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Brady McElhenney

12/13/17 | Discipleship | by Brady McElhenney

Brady McElhenney

    I was born into a Christian family and accepted Christ at a young age. I was in fourth grade when Upward Basketball began at our church. I was so excited and through this ministry I excepted Christ as my Savior. As I grew into middle school and high school, I began to be discipled by Jordan Robinson. I would come to youth gatherings and would spend time with him outside of church where we not only had fun but discussed our faith. He challenged me to read the Word, and he truly modeled to me what a follower of Christ should look like.

    As I entered college, I began to ponder the big questions of life. The most important of these for me was trying to decide what I wanted to do for a living. I thought I wanted to do something that seemed fun and cool or that might make a lot of money. I was stuck between being in the FBI, going to law school, or becoming a history teacher. I struggled with these ideas throughout my freshman year of college, never feeling that any of these job areas was a complete fit for me.

    As a church, we started a sermon series on Sunday nights during the winter of my freshman year called “Legacy.” One night the message was directed at being called into ministry. After this message I felt extremely convicted. I remember Brother Jon asking if anyone felt called to just raise our hands. I did not know he was looking at me. I was too scared to raise my hand, but a few weeks before this, I had an opportunity to preach for the first time. I did not want to do this but Jordan did not give me much of an option. After I preached, several people came to me saying how they felt that I should be a pastor. I did not like hearing this.

    Later that night after I heard the sermon in the “Legacy” series, my mom asked me a hard question. She said, “Brady, have you ever thought you might be running from God’s calling for you?” I felt a huge pit in my stomach after she said this and from then on, I sought out council from someone I look up to a lot. Brother Shaun Selman at Clarke Venable Baptist Church discussed his call to ministry with me and then left me with some Scripture to read. Through reading what he told me, I ran across 1 Timothy 4.  As I read what Paul wrote to Timothy, it was as if God was speaking directly to me. I remember reading this text and just starting to smile. The verse was 1 Timothy 4:13-14 which says, “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.” At that moment, I realized that God had shown me my gift, and it was preaching the Word.

    God used His Word, as well as those around me, to show me that He had called me to preach the Word. Since then I have had many opportunities to preach, and I have felt every time that I was doing just what God wants me to do with my life. Without this church, I would not be who I am today. I am eternally grateful for all of the people in our church that helped disciple me and helped me see my calling. Though God could call me anywhere He desires or to any church He desires, FBC Union will always be my home and will always have a special place in my heart. God Bless yall! Soli Deo Gloria!