It was a cold Saturday morning in January of 2005. I had set some time aside to clean out an old safe that I used for protecting old documents and other odds and ends. It was about 12:00 noon when I began to plunder through the papers and items in the safe. It is interesting what we think is important at a particular time in life and when we look at it some years later it wasn’t really important at all.
This was the case, as I found old warranties, insurance papers from old policies, and the list goes on for those things that were no longer important. As I sorted through the various documents, I found one letter that was written to me some fifteen years earlier from my pastor at the time. His name is Keith Carroll. The letter was one of encouragement, support, and expectation of how God was going to use me. In that moment, the Holy Spirit came upon me and the resounding question from God was, “What have you done for me Roy?” The tears just started rolling down my cheeks. My heart was heavy laden because I could not think of anything that would be indicative of working for God or growing the kingdom.
Sure, people knew me as a man of God in the way I lived my life, in the way I treated my co-workers, in the manner I managed my teams. It was clear that I loved the Lord, but God kept asking: What have you done for me? I could not stop the hurt I was feeling in my heart because of how I had let God down.
My life was a lot different now, more challenging than it was 15 years earlier when the letter had been written. I was now the father of three children, more debt, bigger house, but I could not think of any real work I had done for the Kingdom. It occurred to me that if I were to die in that moment, God would probably not be very happy with my performance up to that point. I know, you can’t work your way into heaven, but scripture tells us that “Faith without works is dead.”
Hence, God called me to get into the game. I picked up the phone and called Pastor Keith to see if he would come along side of me and help me get my arms around this Father/Son relationship. I had two loving parents growing up but there were difficulties in my family and I had not learned how to be a father. As a result of missing that training, I may not have learned how to be the son God wanted me to be. I recognized that if my relationship with God, my wife, and my children was going to be the best it could be, then I had to be the one to move on God’s call.
Part of that movement was seeking a mentor.
Pastor Keith has been mentoring me now for about 10 years. I am sure this was not what he signed up for when he answered that call ten years ago but he is the most loving and humble servant that I know, and certainly models the life he teaches us from the word of God. The really amazing part of this story is that he is not my pastor, just a brother in Christ, willing to do whatever it takes to save another brother. I can honestly say that if Keith had not answered the call, then I have no idea where I would be today.
In closing, I wanted to share with each of you how God called me on that January day and how I am serving Him now. Reflecting on my own life and in speaking with hundreds and hundreds of men over the years I know that every man needs a purpose in life, a challenge, and an example of how to live that life for God. It is the way He created us to be.
Unfortunately, many of us did not have this modeled or taught. God has laid it on my heart to create a regular fellowship with men that follow Christ and want to do life together. This is where I answered God’s call to get into the game. I have a heart for men and want to see each and every man take his God appointed and honored position as the spiritual leader of his family, church, and workplace.
I answered a call to lead the men’s ministry at my local church and God has been in the driver’s seat ever since that first day. He continues to grow me, challenge me, lead me, and provide more and more opportunities to serve Him daily. Through this journey, I began to see two divides between men: one of color and one of denomination. God put it on my heart and stirred my soul to start bringing men together as a community. It is never too late to answer His call to action. I am living proof.
– Roy W. Jones, Jr., Talking and Walking Christian Men’s Ministry Founder