in time. So yeah, options are running thin and time keeps ticking forward.

Only time will tell. Other than that, I am still living in hope – still living in faith.

~Richard