Local Church Pastor
My name is Jim Jablonski. I have been blessed just about all of my life with opportunities to serve in church ministries in the United States, but it was only recently that I answered God’s call to do ministry. Thanks to my local church pastor, who also serves as my mentor, I am gaining experience as a ‘doer’ of ministry. He provides opportunities for practical experience in ministry to supplement my Christian Leaders Institute studies. He identified CLI as a viable option for ministry studies in our shared hope that others in our local church will follow.
My mom and dad brought me to the Lord in the Roman Catholic Church. My parents, along with various nuns and priests, nurtured my faith during eight years of Catholic School and beyond. I am so thankful for the faith planted in my youth that has grown on my journey.
I identify most with the term ‘pastor’ after a lifetime in local churches with pastors from whom I learned so much by simply observing. I have been especially inspired by my current local church pastor. Our small church faces somewhat unique challenges. It is located near the end of the road on a barrier island and serves a small year-round population that increases exponentially in summer, but it is doing well!
While I have felt a tug toward ministry at various stages of my life, my pastor recently challenged me to explore that tug. Aware that I was about to retire, he told my wife and I that he believes I have what it takes to do ministry. God has opened so many doors for me throughout my life, so I asked Him to let me know if His tug was really a calling. God chose to use CLI classes to help answer my prayer and confirm His calling.
My local church pastor believed it critical to involve and seek the support of the congregation as I answered the call to ministry. The council and deacons were informed and are 100 percent in support. While I was away one Sunday, my pastor informed the congregation of my call and asked for their prayer and support. So far, that has been 100 percent as well. It is all very humbling. I am especially thankful that my wife has been fully supportive since day one.
The CLI scholarship was also critical to me. God has richly blessed us, but my wife and I are retirees on a fixed-income. My pastor didn’t discover CLI until after I told him I felt God calling me to ministry and that I would answer. The scholarship is another blessing from God and yet another door that He has opened for me.
Scripture references in the CLI Getting Started sessions solidified my belief that God was and is calling me to the ministry. It has reinforced my dream to serve right where I am as a local church pastor, in support of my pastor and small non-denominational church congregation. These classes broadened and deepened my connection to the Bible and the Lord and made me want to run to and, then, run with God. The ‘Sending Called and Trained Ministry Leaders’ session was especially impactful. It spoke directly to me as a potential leader raised from the local harvest by my pastor.
Although I have attended weekly Bible Study for years, recently I have taught in my pastor’s absence. Study and preparation to teach, attend Bible Study, and deliver sermons have transformed my life as a Christian. The grace I feel extends beyond my connection to the Bible; I pray, examine my conscience, and confess each night; I look for and sense God’s presence throughout each day. I have always believed in God’s presence but genuinely feel Him more than I ever have. It is an overall consciousness that is difficult to describe, except to say that it has to be God’s grace. The call to ministry and CLI classes to date have further enhanced that grace and resulting consciousness.
Learn about minister ordination at Christian Leaders Alliance.
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