By Kayla Kingston
Statistics show that nearly 59% of millennials who grow up in Christian churches end up walking away from the church later on in life.
However, Luke Parker, a senior at Eastern Christian High School, plans on pursuing ministry as a career next year at Gordon College. Since he was a young boy he has grown up with a family that loves and glorifies God, which has shaped his worldview. His family has been an inspiration to him to go down this career path as his father is a pastor.
Several people in his life have been an influence on his faith like a teacher of his, Mrs. Genuario, and his youth group leaders that have supported him in his journey pursuing the Lord.
For a period of time, he felt he was called to become a teacher, but his perspective changed when he went on a youth retreat during his sophomore year. During his senior year, it became even more apparent that he was not called to become a teacher and that going into the ministry field would be a better fit.
“For years, I rejected this idea of becoming a pastor because it was an idea that people would quickly put on me. I told myself for years that I would have to make this decision myself, not from anyone else. This led me to go into this place of wrestling God like Jacob did in the Bible. I think God needed to work on a few things in my heart before I finally made my decision,” says Parker.
He is interested in going into the ministry field, not necessarily as a pastor. He has felt the stigma of going into the ministry field, but he decided to make this decision for himself rather than for others.
“I'm very scared, but I know that God doesn't leave us alone. My favorite name of God in the bible is ‘el-Roi’ which means, ‘the God who sees me.’ He not only sees me, but He is with me through it all. I'm scared, but it's okay because I don't have to be in control of this situation,” says Parker.
He feels that Gordon College will help him to grow spiritually so he can become an inspiration to others. There are special opportunities for him, as an accelerated Dual degree program for Christian Ministry and Biblical Studies as a major or minor. Also, he could obtain a bachelor's degree and a Masters of Divinity in 5 years.
He is open to serving the Lord anywhere. In the past, he felt that he wasn’t good enough to go into ministry, but now he thinks God looks for people who are willing to follow Him rather than people that are perfect. Parker is willing and eager to follow God during this journey.
“Intimacy with God is a choice, and from a young age I made the decision to live in intimacy with Him rather than choose to do it later on in life,” concludes Parker.