A Call to Ministry
I follow Christ daily, seeking God’s direction through scripture, prayer and the Christian community. I desire to cooperate with His grace in my life as I respond to the call to love God and love others.
During a global youth event in 1974 – Nazarene World Youth Congress – in Fiesch, Switzerland, I committed my life to God and sensed His vision that I would teach engineering at a Nazarene college or university someday. During my initial college years, I was influenced by many professors and especially by a conversation with Dr. Ralph Earle, NTS professor and NIV translator. I was struggling with knowing God’s direction for my life and how to pursue it. He encouraged me to simply fall back into His arms and allow the Holy Spirit to sanctify me and live through me. He also reminded me that this was a life-long process. I found this to be true. I pursued this path and twenty-three years after my commitment to God in the Swiss Alps, it became a reality as I accepted a faculty position in the engineering department at Olivet Nazarene University (Bourbonnais, IL).
My career did not follow the normal path to teach at a Nazarene university. It led me to engineering degrees at Kansas State and eight years as an engineer in St. Louis. While an engineer I heard and answered a call to full-time ministry and came on staff at Webster Groves Church of the Nazarene, our home church at the time. This led to eight years of staff ministry in St. Louis, MO and later in Centralia, WA. As I think back on these years, God provided for our family and enabled us to serve the families under our charge. These were among the most fulfilling years of my life. When our kids remember those years, they joke that whenever we had a family meeting, they would prepare to move somewhere!
My next fifteen years serving at Olivet were the fulfillment of a call from many years before. While at Olivet, God confirmed many times that we were exactly where He wanted us to be. We were able to influence hundreds of students and establish relationships with leaders around the world. Our kids were also able to have the nurture of excellent pastors, youth leaders and other families. As I looked back on my winding path, I realized that God had used the experiences of my life to equip me to do both engineering and ministry at the same time. My wife and I were also able to serve our local church, College Church of the Nazarene, as volunteer youth staff. I even served three times as the interim Senior High youth pastor, once for a 3-year transition period.
In 2012, I sensed that God was calling us to another chapter in our lives. Our kids were out of the house and Diana and I were seeking what God might have for us next. While working at Olivet, I worked part-time with a friend’s engineering company to supplement our income. One day he asked me if I would be willing to start an office for him in Denver, CO. We prayed about this opportunity and felt God leading us this direction. After feeling clear about it, I resigned from Olivet, sold our home and moved to Colorado to start this new adventure. For 4 years Diana and I served in our local Crossing Church of the Nazarene. The last year we were co-point leaders of our Life Group Ministry.
While living in Denver, work travel took me to Indianapolis, IN, over a 16-month period, I often had to stay two or three weeks without returning home for a weekend. Whenever I was in Indy for the weekend, I attended Shepherd Community, a local Nazarene church and compassionate ministry center led by Rev. Jay Height. My connection with Shepherd Community began years before when we brought our youth groups from St Louis to serve there. Once while I was in Indy for a weekend, I went to the initial site of Shepherd Community which is now just a gravel parking lot east of downtown Indianapolis. I sat down and began praying out loud about what God was leading us to do at this stage in Diana’s and my life. I sensed God reminding me that this very site was where I sensed a confirmation to full-time ministry many years before. As we brought middle school and high school students to Shepherd Community to serve, God confirmed my decision to move from engineering to full-time staff ministry. My gifts for compassionate ministry were also validated. During this recent visit as I sat there in the gravel, God seemed to say to me that His call for my life had not changed. I should keep listening, keep following and our path would be made clear.
Since high school days, I have never forsaken my call to ministry. I trust God with my future. I continue to answer God’s call on my life.
Pastor Mike Morgan