The interlocutor of the website Wolram.org is Jeff Rutland, a famous preacher, pastor and Bible teacher, who has been preaching the Word of God for decades and bringing the Gospel to different nations.
In an interview with us Pastor Rutland talks about his ministry and how we can make progress in the service and reach our calling.
How did you come to know the Lord and how did you repent?
I grew up in one of the Baptist churches of the United States. This denomination did a great job in my life by teaching me about the importance of confessing Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I attended church with my parents. I also attended Sunday school. We would gather on Sundays and Wednesdays. And although I didn’t doubt that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life, I still didn’t repent during my childhood.
I repented when I was 18 years old, i.e. during my first year at the university. One of my friends invited me to a home Bible study group, where I dedicated my life to the Lord and was baptized with the Holy Spirit.
Our readers will be very interested to know what ministry you carry out.
I am a senior pastor in Mississippi, which in its turn implies many ministries, like, for example, to lead the church, the leaders, as well as the ministry “Visions and Projects”. Of course, my wife Rita is a great help to me in terms of leading the church.
My calling has always been to preach the Gospel to the nations who have not heard it yet. Although I am a pastor now, I continue doing it. Last year I was in Himalayan countries, where I carried out some work with local pastors. We also implement a certain work in the Middle East, such as, printing books and other things, the purpose of which is to bring the Gospel to the nations of the Middle East.
You have been teaching at the Bible School these days. What is your opinion about the school and students?
I have always considered teaching at the ‘Word of Life” Bible School one of the primary things wherever I traveled. Being in the same team with the leaders of “Word of Life”, whether it be in Armenia or elsewhere, is a great honor for me.
Analyzing the Bible School I can say that one of the main reasons of the vision of this church is the unceasing flow of people to the Bible School. If this school stops operating, it will be very difficult to acquire the great vision that God has given to “Word of Life” Church.
There are various approaches regarding the calling. According to some pastors, each person has a calling that they can discover by asking God. Others, however, think that our calling is what we love to do and show interest in. What is a calling for you?
The Bible states quite clearly that throughout our life Jesus calls us. Therefore, the first calling is to know Jesus. This is a clear call for all people in the world. In fact, only a few people respond to the call of knowing Jesus, and those who accept Jesus as their Savior, go to heaven, while others who have not responded to the call of the Lord in any way, will forever be separated from God.
Once we come to know Christ, the Bible calls people to the church to work for the Kingdom of God. It doesn’t matter whether you help the church to cook food or you are a pastor. The Bible teaches us that all Christians are called to be in the body of Christ and carry out special works for spreading the Kingdom of God. One person is called to start a business, while the other one is called to be a leader of a worship team: both of them are called.
The 22nd chapter of Revelation says that Jesus will come again and will repay all people according to their deeds. Our deeds must be connected to our calling. For example, my wife is called to be a wife, mother and Computer technology specialist, and as much as she is faithful to her calling is how much she will be rewarded.
Thus, I believe that each person has a calling from God, and that calling includes every sphere of our life.
So, it means that we can ask God for our calling and receive it?
Yes, but I think that everybody should start the path of the calling in the same way. You help another person to do what God has called him to do. I don’t want to go into details. If you are a new believer, just get to know Jesus, draw close to the Lord! Help the church and be very faithful in helping and serving.
Hearing teachings about calling, some people hurry and make mistakes. They try to start a ministry, church or business, but have never been committed to serving as a helper, or as a beginner in general. To move forward, you must serve with great faithfulness.
There is one person in our church who is the Executive Director of a company that ranks second in the number of employees in the State of Mississippi. When this person joined our church he really wanted to serve. And so he began to serve in the following way: he would make coffee and help to cook food. He would even clean the floor and take part in cleaning the building. He loved what he was doing. And when this person stayed faithful in these spheres, we started placing more responsibilities on him. He has been a strong believer for 15 years.
If you really want to reach your calling, then one of the most important things is the following: to begin and enjoy that beginning by being faithful at first. Even if you are a leader in the sphere of business, you have to start by “making coffee and cleaning the floor” in the church, enjoy and love your service.