Here’s how I answered the call to pastor.
“Me, a pastor? Never!” I threw my head back in laughter at the thought. “I will never be a pastor. I see what they go through and the sacrifices they make; it’s not for me!”
Never say never.
I grew up in a Hispanic church and came to Christ at a very young age. I knew God was real and I wanted to love and serve him. I got married and had three wonderful kids. I helped my husband with his auto repair business and served at Vineyard North Orange County Church in the food pantry ministry, handing out Bible studies to our Hispanic community and offering prayer. We eventually started to offer a Bible Study to continue to disciple them.
Answering the Call to Pastor
A few years later, the Elder Team of the church learned of a conference about Spanish-speaking La Viña churches and sent me to attend.
There, I saw passion. I saw a move of God’s Spirit. During the last day of the conference, I was up front praying and I heard the Holy Spirit whisper in my heart, “I want you to be a pastor.
I thought, “Please, no! Pastors get thrown under the bus all the time and that is just not for me.”
I’m embarrassed of that now. I wish my response to answer tthe call tp pastor would have been, “Of course, Father. Your will and not mine.” I resisted and put it out of my mind.
Yet, while on the plane ride home, I got my notebook out to look over everything I had heard and seen and I felt like God was downloading a blueprint for a La Viña church plant to me.
I could plant a La Viña within our church and ask for full autonomy. I could use the facilities and infrastructure to disciple Hispanic people to love God and serve him within the community.
God said, “I have given you all of these gifts so that you can make disciples and leaders. Go and do it.” I ran to the bathroom and had, what I call, a Holy meltdown.
I said, “Lord, I’m not asking for another job. My plate is already full.” When I calmed down, I said, “God, If you want me to do this, there are several things that have to happen. My husband has to agree, the Elder Team has to support it, and I have to be able to complete the Vineyard discernment process for planting.” I was confident that one of those things would keep me from going through with this ridiculous idea.
I got home and spoke to my husband. He asked how everything went at the conference, and I told him what God had asked me to do. His response? “Oh, Honey! I think that’s great.” I was shocked! I was depending on him to bring me to reality and remind me of my responsibility to our teenage children and our business.