Saturday, March 11, 2023

Last Throw of the Dice?

When one is nearing 60 years old, one thinks he is nearing the end of his career. Yet I have the quiet assurance that I have three more phases of ministry before my time is up. I have gone through 4 phases already, so it is more than half way into my ministry which I received from the Lord. The first phase is 4 years post Bachelor degree in theology where I practically preached at least 350 sermons in all with the last 300 sermons in 3 years. Then my post doctoral phase which lasted just over 5 years as pastor of my home church. After that my third phase was out of Sabah where I served in Singapore for 6 years. But the fourth phase was the toughest since for 49 months I was up in Ranau and another 2 years in KK for a total of 6 years in active service.

For the nearly 9 years since I returned to Sabah from Singapore, close to 3 years are spent in waiting for my next appointment during which time I wrote three books plus one, a total of 4 books from late 2019 to late 2022. My fifth stage is about to begin in less than 3 months, and it will be the first time since 1994 that I have served another institution besides my own denomination in Sabah except for my Singapore’s sojourn. It will only be my 3rd employers in almost 30 years of full time ministry (by 2024). 

As I look back to my first four phases, it seems clear that none of my ministry has lasted more than 6 years in one place. Should I last for 6 years in this coming ministry, it will be at the last year of the 3rd decade of the 21st century and I may well be doing something else come 2030. If my 6th phase lasts another 6 years, I shall be 70 year old by then making my 8th and last phase which I hope to see out until I am 80 years old. Then I will be like Moses who had just begun his great work. But I am just a man of the flesh like everyone else so I shall be content if I reach 80 when I can celebrate my golden Jubilee (2044) in full time ministry, by God’s grace.

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