No More Ministry Training Debt
My name is Joel Rashid and I live in Herriman, Utah. Ministry here is different than anywhere else I’ve done ministry. My history is in youth. I’m a pastor’s son and 2nd generation minister. We’ve done ministry in affluent suburban neighborhoods, and we’ve done ministry in poverty-stricken urban neighborhoods, both with different needs, hurts, and challenges.
God’s always revealed Himself to His people in whatever way they’ve needed Him to. An encounter with God is an amazing thing to witness. Watching someone draw near to God is simply. Coming here to Utah, however, is something totally different, and I haven’t seen it before. With so being said, Utah is the most untouched state in our nation by missionaries.
Mormon, Utah is a real place, and it’s a sight to see. Evangelism can easily become a battle in apologetics, which rarely results in a soul won for God. There’s something genuine about it, though. Even though more difficult than I am used to, there is sweetness to the struggle. A Mormon converted to Christianity results in a believer that is so on fire for God that they’ll go to the ends of the earth for Him. I admire that, and I strive for that too.
I’ve grown since coming here as a person, and a man of God. It’s made me think about the times I was afraid of stepping out for God and realized how many people truly are lost and don’t know it. The numbers are staggering and alarming. I spent my life in the church, but the faith was not mine, my parents being pastors, I had always borrowed their salvation as my own, never making the decision for myself.
No one told me I could choose for myself. I read a book called Pilgrims Progress, and I watched a video on YouTube about the father’s sacrifice. God spoke to my spirit that I had been walking beside the path of salvation without actually coming through the door. On the outside, I had the appearance of a Christian, but a nicely wrapped package with no contents is no gift – so I came through the door, and not long after that, I received my mission.
Many people do what I did, and no one’s told them to go through the door that is Christ Jesus. The people of Utah are a perfect image of that. My dream in ministry is to see people set free and to walk in the confidence of their salvation. That being said, I identify most with the word evangelist. I used to think of an evangelist as someone who just does outreach, but it’s much more than that. There are believers in bondage too. Evangelism is a lifestyle where your primary goal is to get people to come to the realization of God and to come into relationship with Him.
I’ve been very blessed by my church over my course of ministry training and to this point forward. My Pastor, Al Zorn, taught me to be an optimist and believe the best in people. Pastor Zorn started me down the path of pursuing ministry training and I then completed a program and received a certificate.
This scholarship at CLI is so important to me because I have a copious amount of student debt already. Money is not a secure area for my wife and me, and I believe in God every month to provide for us, which He does every time. Having this scholarship means that I’m able to pursue the mission God has put on my heart without the burden of more debt. It’s difficult to eloquently express just what Christian Leaders Institute is doing for me.
In short, I never thought I’d be able to get training to do what God has called me to do, but just like how God provides for us every day when it comes to food, bills, and rent, He has also provided CLI. I know this is where I’m supposed to be.
Pray for me as much as you can! I believe in the power of prayer and the more prayer I get, the more power I would hope to walk in also. Pray that I have the right words to speak to the people here in Utah. The suicide rate is the highest in the nation, as well as abuse. People are hurting here, and the Christians are apathetic. We need God to heal our land. For my family pray that we don’t get tired. Starting a church is new to us, and it’s hard work. Pray that we would be strong in the face of spiritual attack. For me, pray for my confidence; sometimes I feel like the job we were put here to do is impossible. However, we serve a God who does the impossible.