My story may seem to be a bit unusual. At least that’s what I’ve gathered in talking with others.
From the day I was saved, I only wanted to evangelize. I saw Billy Graham preaching on television, telling people how to get to heaven. I had no idea how famous Graham was so his name did not necessarily intrigue me. But as I watched him, I said myself, “That’s what I want to do.” I did not have a good approach to Bible study, but I stumbled upon 2 Timothy 4:5: “Do the work of an evangelist.” Thought the context of Paul’s words to Timothy as a pastor-teacher was different than my experience, that verse really excited me, and I said to myself, “That’s what I want do with my life.”
I believe God uses two things to confirm your gift: experience and exposure. By experience, I mean to do something because God directs a moving object. By exposure, I mean being around godly men and women who can observe you and sense where you are gifted.
As I gained experience in Christian work and particularly during two interim pastorates (one in the summer of 1968 in Pennsylvania and one the summer of 1969 in Maryland), God used godly men and women to affirm my gift and assure me that evangelism was where I was gifted. I found that I gravitated towards leading unbelievers to Christ. I enjoyed teaching the Scriptures to believers but that didn’t excite me nearly as much as reaching the lost. The more experience and exposure I had, the more I sensed God’s supernatural hand on my life in evangelism.