I didnt know what was happening. I shed tears of joy; I did not know if I was coming or going
The progress of my faith in Christ has been a gradual journey over many years.
The seeds were sown when I was a small lad of about eight or nine years old. I was asked by the rector of our local church in Surrey if I would take the role of Boat Boy for the Sunday Eucharist services.
My Mother used to take me and my sister to church every Sunday; in those days the church was a high Anglican church, which used incense during the Eucharist service. This I performed until I was about the age of ten, when I won a scholarship to a stage school, and I drifted away from church.
By the time I was a young teenager. I started to worship at a local Methodist central hall. In my late teens, I became a professional dancer for about three or four years; this period became my lowest as far as my faith was concerned.
It was not until after I was married that I started to worship at St Pauls here in Dorcan. By the time I was inmy early30s I was actively teaching in Sunday school with the other leaders. I then started the Boys Brigade Company at St Pauls on a suggestion from the Rev Brian Pearce. This adventure lasted 22years.
During this time, I and the other officers took a group away to Hemel Hempstead, the headquarters of the Boys Brigade, to a worship weekend called Firm Foundations. Here, after one evening worship service, I went forward to ask the Lord into my life and take control, to show me how to live a better way. This step hit me hard; I didnt know what happening. I shed tears of joy; I did not know if I was coming or going.
When I finished Boys Brigade in 2005, I realised what the Lord had done for those boys through me, it was when I read theircomments and a letter one sent from the USA that I fully comprehended how the Lord used me.
I was then at a loose end. I repeatedlyasked God what he wanted to do with my life. In 2007 his answer came in a Sunday morning service led by one of our cell groups. During a hymn, I started weeping and heard a voice say "Do it - preach my word." I recalled this to our minister, Tony Knapp, who then put me forward for the EGP course (Equipping God's People).
Now I know what the Lord has in store for me and will use me as he wants. It has taken 50 years or more forjust me, one sheep; how much more time will he take to save his world, using people like me to be his disciples?
About the author
Paul Tayler is a Licensed Lay Minster at St Paul's, part of the Dorcan Church ecumenical partnership in Swindon.