I was not completely certain if pastoral ministry was for me. In my mind, there are many ways to use my pastoral degree: start a Bible training school, volunteer in a ministry, do evangelism in a professional field, or pastor a church. However, if I have learned anything, I’ve learned one thing in my journey with God—to always be willing to be led by God WHEREVER He takes you.
God used C.A.M.P.U.S. Residency & Fellowship program to show me where I need to be. Just a little background, even though I was in the C.A.M.P.U.S. Residency program, I was never 100% sure that God has called me specifically to pastoral work. One day, I was reading Pastoral Ministry with one goal in mind—I hope this book will answer my question, “How can I be sure that God wants me to serve in pastoral ministry?” And I came across this quote:
“Those who are about to enter upon the sacred work of teaching Bible truth to the world should be carefully examined by faithful, experienced persons. … They selected the men whom their judgment would accept, and then they placed them before the Lord to see if He would accept them to go forth as His representatives. No less than this should be done now.” Pastoral Ministry, 44
So, my conclusion was that I need to be examined by experienced ministers, and I need their endorsement as well. I prayed over that quote and asked for His guidance. As time passed, I forgot about the prayer and began my Fellowship program with C.A.M.P.U.S.
Then one day I was contemplating Pastoral Ministry a lot and had a dream that went something like this. I was organizing AY for my church back in Indonesia and had invited a pastor to preach. He used to be the Dean at my college. Afterwards he said, “Hey, Grady. I think they are going to hire you as a pastor. It’s nothing official yet, but it seems like the brethren are moving forward with it.” In my dream I was surprised but was then interviewed by pastor-friend for a pastoral position. At this point I woke up and thought, “Wow, that was kinda interesting. Never had a dream like that before.”
The same morning, I checked my phone and there was a text from a pastor I never met before inviting me to be his assistant pastor. He introduced himself and then said, “You have been referred to me by a few of my colleagues. Would you be interested to be an Associate Pastor at my church?”
I thought “What a timing! But at the same time, I wondered, “Who are his colleagues?” Providentially, the colleagues were actually my former professors who are currently pastoring in North America; I highly respect both as experienced ministers. This led me to remember the prayer I prayed awhile back. It was like God speaking to me directly. “Isn’t this what you’ve been praying for? Endorsement from experienced ministers?”
I’m not the person who trusts dream that much. However, I do believe in providential leadings like this. God met the requirements that I’ve read from Pastoral Ministry. He met me where I was. And I realized that He had orchestrated everything in a perfect timing.
In August, Eva and I accepted the call to pastor the Gladwin and Marion churches. As I reflect on how God has led, I also realize this would not have happened without the support, encouragement, and endorsement that I’ve received from CAMPUS.
“God has spoken, and His servant must obey; the happiest place on earth for him was the place where God would have him to be.” PP 126.3
Andrew Park is no stranger to Public Campus Ministry. He has served as a CAMPUS scholar, public campus missionary in Hong Kong, and as a CAMPUS fellow. While fulfilling his one-year internship in packaging, he did not feel fulfilled in his professional role, his one desire was to reach his co-workers.
God opened the door for him to serve as a missionary in Hong Kong after he graduated. While in Hong Kong, a call came for him to serve as the GYC president. When considering this position, he knew it would change his professional trajectory. The time commitment as a GYC president would make it very difficult to work in a professional setting. He prayerfully accepted and came to work with CAMPUS full-time as a fellow.
In the spring of 2021, God began to open doors for Andrew to consider serving in pastor ministry for the Michigan Conference. The official call came to serve in the Vassar and Bay City churches. As Andrew reflected on how God had led him in the past, he knew God was redirecting to pastoral ministry, and he accepted the call.
Here is his reflection, “God may not make things clear immediately, but as He opens doors of providence and we walk through it, He will reveal His will according to His own time and method. Lastly, He knows where we will be of the greatest good according to the capabilities He’s given us – we need to trust Him step by step, even if it’s not what we would have originally envisioned for ourselves.”
God has used Andrew in a mighty way to reach the students at Michigan State University, as well as the friends of the University Church in East Lansing. He and his wife Nichole are missed, but God is so faithful to led them to where He needs them at this time in salvation’s history. Please keep them in prayer as they transition. They are not too far from Saginaw Valley State University.
When considering the next call that God may be making in your life, know that even if the story that unfolds is not what we would have originally envisioned for yourself, because He is the best Author. He has a way of writing the most beautiful stories and you can trust Him in the process.
Traveling to college at the beginning of the year has its own adventure, and traveling to nine hours to Michigan Tech has a way of building endurance. In the case for Marcus, he had a story to tell that is still being written. Listen as he shares below of God’s providence with his 1987 Dodge Raider.
Hello my name is Jasmine Simmons, and I am entering my Senior Year at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. I am currently studying to become a Special Education Teacher, and I love it. However, I didn’t always want to study what I am studying now. In fact, I remember thinking that if GOD told me that He wanted me to become a special education teacher I would ‘run to Nineveh.’ I ended high school wanting to go to Grand Valley State University and study pre-law. I didn`t ask GOD if that is what he wanted me to do because I figured no point in asking since it was what I thought was best for me. It a good thing that GOD is all knowing, because I would have been miserable.
There is a verse in Proverbs that has sort of been my anthem, and it says, “In her heart a (wo)man plans her course but it is the LORD that directs her steps ….”. This has been the story of my life. I planned to study pre-law, and I swore that I would never be a teacher. Yet, here I am studying to become the very thing I absolutely refused to be. GOD didn’t ever tie me down and force me to become something that I didn’t want to. Instead, HE patiently revealed to me the gifts and talents that He had placed in me. He brought to memory all the times that as a young girl I would play school with my sisters and absolutely love it. He showed me that all the gifts and abilities that He placed in me were those of a teacher.
One thing that I have absolutely come to love about GOD is that even though HE always knows best, and He always wants what is best, He takes the time to allow us to see and choose between HIS way and our way. He allowed me through various experiences to taste and see that He is and was and always will be good. Following GOD has allowed me to encounter other young people my age who have a similar foundation.
College has been a state of flux for me and lots of other young people. It is a time where you are re-evaluating the things that you believe and who you are. Being connected to the C.A.M.P.U.S. family and my local church family has been my anchor. When temptations or hard seasons have come, I have been able to lean on my community for strength, prayer, and encouragement. I know that the things that the devil offers can look really appealing and fun.
The world tells us that college is a time to get away from our “awful overbearing” parents and “live” life. That lie is from the devil and he always comes with a hidden cost. If you are anything like me, you enjoy having fun so connect with your local C.A.M.P.U.S family. As a part of campus, I have been on girl road trips, weekend camp stays , dinner parties, game nights and all sorts of other things. When you experience fun the way GOD wants you too there won`t be any hidden fees or holes to fall into. So get involved, spread the GOOD news of Jesus Christ and experience Joy.