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Freedom from the Spiritual Plantation 5

Ten years ago, I married my wife Rayette. I have done more ministry with Rayette than with my previous marriages combined. We have done and continue to do music ministry together. We have had glorious moments doing ministry at home in North Carolina and in Alaska, but I always go back to the traditional church. I always go back to the building. Is almost as, if we do not do ministry in the building or, if we are not a part of a local church in… a building, we are disconnected from the Body. 

We saw our home ministry flourish, but it seems like I always saw the home ministry as a mandatory supplement to this thing we call the Christian life, not the church itself. I knew it was important; but I did not know how important it really was. I must admit that the pulpit was more important to me than I realize; It seems like the pulpit gave me validation. Well, I discovered through the years that folks would follow me to my house; but they did not follow me to a building! 

There were some more lessons to be learned as I continue this journey: I made mistakes, I stumbled, I got fed-up, I got frustrated, I was loved and rejected, kicked out, understood, and misunderstood; I said the right thing but said it the wrong way; I said the right thing in love, but rejected anyway and, I have my share of saying the wrong thing also. My name is Angel, but I am not an Angel; I have not learned to turn and let folks slap me on the other cheek.

I learned some deep issues of my soul and my own inner struggles. I was ashamed of my divorce; I did not want to deal with the church format, I did not like what I understood to be the pastor’s role, I found it ineffective in truly helping people and furthermore, I was afraid of losing my wife like I did my first one.

I did not realize how scare I was to accept the pastoral position. For somebody who prides himself on courage, I was a spiritual punk. So, I dance around that call. I will do just enough, without taking the responsibility of a pastor, but I was called by God to be one. Men may disqualify us, but God says that his gifts and callings are without repentance.[1] One of the things that I needed to learn in this journey is that God did not change his mind about me, in spite of me.

To be continued…

[1] For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. Romans 11:29 (KJV)

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