From me­dia to min­istry – Lin­coln Lik­ing’s story

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION - Ta­mara Bai­ley Gleaner Writer fam­ilyan­dreli­gion@glean­erjm.com

MANDEVILLE, Manch­ester: CHURCH FOR his mother, with whom he grew up, was never a ne­ces­sity as she be­lieved that per­sons, hav­ing been ex­posed to a num­ber of reli­gious ide­olo­gies, had to find their way.

Me­dia re­la­tions was his pas­sion and if some­one had told him that he would be pur­su­ing the­o­log­i­cal stud­ies, he would have had a hearty laugh.

Well, ac­tu­ally, some­one did tell him he would be­come a pas­tor, so it’s al­most safe to say they’re hav­ing the last laugh now.

But Lin­coln Lik­ing told Fam­ily & Re­li­gion that he’s never been more at peace with a de­ci­sion made, though the road is noth­ing short of speed bumps and pot­holes.

“I was in me­dia for ap­prox­i­mately 13 years. Be­fore en­ter­ing me­dia, I did a 95 (job), but I couldn’t see my­self do­ing that for the rest of my life. I needed to do some­thing that was cre­ative, so I got train­ing in me­dia – voice work, pro­duc­tion, edit­ing, writ­ing. When I got into me­dia, I thought this was it. I never knew I would leave the field.”

Lik­ing’s fa­ther, who was more reli­gious than his mother, en­sured that his chil­dren went to church on Sun­days when they vis­ited, but even then, the young lad thought noth­ing of the ex­pe­ri­ence.

“While in high school, I got ex­posed to the Rasta­far­ian faith and I em­braced their phi­los­o­phy. I thought Se­lassie was God; I be­lieved he was the Christ re­turned. But one thing I learnt from them was the im­por­tance of the Sab­bath, and I thought if I ever be­came a Chris­tian, it would have to be a Sab­bath-keep­ing church.”

As Lik­ing be­came older, he be­gan read­ing more and open­ing his mind and soon de­voted his life to God through con­fes­sion.

“I felt the con­vic­tion that I needed to ac­cept Christ, and with­out go­ing to a

church or any­thing, I con­fessed my sins and ac­cepted Christ as Lord and Saviour. It was dif­fi­cult for me when I

first walked into an Ad­ven­tist church. I ab­so­lutely hated Sab­bath school. Ev­ery­body was loud and I felt like leav­ing, but I de­cided to stay the day. I was blown away by the Di­vine hour. It was or­derly and rev­er­ent. It was my first true mean­ing­ful wor­ship ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Lik­ing later be­came bap­tised af­ter a ser­mon based on Isa­iah Chap­ter 6 and a se­ries of Bi­ble classes.

“Af­ter that ser­mon, I felt so con­victed, I called a friend of mine who was a part of the Rasta­far­ian faith and we started at­tend­ing Bi­ble stud­ies. It was about a month later that we were both bap­tised”

OBE­DI­ENT

Lik­ing, hav­ing been a bap­tised Sev­enth-Day Ad­ven­tist Chris­tian for 17 years, ad­mits that he has al­ways main­tained his faith in God but was not al­ways obe­di­ent to His call, par­tic­u­larly the call to min­istry.

“I re­mem­ber once when I went to Church one Sun­day as a child with my step­brother, the fe­male pas­tor looked at me and told me I would be­come a pas­tor, but I brushed it off. How­ever, as I got older, the call got to be very real. He (God) would send mes­sages. He would send per­sons and I kept say­ing no.

I never wanted to be a leader; I never wanted to be up front. I hated pub­lic speak­ing. I am ex­tremely shy. I can’t re­mem­ber names and I won­dered how I was go­ing to pas­tor peo­ple whose names I couldn’t re­mem­ber...

“I never wanted to be a leader; I never wanted to be up front. I hated pub­lic speak­ing. I am ex­tremely shy. I can’t re­mem­ber names and I won­dered how I was go­ing to pas­tor peo­ple whose names I couldn’t re­mem­ber,” he said laugh­ingly.

But, yet again, the con­vic­tion was too great. Lik­ing, who said he was in a good place pro­fes­sion­ally and fi­nan­cially, with plans to be mar­ried, dropped ev­ery­thing to an­swer the call.

“God came to me very clearly and He told me I had to make a de­ci­sion, and so I ap­plied for the pro­gramme at NCU (North­ern Caribbean Univer­sity). I am now in my sec­ond year. It’s been one of the most dif­fi­cult ex­pe­ri­ences I’ve had, yet one of the most spir­i­tu­ally re­ward­ing. I’m in a state of thank­ful­ness be­cause ev­ery­thing has worked to­gether for my good.”

The as­pir­ing min­is­ter says he is un­sure of how God will use him in the fu­ture but says he is look­ing for­ward to a unique ex­pe­ri­ence.

Lin­coln Lik­ing said that he has never been more at peace with a de­ci­sion made, though the road is noth­ing short of speed bumps and pot­holes.

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