Sandra Hamer Smith

Faith and Prayer Tools

How_to_Pray_Resources.pdf  

     

      I have found the need since talking with people and interacting that there is a desire for additional teaching in various areas. We live in a time where some people are not going to church for various reasons.  Some people are strong in their faith and feel that it is irrelevant.  Others are going to church and still have a strong desire for more. However, we are instructed not to forsake the assembling of ourselves  (Hebrews 10:25). You might ask what gives me a right to think that I have something to say.  First, I was called to teach maybe about 19 to 20 years ago.  I was specifically told to teach the children.  I have been doing that and continue to do that.  I also taught in Sunday School for some years. Some ministers would have me believe that that call is one in the same as a preacher. I don't believe that.  I believe that some can have all of the gifts and then some may have only one of them and that's okay.  For example, the Bible says and He gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the Saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13). Bishop G.E. Patterson had all of those gifts I believe.  One Sunday, he also broke down how each part of these gifts plays a part in the ministry.

     I do believe that people will send you out before your time.  If God wants me to preach, He will make it plain.  If you feel that God is calling you to do something, you have an obligation to approach those who have leadership authority over you to receive instructions.  Some ministries and denominations are more open to releasing people than others.  Some ministries require that you go to seminary or take some Bible courses, etc.  If you feel that God is leading you into ministry, you can prepare yourself.  You can start reading the Word more.  You can start praying more.  You can ask God to make His calling plain to give you guidance. Then when He speaks, you need to be obedient.  Before I knew what God wanted me to do specifically, it scared me to death that He might want me to preach.  I think because I was on television and didn't want to leave because I had basically been preparing for TV since 9th grade in high school.  I had plans of leaving Memphis and going to a larger market.  I sent out hundreds of tapes.  If it had been God's will for me to leave understand I would have been gone.  However, it appeared to be a conspiracy to keep me in Memphis from the top to the bottom. I appreciate folks who didn't hire me out of town.  I remember one news director telling me, "You don't want this job.  It only pays $20,000 a year or whatever the salary was. They were helping me to stay in God's will.  I am sure since they were participating on their end that they also were blessed.  There is no blessing in avoidance or trying to go against the plan. God will work with you if you have fear about doing something.  Understand, you will get more rest when you yield.

      There are other things to do in the church besides what I just mentioned. Many churches have an abundance of ministries.  Sometimes people think the only thing they can do is teach or preach.  For several years, I was an usher.  I am still in the choir.   I was also a sound engineer.  When you are young, that is a good time to work in various areas of the church until you find an area that you really like or one that God has pinpointed for you.  I remember when I first thought that God was trying to use me.  I went to a youth organization trying to just volunteer and give back.  I was denied entry.  I will not mention the name of the organization.  It is a big one and quite popular in the Memphis area. Nevertheless, I did go to my Pastor and told him that I felt like God was trying to speak to me. He gave me instructions which I followed and sure enough, God spoke sometimes between bedtime and sunrise.  The way God spoke also aligned with scripture.  "For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit and his life from perishing by the sword. He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain: (Job 33:14-19).  Also, later that day I received a call from someone working at a youth organization who wanted me to be on their board of directors and volunteer with their youth camp.  God can call a person and send them within a 24 hour period. As time went on, He made it plain about being in the classroom and so on. So it is not strange to hear about people getting saved and then God calling them and sending them out.  It just depends on a person's skill set in life.
    Many people have a desire to do more but they have young children or a family. Charity begins at home and you should not feel bad about ministering to your own family before others out in the world.  You can minister to people by how you interact with them daily.  How you conduct yourself on the job shows people who you are.  I remember one time I had a strong conversation with another teacher because I felt like he was trying to run students away from an after-school program.  Apparently, the word got out with students.  The next day one of my students asked me why I did that and said: "I thought you were supposed to be saved."  I don't remember having a conversation with her or them about me going to church but apparently, it showed.  You never know who is watching.