Surprised by His Call
If someone had told me in high school that my vocation would be as a pastor, I wouldn’t have believed it. I grew up in a family with little expression of faith in God. We said “grace” at meals, but that was about it. Through middle and high school, I developed a skeptical view towards Him. If I did think of Him, I usually figured I could wait until I was older to learn about Him.
In my first year after graduation, two young men I had known in school died about six months apart. Attending their funerals, I realized that waiting until old age to find out about God was a bad plan. Like my friends, I couldn’t be sure that I would live that long. My father and stepmother had been attending a Lutheran Church for a couple of years, and I asked them if I could join them.
After high school, I studied Business Administration and Commerce at the University of Alberta for two years. The longer I studied, the more I saw that I was not cut out for the fields into which my studies directed me. At the invitation of a co-worker, I enrolled at a local Bible College. Those years immersed me in the Scriptures, and gave me many opportunities to share my faith in Christ in witness and in worship. During the course of those studies, a desire grew within me to be a pastor.
After Bible College, I worked in my home church for a couple of years as a youth leader before deciding to pursue studies for the ministry. I went to Concordia University College of Alberta (just Concordia College then) to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree, and then I entered Concordia Lutheran Seminary in 1990.
Looking back on those days, I think I recognize God’s direction. His call to faith came hand-in-hand with His call to pastoral service.