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I Didn’t Ask for Your Credentials

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Jayson Lewis Pastor's Blog February 19, 2020

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. Matthew 9:9

Before the idea of a church plant was given to Pastor Williamson, he commented to me one day that our lives would be intertwined somehow for God’s Kingdom. I acknowledged the same and moved on, not giving it much thought, however. So, it was no surprise when Pastor Williamson came to me about being the executive pastor of Crosstown Fellowship Church, but like many would have, I wondered “why me?” Doubt began to creep in. The enemy brought up a flood of memories of my sinful past. I even came to him shortly after telling him I wasn’t the right person for such a task. I confessed former sins and detailed current struggles, to which Pastor Williamson replied, “who in ministry is perfect?” He continued by saying “maybe the exact thing you’ve been chosen for, is to help address areas of weakness in your life.” I was floored. I was convicted in such a way that I made immediate changes for the good in my life and I have never been freer of my shame and guilt.

I remembered in that moment, sitting there talking with my pastor about why I couldn’t be a disciple for God’s Kingdom, that Jesus didn’t ask for our credentials or qualifications. He simply said, “follow me.” He took the not-so-beloved tax collector, he didn’t dismiss the zealot who could rub people the wrong way, and he didn’t even skip over Judas in order to fulfill the scripture. One writer says this about the group of men chosen: “…the apostles were ill-prepared to venture off on their own. They were unable to heal a boy with a demon, presumably because their prayer was weak (Mark 9:28-29). The apostles displayed lack of comprehension (Mark 4:13), little faith (4:40), hard hearts (6:52), competitiveness (9:34), possessiveness (9:38), selfish ambition (10:37) and jealousy (10:41).” And this was after they had been chosen!

All of us are in different places in our lives. We have different jobs, different family dynamics, we’re different ages, battling different negative influences, different pasts; the list could fill this page if we really thought about it. The same was true for people in Jesus’ day. The scripture at the top (Matt 9:9) causes me to remember that Jesus chose His disciples not based on their position, wealth, fame, ability, or even a clean past (or future in the case of Judas). Jesus didn’t ask for the individuals’ resumes or references. He didn’t perform background checks. He didn’t screen applicants for the position of disciple. No, he said “follow me”, and those that believed, did. Because of whom they became in Christ, not who they were before, they fed the people the Word and paved the way for us today, two thousand plus years later.

John 15:16 says – “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” I’m so blessed to be a part of Crosstown Fellowship Church. My family is blessed by my appointed role in the church, for how much closer it has brought me to God. I pray that CFC will continue to create Godly relationships, feed God’s people, and contribute to God’s kingdom. Whoever you are, whatever you are, wherever you are… just follow Jesus.

~ Jayson Lewis