How does the shyest, most introverted kid respond to a call to ministry? If you’re Rechab Gray – you run. The call was clear, but he couldn’t see a way that God could possibly use him. He was petrified at the thought of public speaking, praying in front of others, or even just talking to people. A call to ministry didn’t make sense.
When Rechab was young, he was so shy, his mother found creative ways to encourage him to talk with others. Friday nights were pizza nights, but only if Rechab could work up the nerve to call Pizza Hut and place the order. There were many nights when he preferred not to eat. The phone call was too terrifying.
As a teenager, Rechab committed his life to Jesus. Within a couple of years, God was clearly calling him to ministry. But Rechab was still petrified at the idea of preaching or leading others. So he decided the best option was to ignore that call. Instead he enrolled at Temple University and got an engineering degree. But all along, Rechab felt torn. The voice of that call on his life, never went away.
“I tried to silence it as much as I could. I ran to books about God, to run away from God. I tried to pick up as much theology as I could, just to make it sound like I was a Christian. But I was running from the call and running from Him. I can never remember praying at that time, because I was running away from that voice.”
Throughout those years, he only shared God’s call on his life with 2 other people: a good friend named Mark, and Brittany, the woman who eventually became his wife. Once they were married, Brittany continued to remind Rechab of that calling.
“She would say, ‘You told me a long time ago this is what your heart was turned toward, and I know this is true.’ She knew I was called, but I was still fighting back.”
Rechab continued to fight, but God began lining up circumstances he couldn’t ignore. Inexplicably, he got laid off from his engineering job, and despite all his efforts could not find a new position. As he struggled to find work, he had a sense that God was behind his circumstances.
“I knew it was God, and it was eating me alive. I knew He was calling me. During this time, I began to experience more intimacy with the Lord.”
He began spending his mornings applying for jobs, and afternoons serving at his church. He was at church on the day they realized they needed one more person to register for a mission trip to Malawi.
“Pastor Larry asked if God was calling me to go on this mission trip. As a matter of fact, that had been something my wife and I had prayed about. So we decided I should go.”
Going to Malawi was the first step of faith for Rechab. It was on that mission trip that God’s call became clear. It was on that trip that Rechab experienced God’s provision and peace to preach to a group of men for the first time in his life.
“They asked me to preach the Gospel to a group of men at a soccer tournament. I only had about 15 minutes to prepare and as I opened up the scriptures, I’ll never be able to explain what happened. As soon as I opened my mouth this incredible peace just came over me.”
When Rechab was finished, the others in his group were clear: It was time to give up engineering. God’s call on his life was apparent.
Surrendering to God’s call to ministry was just the beginning of a faith journey for Rechab and his family. Hear his amazing story of faith in Chapter 14 of Epic.Rechab Gray – Surrendering to the call