Today I was charged.
No, I am not in trouble! Rather, surrounded by family and church friends, the deacons of Tetelestai Church (Greek for ‘it is finished’) as well as pastors connected to us and my brother-in-law, Alan R. “Rick” Knapp, who doubles as my pastor, laid hands on me. Along with close friend and fellow recipient Brian Mesick and according to the biblical tradition, we were ordained as ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ!
The charge part is based on what the Apostle Paul said to his understudy Timothy, and we were reminded of this in today’s sermon in an inspiring way;
- 2 Timothy 4:1-2 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
While some obtain various degrees through concentrated programs- I earned a Masters through an full-time year-long program immediately following my undergrad, while other classmates plodded along via “night school” due to jobs, families and responsibilities- my ordination path was a long one.
Twenty years ago (or so) I started “morning school.” In those wee hours since my mid 30’s, sipping coffee in a quiet house, I dove into the scriptural truths that Rick was teaching, since my after work hours were largely spent coaching teams for five kids and then wanting family time together with my wonderful wife, Beth.
Ten years later the time was right time to start a neighborhood bible study. I had already been for years, sharing my faith in one-on-one settings. Thus a one-to-more approach was born.
Five years ago Rick attended one of our studies. Shortly thereafter he asked if I would consider being one of a handful of subs, handling the pulpit when he traveled. I excitedly agreed and have since enjoyed the task of preparing, praying for and delivering 45-60 minute sermons on multiple occasions.
One year ago, Rick believed that God had bigger plans for me, not necessarily in the traditional sense of pastoring a church but of sharing the gospel in an expanded, one-to-many more way.
Interestingly around that same time a good friend Gregg Zegarelli, someone who follows my studies and sermons, encouraged me to start an internet-based gospel ministry and that he, a lawyer by trade, would help organize it. Jeremy Key who handles our church website was on board too and spent many hours creating our website and social media portals.
Thus in April of 2016, the Phil Henry Power Gospel was launched! Now today, ordination certificate and charge in hand, I am officially an ordained minister, I will charge forward and continue to do what I have informally done for years, representing Jesus Christ in and to this world.
Being ordained doesn’t change my day job; I am very grateful to run a financial advisory business with my brother/partner Dan and serve our terrific clients. Yet my give-back time that used to be spent at ball fields is now spent studying and spreading the good news about Jesus Christ, that:
- He is the savior of the world; 1 John 4:14
- He is the very God who created all things John 1:3
- He one day will restore all things Acts 3:21 and
- He desires a unique personal relationship with every person He created John 10:14-16
There are too many people to thank beyond ones already mentioned; past attendees of the Woodcreek Bible Study, the staff at Tetelestai, the board and officers of the Phil Henry Power Gospel, our many Facebook and Twitter friends who receive and share our weekly Power Messages and last but not least, the one to whom I am charged before, our Lord Jesus Christ.
May I ask you to keep my family and me in your prayers and in particular, that I might follow Paul’s example;
- Acts 20:24 But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.