Deacon Minister Ordination Journey
Deacon Minister Ordination Journey
First Coming to Know Christ
My name is John Jenkins and I have recently been on a deacon minister ordination journey. I live in New Orleans, LA, USA. I did not grow up in a “church-going” household, but both of my grandmothers were believers and possessed strong faith and solid working knowledge of the Scriptures. Both of them shared with me the virtues of Godly obedience and dependence from a scriptural standpoint. One day at age thirteen, my grandmother spent an afternoon with me clarifying salvation by faith in the finished work of Christ alone. At that point, I accepted Jesus as my Savior. There was a different perspective for me and I knew something in me had changed but I needed discipleship.
A year later, I met the guy who would become my lifelong best friend. His grandfather was the pastor of a large church in my hometown. I joined the church at age 14 and became involved in their youth fellowship for the next year and a half.
Early one summer morning when I was 15, I felt an overwhelming calling to ministry. This came clear out of the blue. At the moment, I wasn’t praying, reading scripture, or even thinking about God in any way. As a matter of fact, I was driving and listening to secular music!! The calling scared me (Although I could never have articulated it this way at that time, what scared me was all the things I intuitively knew I would have to “give up”).
Not long after this experience, I began to fall out of church fellowship and chase the things of the world. Deep-down, the calling never left but I ran from it for the next 25 years.
The Long Fall and Surrender
I finished high school, went on to college where I ended up dropping out after 3 1/2 years. My drinking and drug use were ever-increasing and I had no direction. I did happen to start a career in the corporate world in which I did well for a number of years. The more I got, the more I wanted. I was chasing after “happiness” but never realizing that what I was seeking was PEACE. I understand now that I was trying to complete myself under my own strength and wisdom. Eventually, I lost everything due to my addiction. I lost my family and career. Within a few years after that, I became completely unemployable; my family wanted nothing to do with me, and I was homeless. I knew that the Savior I had abandoned was the ONLY answer. I knew the TRUTH and was ready to submit to it.
The Lord led me to a discipleship program in Florida where He began to open my heart and mind to His Word like I had never been able to receive it before. Shortly after graduating from the Discipleship Program, I was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer. Through His blessings, I was able to get treatment and housing despite no insurance, savings, or income of any kind. During this time, He kept me in His Word and He brought me my first teaching opportunity at a homeless ministry on my deacon minister ordination journey. I taught the Gospel of John there for about a year.
Once God brought me through cancer, there were places in my life that I had still not surrendered to the Lord and they were revealed over a six-month period. The book of Hebrews says that He disciplines his children, and HE DID. He showed me through this period that His calling on my life was full-time ministry although He had not fully clarified where that would be.
Here and Now
In March of 2016, God opened a door for me at the New Orleans Mission in New Orleans, LA. I arrived as a Resident Volunteer at that time and the Mission brought me on as Chaplain shortly thereafter. I have had a desire for quite some time to obtain formalized ministry training but the time never seemed quite right. A short while ago, our Leadership team was moved to encourage me to obtain ordination.
With not a whole lot of searching, God led me to Christian Leaders Institute. The “Deacon Minister Ordination” curriculum has done what it was designed to do: Challenged me to evaluate my calling in the light and context of God’s Word. In the process, it has caused me to seek input about my ministry from other believers God has put in my life. I don’t believe I could have sought this so transparently without the challenge the CLI Ordination process has provided on my deacon minister ordination journey.
After receiving my Deacon Minister ordination with Christian Leaders Alliance. I am praying for guidance in continuing my training with CLI. I am so thankful that the Lord has provided this ministry to those of us who so desperately need it. His Word promises he will equip us (Eph 4:11-12).
God’s grace is truly amazing.