Part 15: Like a Trumpet~ A Series of Interviews with Pastors & their Wives from Around the World

tattoo_it_on_your_heart_-rachael-_m_colby_asleep_in_the_lightWhen I address a minister by the title “Pastor,” it’s to show my respect for their God given calling. In doing so, I’m also reminded of God’s loving provision and covering for my most valuable asset- my soul.     -Rachael M Colby

The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 1 Timothy 5:17 NASB

Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a trumpet, And declare to My people their transgression And to the house of Jacob their sins. Isaiah 58:1 (NASB)

What is one of your funniest or craziest memories of pastoring?

The guy who wanted to be a living parable. He wanted to testify of what God had delivered him from, squirt ketchup on himself and then be baptized, then say the next thing, squirt ketchup on himself, and be baptized again- for each thing. -Anonymous

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Why did you become a Pastor?

My mother was a Bible Teacher. My two sisters are minister’s wives and Bible teachers. I have been a follower of Jesus since I was born again at 8 years old. I am now 73.

Because I was exceptionally gifted as an artist even as a small child (see detail story on my art website, NicholsFineArt.com), I did not want to be a pastor. I resisted and was determined to be an artist. But during an emotional and very personal encounter with the Lord, he called me to become a pastor. I was in college pursuing my art degree when I was called. I immediately changed course and the Lord has been with me the rest of the journey. I’ve served him as a pastor of a senior retirement chapel, a small country church, a large metropolitan church, and as a seminary professor of theology and Christian philosophy. He also allowed me to enjoy my art gift, which I did as my avocation.

I served as a pastor in five different types of churches in America. Being a pastor is a high and holy calling. I was privileged and completely undeserving of the opportunity. I was privileged to see the hand of God transforming people’s lives in ways that are beyond human explanation or description. I give many other details, examples and stories in my latest book, Healthy Faith: A Strategic Lifestyle to Transform Your Head, Heart and Hands.

Currently, I am giving my full time to writing, doing mission trips, and helping a number of non-profit Christian ministry organizations in the USA and Internationally.  -George W. Nichols, Ph.D.,  (Dr. Bill), Pastor, missions worker, author, artist

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Did you think when you became a Christian you would be pastoring one day?

Not at all! I believed that God wanted me to do something, but I planned on pursuing a ministry in Christian music. Even today I tremble at the idea that I’m a pastor, responsible before God and the church for the care of His flock. 

How long have you been a Christian?

I have been a Christian for 30 years. I came to know Christ when I was 19 while serving in the U.S. Air Force. (Thank you for your service, Pastor Duncan.)

How long have you been married?

My wife and I have been married for 23 years. We have three children.

Tell me about when you realized you were called to be a Pastor.

Several events happened in my life that showed me God was calling me to do the work of the ministry. First, God’s word literally saved my life from depression and potential suicide. It was through His word that I found salvation, and I committed myself that day, if God ever wanted to use me to share His word, I would. Then, through the encouragement of a chaplain in the USAF, I discovered that God had called me to preach and teach His word. Finally (though there are many sub-texts to this story), the pastor who baptized me invited me to learn from him the work of being a pastor. I served under him as his associate pastor/disciple. He was my Paul and I his Timothy. 

I have been in ministry, preaching and teaching God’s word, for over 25 years and serving as a pastor for the past 19. I have been the senior pastor of two churches, and have served as associate pastor of two others. I have been at my current church, a small rural church in the mountains of Northwest Washington State, for the last 11 years. –Rev. Michael Duncan Author, Speaker, Pastor. Mountain View Baptist Church, Darrington WA

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How long have you been a Christian?

32 years

How long have you been married?

I’m not married. My life is dedicated to serving the Lord Jesus Christ without distraction. I know this isn’t for everyone, and it was something I had to come to terms with, but I know it’s the life the Lord had called me to live.

Did you think when you became a Christian you would be pastoring one day?

No, not in the beginning. In fact I would never have thought of myself as someone who would minister publicly in any capacity. I was never good at talking in front of a group of people, even those I knew well. I was that kid in school who froze with fear whenever he had to stand before his classmates and say something.

But, the Lord has a way of changing us into what we need to be in order to fulfill the things He has planned for us, in spite of what we may see as our own personal phobias and shortcomings.

From the beginning of my walk with the Lord I have always felt compelled to be a servant to others. I have a love for people that runs deeper than most realize and a genuine concern for the spiritual welfare of others.

When visiting a church I had preached at a couple times, the position of assistant Pastor was offered to me in 1991. I had been praying for the Lord to open the door for a greater opportunity to minister and immediately recognized this as the answer to my prayer.

How many Churches have you pastored?

Three altogether. The ministry I’m currently involved with, in an area of N.E. Ohio comprised of both small towns and rural communities, is one we started approximately a year and a half ago. 

How do you keep your heart and zeal for God and people in spite of people’s failings and some turning against you?

It’s not easy. Having recently experienced two individuals attempting to create division in the ministry, this particular question is very relevant for me, as the things that occurred are still a bit of an open wound.

I remind myself everyone still struggles from time to time with their fleshly nature, which can at any moment raise it’s ugly head and cause a person to act in a manner contrary to the new nature we have in Christ.

I pray, asking the Lord to work in me anything needed to endure adversity. I trust Him completely, knowing He has called me to what I am doing, which in essence motivates me to keep pressing forward, regardless of opposition or the indifference of others.

It is never advantageous to doubt or question the Lord, but to trust. I don’t allow the actions of a few to influence my reaction to others. 

Since the Lord is the primary source of my strength, joy, and peace, the only way others can rob me of those things is if I allow them to. I do not permit others’ failings to influence my ability to rejoice in the Lord. -Pastor, Transformation Ministries

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What do you see as the biggest threat to the church today?

