Called to Lead: A Young Man’s Way to Training for Ordained Ministry
I’m Arild Edwin Ornedo, from Cavite, Philippines. I graduated with a degree in Associate of Computer Science in 2012. Then, I tried to continue studying Information Technology. However, I stopped for two and a half years due to financial difficulties. During that time, I worked with my family in our direct-selling business to support our finances. Then, when the opportunity came again, I took up a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a major in Marketing Management and finally finished in 2019. Then, I sensed that God was calling me to become an ordained minister, and now I’m with the Christian Leaders Institute to get training for ordained ministry and to pursue God’s purpose in my life.
First, let me give a little background on religious freedom in our country. Christianity in the Philippines is much approved. It is because the majority of our population professes Christianity or Roman Catholicism as their religion. They encourage the expression of faith and belief in God. Therefore, it’s a blessing to freely express my faith and study in an online Bible School like Christian Leaders Institute.
I grew up in a Catholic charismatic family that exercised various religious practices when we lived in Pasay City, Metro Manila. My dad was not into it, but my mom was devoted to it. She attended several gatherings near the city, sometimes bringing us with her. My mom taught me to do many rituals. These included praying the rosary, praying to saints, revering carved images, attending Sunday mass, offering prayers to the dead, and other extra-biblical practices. She also listened to the radio programs that encouraged the Catholic Charismatic faith. I also listened to the radio programs.
Then, at 9, we moved to where we currently live. I had to adjust from the old setting to the new neighborhood. When I was in 4th grade, one of our neighbors, my mom’s former classmate and friend, invited us to a worship service in the community. It was their church’s anniversary, so we went along. As a kid, I just attended and made myself available because I was brought there. However, it was the start of how God moved in my life and led me to be the man I would become.
My mom got interested in the new fellowship that we visited. Our family was invited to a weekly small group Bible study at my mom’s friend’s house in the next couple of weeks. They also included me and my sister. However, I had no interest in attending because it was stuff done by the grown-ups, which had nothing to do with me as a young boy. They encouraged me to come to the weekly gathering by bribing me. After each Bible study, my friend’s mom let me play her children’s PlayStation. It was my kryptonite, and I was quickly caught in their trap.
After several weeks of participating in Bible studies, my family soon attended and joined in the weekly Sunday worship services. I went to the children’s Sunday School. At first, it was also hard for my mom to get me to attend. However, with consistent persuasion, I was encouraged to join in. Those were the moments when God planted the seeds of His Word in my heart at an early age. Little did I know that God was working and preparing me to be used for His glory.
Weeks of attending turned into years of enjoying God’s presence and the fellowship of other believers. When I was 11 years old, my interest in music was piqued. I was fascinated by the music played at every worship service. Furthermore, after the worship services ended, I went to the stage and played the drums. I didn’t know how to play at first. However, with constant practice, I soon learned how to drum. I also learned other instruments with the support of my parents and inspiration from other musicians.
Those older than me on the worship team also noticed my interest and ability to play the instruments. So they invited me to play at the youth services. Eventually, I even played in a special number at a worship anniversary. Then, when one of the members was about to go abroad for his job, they asked me to be one of their regular musicians. Being on the worship team was my stepping stone into ministry.
Challenges and Growing in Christ
At first, I didn’t bother about the “spiritual” requirements that a worship minister must possess and exercise. My passion for music was what mattered, and music was the reason I was there. Even though my motives were wrong, God touched my heart as I served in this ministry. Gradually, He gave me a heart of worship and service to Him. Little by little, I immersed myself in prayer, meditating on His Word and other spiritual disciplines. That increased and strengthened my faith. I also got to know God personally through my affiliation with the worship team. That led to my whole-hearted surrender to Jesus, and I entirely entrusted my life to Him. God revealed Himself to me, and I ultimately offered up my life to Him. Furthermore, I’m still a member of our worship team, and God also entrusted me with leading the young adults of our local church.
However, growing in the faith and into spiritual maturity doesn’t come without challenges. When I first committed myself to Christ and the ministry, I had difficulty developing spiritual discipline habits. Though I knew the importance of daily Bible reading and prayer, I didn’t have the discipline or the consistency to do those. Therefore, I often missed out on meditation and prayer. Aside from that, some sinful practices prevented me from letting God’s purpose be fulfilled in my life. It, therefore, hindered my spiritual maturity. Thankfully, God, in His mercy and grace, patiently led me to freedom from a lifestyle of sin and into a life of holiness, righteousness, and purity.
More Growing Pains
Aside from those, my family was well off financially as my dad had a decently paying job. However, it was not all the time. There were times when we faced financial difficulties. We got into debt and didn’t know where to get money to provide for our basic needs or to pay the bills. Furthermore, my struggles in my studies due to financial constraints were a significant blow, so I thought I could never finish my studies.
Health problems in our family were also significant hurdles. In the last decade, I was hospitalized twice, first due to Appendicitis and second due to Dengue fever. In 2021, we were all caught up with COVID-19, and my dad almost died of the illness. All these health concerns led to financial struggles as well. In all these struggles, God made Himself known to me as the sovereign King who controls my life. Without Him, I’m nothing. Time and time again, God used all these experiences for me to completely surrender everything to Him and entrust my life into His hands. At first, I wanted to do things my way. My self-centered dreams focused on temporary, short-term (compared to eternity) goals like financial freedom and material possessions.
Called to Get Training for Ordained Ministry
However, God changed all that, redirected me to His path, and gave me a desire to serve Him. My pastors and leaders noticed as I progressed in my ministry on the worship team and leadership in the young adults. They told me that I have the potential to minister to a higher calling as a pastor. I doubted myself at first and wondered if I was fit for the role. Further, I have some insecurities and doubts. But God has consistently called me into the ministry of shepherding His flock and preaching the Word.
I looked at how to get training for ordained ministry. However, all the programs and degrees I saw came with a fee I couldn’t afford. Then I came across the Christian Leaders Institute, which offers tuition-free training for ordained ministry and programs for all aspiring ministers like me. I quickly enrolled and started some courses. I am getting the training for ordained ministry to become a well-equipped ordained minister.
God has something better in store for me and has given me the dreams He has in His heart. Being in our local church’s ministry, I want to see people come to know Jesus, have a personal connection with Him, and let His purpose be fulfilled in their lives. Further, I want His glory to manifest in every person, small group, gathering, and fellowship. With God’s guidance, I know He will fulfill His purpose in my life and accomplish His good, pleasing, and perfect will. All glory to God alone!
Register a Study Account
Register for a free study account, automatically enrolling you in the Getting Started Class at the Christian Leaders Learning Platform. The Getting Started class will take you less than an hour to complete.
When you log in to the Learning Platform, you will notice that the Getting Started Class automatically appears on your dashboard.
The Getting Started Class will orientate you to the Christian Leaders Learning Platform and the Programs offered, including:
- Ministry Awards, Certificates, Diplomas, and Degrees with the Christian Leaders Institute.
- Minister Credentialling (Ordination) with the Christian Leaders Alliance, including local Soul Center registration possibilities.
Note: You can enroll in tuition-free courses or mini-courses immediately without finishing the getting started class.
Find out more about women in ministry here.