I was called into the ministry in June of 2007. As was part of the discernment process, I was assigned an Ordained Elder to help me discern the specifics of my call. Periodically thru the process, I would be asked, "Do you feel you are being lead to be an ordained minister?", Each time I simply replied, "No. I feel I am suppose to be close enough in to preach the word of God, and just far enough out to still throw rocks." I felt confident I was not on the road to a Lead Pastor Role and its responsibilities. I felt I was called to a ministry of evangelism, my mentor and I even discussed what it would look like, but God had other plans.
As the discernment process ended, my mentor asked me to deliver the message for an upcoming Sunday, As he said, let's see if it is validated by a congregation. From there God went to work. Over the next few months, I delivered the 1100 am message a few times. Then, I got the visit.
One Sunday afternoon, I had a visitor at my home. He was a deacon at a local church that was searching for a Pastor. He told me about there needs and how he had heard me the preach the previous Sunday. After much prayer and consultation, I went to serve the church. So much for what I thought I was called to do. I was now a Lead Pastor with a congregation, a building, a cemetery , and a congregation ready to move from completely traditional to contemporary worship. I had no formal training, no seminary, nothing to prepare me for this. But I was obedient to the call, and God provided.
I would later see that it was this experience, that I did not want, that prepared me for The Choice Project.
The Choice Project is based on Acts 17, Paul at Mars Hill. It is also heavily influenced by the death of my father. My father lived his entire life being a skeptic of the Bible and God. He viewed it all as political writings. He believed at death, you just went in the ground, nothing else. But today, I know he accepted Jesus before he drew his final breathe. The day he died, I witnessed scriptures being fulfilled, I saw the love of God, the power of the Holy spirit and the forgiveness offered thru Jesus the Christ. I witnessed this all directed at my father.
When my mom asked me to preach his funeral, something in me broke, I realized that there are to many people and loved ones that face death without having made a decision. They face death, being cold or being luke warm towards Jesus, and many die without having made a definitive decision on their faith.
I believe that is what Paul was trying to get people to do when he was in Athens. I do not believe he was scolding the Athenians at Mars Hill when he was asked to speak there. I firmly believe he was speaking from a place of compassion, a place of love, with sincere desire to tell of God and how we are connected to him thru Jesus the Christ. The scriptures say he was viewed as speaking strange doctrine. The scriptures say many departed not believing and others came back. The point is those that listened, made a decision.
Today, the doctrine is still strange to many AND unfortunately, alienating to so many others. And many leave or do not consider it because of the Church.
That is the goal of the project. To present God thru Jesus the Christ, in a format that is open to discussion, free of judgement, and accepting to all that want to hear. In order that those who hear can evaluate his or her faith, regardless of where there are in life or what the belief, to make a decision on faith and on eternity.
The Choice Project, while being an independent ministry, consults individually and collectively with an informal and open group consisting of Clergy, Laity , and ordinary people that may or may not be followers of Jesus the Christ.
This group provides oversight and assurance that the content provided is scriptural sound. That is not to be confused with doctrine, which deals with the belief of a single denomination or sect.