Proper Training and Ordination

Proper Training and Ordination

My name is Joshua Barrett, and I am getting the proper training and ordination I need with CLI and CLA. I am a Pastor from Indianapolis, Indiana, working as a workplace Chaplain for corporations and organizing AA and other 12 step programs in local rehab centers and jails.

Early Life and Conversion

Born to a 12-year-old prostitute and her 40-year-old pimp, I am the oldest of several kids. At birth, my mother left, and, in my early years, my father raised me. I was used as a child prostitute and a drug mule for the beginning of my life. I was not exposed to Christ at this time but felt an overwhelming presence of protection and a strong desire to help those around me.

In my teenage years, I went through several foster homes and was institutionalized for trauma for a few years. Eventually, I was adopted, but my adoptive parents, who soon divorced. I was introduced to the church and youth group by friends at school and remember clearly the first night I went. I dedicated my life to Christ that night.

Calling to Ministry

The calling to the ministry came immediately after getting saved. I knew from an early age; I was to serve God and others. Long before I knew Christ, I felt called to serve.  After my baptism, I enrolled in a Bible College. I rode a Greyhound bus five days across the country to get to the Bible College in upstate New York.

Since I had a lot of unresolved trauma, I began having PTSD during my years at college. I started to have flashbacks and seizures. Unwilling to tell anyone about what had happened to me as a kid, these episodes went wrongfully diagnosed. I began to struggle from day to day and refused to admit what the real problem was. I flew home in my third year of college just three months short of graduating.

Once home, I attended a graduation party. I gave into temptation and started drinking, I drank and used drugs as a teenager but hadn’t since being saved. The next day, I felt overwhelming guilt and decided that I couldn’t return to Bible College to finish.

I dropped out of college and spent almost 20 years working in marketing. I married and had two kids, now 13 and 16 years old. We divorced, and I was a single dad for ten years until I met my amazing wife, Alyssa. Eventually, the alcoholism caught up to me, and I decided to try AA, I worked the program, and the steps and the process led me back to my calling to serve Christ.

Early Ministry Training

I quickly took the necessary online classes to graduate. I became ordained with the ABA and American Ministries Association since 2017. At the time, I thought the important part was getting the documents, and the ministry would come. I ran AA meetings in jails and rehabs and worked for several local non-profits. Ministry was excellent and effective, and I felt I was truly walking with Christ.

Ministry Journey to Proper Training and Ordination

Two weeks before the start of the COVID-19 shut down, I felt God calling me to start a mobile ministry. I had no clue what the purpose was at the time. I put together a Facebook group and raised funds to buy an old church bus and convert it into a mobile food pantry. By the time we were finishing up, the state had shut down, and people stayed at home scared and in need. We had the exact vehicle to bring loads of groceries around and be able to deliver them door to door, so no one had to leave their home.

It was a real blessing and a profound lesson for me. When we blindly follow Christ with faith, he provides not only for us but for all. I was featured on news outlets and accommodated by the Governor and various other elected officials. With so many people becoming familiar with me and my ministry, I was offered many new positions in churches. As exciting as all that was, God has put on my heart to seek more training and knowledge before taking the next step, actually pastoring a church.

I am excited about the ability to go back over the ministry training process with Christian Leaders Institute and learn from such great leaders. Although I am already ordained and serving in the ministry, it was vital for me to get the proper training and ordination before moving forward.

Learn more about ordination at the Christian Leaders Alliance. Interested in a low-cost degree? Check out the Christian Leaders College.