Greetings to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. My name is Chuck Smith and I have a minister calling. I currently reside in the State of Arizona in the United States of America. I am 43 years old and have 3 teenage children. Although I feel I have known the Lord my entire life, I have not always listened to Him. I have had my bouts with drug addiction and other selfish behaviors, but God was always there when I would call out to Him. I was baptized with water in 1996 and baptized by the Holy Spirit in 1998 although I didn’t know it at the time.
I had been praying earnestly to speak in tongues while at a Bible study. The next thing I knew, I was speaking in tongues and could not control it. I remember trying to stop my mouth and couldn’t. Then I thought to myself that if this is God, why am I trying to stop. As soon as I quit trying to stop my mouth, I quit speaking in tongues. Although that experience has never repeated itself, it was quite the experience. I have contemplated going into ministry many times during my life and always let fear get in the way (fear of teaching something wrong or fear that I wasn’t good enough, holy enough, pure enough, well you get the idea).
For the last few years, I had pretty much given up on doing anything with my life. I was over 40 and working at a gas station. Then I stumbled across an ad for Christian Leaders Institute while on Facebook and something quickened inside me. I clicked on the ad and prayed about this site and whether or not I should enroll. I was unsure of this whole “free and internet-based schooling” thing. I was led to enrolling at CLI, and although the sessions seemed a bit quirky to me, I felt God telling me to stay with it; that this is what He wanted.
As I went through the class and reflected, God reminded me of numerous times He had called me to be a Pastor (shepherd of His people). There was a time about 7 years ago that a group of people was praying and one of them spoke over me prophesying about my life, but I didn’t give it much thought. Another time, a missionary from Micaiah Ministries that I had seen speak a few times (but never really spoke to personally more than 5 minutes at a time) was having lunch with my local church and asked me why I wasn’t a pastor yet. He remembered me from about 2 years prior to this meeting when I had seen him at a different church in a different town. The specifics of what he said elude me today, but that question has not. That question has hung in my head ever since. I was working at a gas station at the time and was also looking for other employment. That’s when, while praying, I heard God telling me multiple times that I would not find better employment because until I submit to his will, I am basically stuck here (at the gas station).
I also around this time went for a walk to pray and read the Bible. While at my spot reading and praying, I felt God asking me the same thing he asked Peter about loving Him and feeding His sheep. I remember feeling shamed, hurt, and convicted all at the same time. I came to understand at that point that I had a minister calling on my life. I was to be a pastor and am a pastor to those that God places in my life.
Unfortunately, slowly the fire died and I allowed the cares of this world to stunt my growth and therefore my effectiveness for the Kingdom. Then while taking the class at CLI, and doubting my minister calling yet again, God reminded me of these times. He also brought forth the scripture about everything being proven by two or more witnesses – well, I had four, plus God bringing to mind that passage. I now truly feel that regardless of my shortcomings, I have no choice but to obey. Since CLI is generosity-driven and you can work at your own pace, it is the perfect tool for me. CLI gives me flexibility for my time and resources. I know that CLI will help me to learn and grow as a Christian, father, spouse, and friend. CLI will equip me to be a better shepherd while alleviating some of my aforementioned fears. I know not where my journey will lead, but I know that I am in God’s hands. For now, He has me at CLI preparing for what is ahead.
Learn about local ecuministry ordination at Christian Leaders Alliance.