What's your favourite part about being a pastor?
Pastor Gerald: The greatest part about being a pastor is knowing that I am serving God with all of my life. Seeing lives transformed, leaders raised up and released in the kingdom of God for His glory – that’s my greatest passion and call in ministry.
Finally I said, "I think I have a full-time call."
Tell us about the time you decided to come into full-time ministry.
Pastor Gerald: After I received my full-time call in 1989, I was water baptised in October 1990 on a Sunday afternoon. I remember Pastor Dominic asking me what he could pray for me when I was standing in the water. I gave him all kinds of answers, but he persisted. Finally I said, “I think I have a full-time call.” Pastor Dom then exclaimed that he was waiting for me to say that!
When it came to my A levels, I did badly for my prelims. By badly, I mean, I had straight Es. I prayed to God, telling Him that I didn’t want to come into full-time ministry by default – not having anywhere else to go because of my grades. That was when God asked me, “If I gave you good grades, would you be willing to give them up?” At that point in time, I kept my guitar and Bible, and went to bed immediately, not wanting to answer God.
If I gave you good grades, would you be willing to give them up?
Guess what, I did really well for my A’Levels and received multiple scholarship offers. However, the year I was supposed to start my university education, God reminded me of the question He had asked me during my A’Levels. This reminder was the beginning of a six-month long struggle with God. In every service I attended, and every time I read the bible, I could hear God beckoning, “Come into full-time”. It was maddening to worship or read the Bible.
Until one particular service, I found that I was finally able to worship without hearing the same refrain. I sat through the entire sermon somewhat at peace. Even the altar call was not about coming into full-time ministry. I remember different ones responding at the altar as I stood at my seat.
I went to the altar, knelt down and surrendered everything to the Lord.
It was then that the Lord spoke, “Gerald, do you love Me?” I immediately broke down. I went to the altar, knelt down and surrendered everything to the Lord. I was so overwhelmed that I think people who came to pray for me thought there were demons to cast out!
That was the time I first surrendered my life and my future to the Lord, choosing to go to Bible college instead of pursuing a secular university degree.
As a 21-year old, I finally made a choice to accept my full-time call and obey God’s call upon my life. During that time, I actually doubted if I heard God correctly. Besides turning down the scholarship offers, every friend I met said my decision was stupid.
As a 21-year old, I finally made a choice to accept my full-time call and obey God's call upon my life.
In addition, in my time where National Service was 2.5 years long, those of us who enlisted in March will “disrupt” in June to go to university. But I had three more months to finish and it turned out to be a challenging and messy time that felt like a nightmare. So coming into full-time ministry was a very painful decision, a part of journeying in my call.
Yet I saw God’s hand in it through it all. I did experience God’s supernatural grace and favour, and honorably completed my National Service.
Reflect & Respond
If you are considering a full-time call in Trinity, talk to your pastors.
Check out Trinity’s job vacancies here.
Keep an open mind, heart, and ear as you keep on seeking the Lord and serving him faithfully wherever you are.
This article was first published in Trinitarian Magazine Issue 1/2023 and adapted post Change of Command.