Ready to Go?


By Kim Collins

I am a lifer in the church.  During the first twenty years of my life, if there was a church function, I was there.  As my mother fleshed out Christ for me, I grew from a church baby…to a child…then to a tween who began to intentionally flesh out Christ for others. And that continued through my teens, my twenties, my thirties and now in my forties.

I answered the call to vocational ministry at the age of 36.  What was I thinking starting another vocation at that age?  And of all things, ministering with children and youth?  I spent quite a bit of time in prayer, wondering, “Why now, Lord?  Am I too old?”  And after more time in prayer and beginning seminary, I answered the call to ordained ministry at the age of 38.  Again, “Why now, Lord? Am I too old?”  And each time I have written a paper or went through an interview with my denomination, I have often wondered if I am too old.

HOWEVER, for every time I have asked or wondered, the Lord blesses me with a wonderful moment in ministry.  Like the time a mother told me that her child asked her if I really meant it when I told him I loved him.  She replied, “Yes, Pastor Collins really loves you.”  To which the child replied, “Good!  I love her, too.”  The mom went on to tell me how much her family has been embraced and nurtured by the church.

Or the moment a high school student, after spending the year keeping a blessing jar, sent me a note at the end of the year to share a few ways in which she had spiritually grown and what she learned.  And then there’s the time a mother came to me asking me to pray with her regarding some decisions she had to make; wow, what a sacred trust!

There are so many wonderful moments in ministry that are written upon my heart.  So, I’ve learned to stop asking “why” or if I’m too old, or if I’m _______ (fill in the excuse blank). Instead, I’m learning to answer, “Here I am Lord, send me.”  Age has nothing to do with calling – ordained or laity; after all, Abram was seventy-five when God called him (Genesis 12:1-4).  And what did he do?  He went.  Abram is a wonderful example of radical obedience to God, and faithfully going where he was led.  As Christians, that is what we are called to do: GO!  Our faith is active, not stagnant.  We listen to the Lord calling us, knowing that when we go and minister in the name of Jesus, there are blessings upon blessings.  We step out in faith, trusting in the One who created us to also guide us on the path, and, realizing that sometimes the path is a new direction.  God can (and will) use anyone for ministry; we just need to be prepared to answer and go.  Where is God calling you to go today, my friend?