I was brought up in a small country chapel in the Primitive Methodist tradition. I helped to lead worship with a team of young people from across the Circuit, and later with a student team as part of Liverpool University Methsoc.
But for many years I remained convinced I had no call to preach! I did feel a call to pastoral work and to a position of Lay Worker within the former Wolverhampton Trinity Circuit. Through the development of this role, and through the strong influence of Rev Alan Francom, I did (eventually!) respond to God's call to preach. I was accredited at the age of 49, which I considered quite mature – I was shocked to be reminded recently of just how long ago that was!
I am not sure whether it is appropriate to say one “enjoys” preaching, as it can be a terrifying and awe-inspiring business! But I have never regretted taking on this role, and have gained so much spiritual growth through it. When the Wolverhampton Circuit was formed, I was already preaching in two of the three Circuits that came together, and rapidly got to know the third. It is good to know at least a few people in every church in which I preach, and to have that particular church, or churches, in mind as I prepare.
I pray that God will continue to use me to lead his people as we share together in worship.