Friday, September 16, 2016

Hearts Strangely Warmed

“While the leader was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.” — John Wesley, May 24, 1738

God calls us to tell our story so that others may come to know Jesus Christ. “Hearts Strangely Warmed” was created to share these stories about transformational encounters with the Living God.

Rev. Terry Brosius (third from left) celebrated his ordination with his family in 2015.

Always motivated

Rev. Terry Brosius

Before my call to become a pastor 

After graduating from Halifax High school, I studied art at Harrisburg Area Community College. I then attended Lancaster Bible College and dreamed of becoming a youth director. My first position as a youth director was at Trinity Evangelical Congregational Church in Lititz, Pa., where after a few years I was told by Dr. Rev. Roy Haupt, “Terry, you are called to be an ordained elder.” I said no way, and like Jonah, ran the other way.

The call

Eventually I became a youth director serving under Rev. Don Nolder at First UMC in Chambersburg. I then sensed an overwhelming call of God to become a pastor. While sitting in my office, I said, yes, Lord, if that’s what you want me to be. But if I looked like a pastor, I hoped someone could tell me so I could change. In my mind, pastors couldn’t relate well to ordinary people. I continued to pursue that goal, however, and in time I earned an Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary, thanks to the pastors who checked in with me over the years as my mentors. In June 2015 I was ordained as an elder during our Annual Conference at Messiah College. Throughout my life I’ve had to persistently work hard and maintain an overcomer’s attitude to achieve my goals, so that moment brought an overwhelming feeling of joy and tears.

Since the call 

Ever since ordination, I’ve experienced a flood of emotions, affirmations, and confirmations. I’ve been told, “Pastor, after your sermon, you motivated me to clean my house.” And I’m thinking, that wasn’t what the sermon was about, was it? Through college, seminary, and working through various questions with the ordination process, I’ve had a lot of support, as many folks rallied behind my call from God. I’ve kept a lot of pastors and mentors busy with my questions over the years as I sought to understand the Wesleyan ways, to model hospitality, and to visit all who needed a visit. One book of many I purchased was one that Rev. Dr. Lew Parks wrote, titled, Preaching in the Small Membership Church, and signed: “Terry, preach well in season and out of season.”

My hopes and dreams

 I am living my hopes and dreams, and I trust I am fulfilling my purpose for the Lord. One book I love is Every Move Has a Purpose by Bruce Pandolfini, which has influenced me. In this book he says, “Seize the initiative. Play with a plan. Look at your opponent’s moves. Don’t waste material. Seek small advantages” (Pandolfini, 3). As I’ve been involved with youth groups and churches over the years, my purpose is to make disciples by investing in people. The more I discover my spiritual gifts, the more I want to use them for the United Methodist Church in Central Pennsylvania. My pastoral gifts include teaching, leadership, faith, evangelism, and administration. People tell me, “Pastor, you’re always in continual momentum.” Rev. Dr. Roy Haupt told me, “Terry, never, never land.” And I don’t intend to land. I’ve always been a goal setter in order to accomplish something for the Lord. Right now I am happy and joyful to use my gifts and talents for the Lord as an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, whether or not I look like a pastor.

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