I think it is an interesting time to say what I am passionate about because I’m getting to do it a whole lot these days. I always felt the call to ministry but I felt like God made a mistake in calling me because I was and still am extremely socially awkward. Meeting new people and having small talk in person are things that still give me chills to this day. I remember a pastor telling me that he didn’t think I could be effective as a pastor because of this. Of course discouraged, I retreated further into myself for a few years. It wasn’t until I stopped trying to fulfill society’s criteria and just serve where I was capable did I truly see the effectiveness of stepping into your calling.

I stopped worrying so much that I wasn’t an extrovert and really utilized what I was good at. I find it interesting that if I had not leaned into what I was good at and tried to be “conventional” or tried to do ministry as it was done before at my local church I would have had to do a lot of learning right now. Another story that I think about when it comes to my ministry is a few years ago I was feeling discouraged again in ministry I felt like I wasn’t making a difference and my wife handed me a letter. The letter was written by a teenage girl from my church and the letter stated how she hated coming to church because either people judge her or ignore her. She said that I was different and that I genuinely cared about her.

I think she wrote that letter to show gratitude but that letter completely changed my day as I went from discouraged to encouraged. I think it was at that moment I realized the power of encouragement how just seeing someone can change a life. My Name is Eric Jean-Baptiste and I encourage young people to not be afraid of what God has planned for them.

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