Tolerance—watering down of the gospel and what it means to have a genuine or healthy faith. That’s why I wrote my new book, Healthy Faith. – Dr. Bill Nichols

Unwillingness to embrace sanctification. –Pastor Roger Williams, Victory Chapel CFM, Cape Cod MA

The felt need of churches and pastors to adjust to the culture. -Donna, Pastor’s Wife

Distraction. Statistics show faithful weekly church attendance has dwindled to less than 17 percent. That is probably the greatest indicator of how problematic our generation is. The model for the Church is not what’s happening today. The book of Acts is the model, and they gathered every day, at the risk of their lives, because they felt it was important. Some lost their lives for their assembly, but that’s how dedicated they were.  

Today, it’s, “I’ve got to put my kids to bed early. My kids have sports practice..” They don’t come midweek or Sunday nights, so there’s just a religious attendance today, instead of a Biblical pattern. That’s a real threat because if people don’t come to church and hear from God, they’re not going to do a whole lot.

People resisting instead of flowing with what God is doing. People who don’t want sanctification, separation from the world. They want God to bend His will around theirs. -Pastor Paul Campo, Victory Chapel CFM, Cape Cod MA

 

Social culture.  People leaving God to follow one they have created in their own image. –Pastor  Bruce Hanlon, Forrestdale Church, Sandwich MA

 

The greatest threat to the church today is the downgrading of the gospel of Christ. When salvation is about our comfort, our easy life, our enjoyment or our self-interest it is no longer the gospel of Christ. Jesus said that we are to deny self, take up our crosses and follow Him. There is no other road to walk—but the world has encroached and invaded the church with a social gospel, a message that proclaims hope but does not require repentance from sin or renewal in Christ. There are, today, packed out houses of worship that are filled to the rafters with pseudo-Christians who do not have any desire to conform to the message of Christ. -Rev. Michael Duncan

What do you believe is the key to revival?

Being offended can never be an option. -Pastor Greg Winslow

The faithful, weekly preaching of the Word of God. We don’t need to look for extraordinary revivals. In God’s kingdom, the ordinary (weekly preaching) is what’s truly extraordinary.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

The beginning of revival has always been and I think will always be a holy mystery. No human formula automatically produces true Spiritual revival. But some elements that seem to accompany revival include “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves, turn ….(II Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)   – Dr. Bill Nichols

 

The easy answer is prayer. But I think then we are adding works to grace. We are saved by grace, not by works. I don’t think revival is something we manufacture. I think it’s first the Holy spirit, then prayer. I think the church needs to make herself ready, but it’s the Holy Spirit that decides to bring revival. -Pastor Bruce Hanlon

 

God has to do it. Preachers are always ministering relevant issues to our generation, but the people hear with their ears, not with their spirit. God has to turn the switch on with humanity, Unfortunately if you use Biblical pattern, the only thing that causes people to give God undivided attention, is when there is a major disaster, a cataclysmic event. 9/11- when the towers came down, everyone wanted to unite, and they said they would never forget. But now it’s as if it never happened. We forget easily.

Locally, in our church we have limited personnel, everyone is pulling double and triple loads. We need fresh new converts with that vital enthusiasm and zeal. They bring health to the Church and inspire others. -Pastor Paul Campo, Victory Chapel CFM, Cape Cod MA

 

Communicating revelation to the next generation. Personal hunger for God; being willing to sacrifice whatever is needed. History always zeroes in on a person who got ahold of God. –Pastor Roger Williams

 

In a word: repentance. In every true revival of the past, the call to the people was a call of repentance from sin and returning to Christ. Only then did the overflowing joy of the Holy Spirit wash through the churches and communities. -Rev. Michael Duncan

How do you feel about Jesus’ return, the rapture?

Live each day like it’s your last. -Stephanie Delcid, Missionary Wife, Cuenca, Ecuador

It’s going to happen! My personal position is Post-Tribulation, but it’s best to be ready at every moment. -Pastor, Transformation Ministries

 

Imminent. The world disdains the things of God. The world is prime for God to do something or man will destroy himself. -Pastor Roger Williams

 

Imminent. It’s a lot closer than we think, the stage is already set. -Pastor Greg Winslow, Missionary to Zihuatanejo, Mexico

 

I’m all for it! Anytime He’s ready to come—and until then, I pray that I may win one more soul to Him. -Rev. Michael Duncan

Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! John 4:35 NKJV

The Bible says Jesus will return and there will be a rapture. Since the Bible says so, I believe it. Interpretations as to how, when, where, and other human elements are a wonderful mystery hidden in the mind of God. Their reality keeps me working and witnessing while there is still time. -Dr. Bill Nichols

 

I’m torn; there is so much work to be done for unreached groups. I look at the possibilities in new countries and Bible translation, but then I look at American culture and say, “Please come. Can’t come soon enough. Even so come.”

I’m glad it’s not up to me. We just need to focus on who we need to be and the mission in front of us.

Wake up and stir the sleeping Church. A large segment of the Church is asleep. Asleep in the light. -Pastor Bruce Hanlon

Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 1Thessalonians 5:6 NKJV

Asleep in the Light -Keith Green (Live from Estes Park, 1978) 

© 2016 Rachael M Colby

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7 thoughts on “Part 15: Like a Trumpet~ A Series of Interviews with Pastors & their Wives from Around the World”

    1. Thank you Pastor Duncan. I set out to bless, but I have been greatly blessed and honored to host this conversation. And you should know, the other night as I typed your words, they were the very words I needed to hear. The echo of truth brought comfort in the storm. Thank you and God bless you, your family and church.

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  1. Thank you Rachael for all your hard work. You obviously put a lot of heart and soul into these interviews. I was greatly moved by many of the personal testimonies.

    Like

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