How God Called Me to Ministry
I am often asked how I received my calling from God to be a full-time pastor? People who know our family was surprised to see a SY member enter into ministry. We came from a family of business people. We were groomed to take over the family business. It did help to have a family name that is the same as of Filipino-Chinese billionaire Henry Sy though I want to make clear that we are not related.
It’s interesting how I felt I was called. I was grade six (13 years old) when I had a glimpse of my future. I went to a Christian school that has regular chapel services. A youth pastor by the name of Pastor Ferdie came and preached a powerful message that day. What was the usual free time during chapel became a life-changing moment for me. After his preaching, I approached him and told him that I want to be like him when I grow up.
From that day on, my heart for the ministry grew. I became fruitful in ministry heading our student ministry church with a bunch of high schoolers who had no training whatsoever. With the help of Pastor Ferdie and the school’s youth pastor Lydia Chan, we saw our youth ministry grew from 20 to 200 plus.
By 16, I knew I was called to do the ministry. My parents didn’t see it that way. They thought all of us were going to be in business. But I knew. I just knew.
When Pastor Steve said that a clear calling from God could complicate your life – it sure did mine. With a degree in Behavioral Sciences and a job waiting for me in the family business, I needed to make a tough choice of leaving the comforts of business to enter the ministry.
My first two years in ministry, I lived by faith. When I quit our family business, I had to let go of the big earnings and commission I was getting that time. I had to live off my savings while studying in our school of campus ministry. By God’s grace, in the ten months, I was in school, God provided for me as I work part time as a host and stand-up comedian. (Anything for the sake of the call).
I remember nights where I was pacing my room back and forth asking God to provide for my needs. I was sure of the calling; I wasn’t sure how God would provide. But He did in the most generous ways.
Last week, we launched our youth service at SM Sta. Mesa. We rented a cinema to hold our services that cater to the high school and college universities around the area. We didn’t know what to expect. Our team was just faithful in honoring God and making disciples. When worship started, and I entered the cinema hall, I was amazed to see 400+ young people, mostly unchurched come to our youth service.
Thammie and I were sitting in the last row of the cinema, both of us crying because we knew this was the reason we left the business, the opportunity to earn more and live a more comfortable life.
Looking back, I can honestly say that there are no regrets in choosing this path of being a full-time pastor. In the midst of hardship, trials, ministry demands – nothing brings more joy than seeing that I am walking in the path where God wants me.
PS: for those who are called in other places like the marketplace, medical field or the arts – stay faithful to where God calls you. Excel where you are planted. We need men and women who would go and make disciples in every sphere of society. That is your calling!
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