Name: Dominik Wandel
Age: 26 years
What are your gifts and strengths?
I’m a quick learning person and I’m good at everything that involves body movement. I also love performing arts!
2. What were your goals before you became a Christian? What was your passion?
I wanted to become an actor or a Preacher! My big brother, who I looked up to, wanted to become a Preacher! But then he became an actor. It’s ironic, I always wanted to become an actor and now I’m becoming a Preacher. My brother who wanted to become a Preacher is now an actor.
3. How were you influenced and shaped by your parents growing up?
My family treated me very well. My parents were really loving people and my mom purposely raised me with Christian influence, which I’m very thankful for today. It made it so much easier to commit my life into the hands of Christ and put my trust in God.
4. When did you give your life to follow Jesus? How did you decide you want to be a pastor? Was there a specific situation that changed things for you?
I experienced God at the age of 15, but I really converted at the age of 21. God was always present, but at the same time he seemed too distant. He was far away, up in the sky, and unreachable; with huge expectations that couldn’t be met. When I was 15, however, God did something I did not expect. I had an encounter with him. When someone prayed for me after a youth service, I felt like a huge cloud of freedom surrounded me. The cloud was not visible, but so real and present.
I suddenly felt so light and all my burdens fell off. I started crying because I felt so cared for, loved and accepted.
After this experience, it took another 6 years until I decide not just to believe in the existence of God, but to also live my life according to his will. This meant for me to put down my dreams and to not judge anymore about good and evil, but to have faith that God could judge what is good and evil. I also understood that the most gracious one wanted to give me his best for my life and to do that he had to have control over my life! I gave him this control and it was the best decision I ever made. This deep joy and profound peace that came into my life, after I made this decision, awakened the desire in my heart to let other people know about this gift of heaven. That’s why I want to become a pastor now!
Are you not worried to live a boring and tiring life as a pastor? Self-denial, high moral expectations, dealing with annoying people or even the danger of losing your job?
No, I’m not worried about this. The more I get into the work of a Pastor, the more I realize, how it is made for me in every aspect.
Self-denial brings me great joy because I discover God through it!
I love people so much even the annoying ones, it’s part of my nature. Am I concerned about losing my job? That’s the least of my worries.
Can’t you build the kingdom of God as effectively as a businessman or Politician compared to a Pastor?
Definitely, as long as it’s not me. I would be a horrible businessman. A politican? I don’t think so. But you are right! The kingdom of God contains more than just Pastors and their sheep! God loves politics, family, arts and media. He loves every area of society – from a businessman to rock musician. I’m becoming a pastor, what about you?
During your time at the THS- School of pastoral Leadership you are getting a real insight in the daily life of a pastor. How does it look like? What do you like and what do you dislike?
The daily life of a pastor is incredibly diverse. As leader of a church you build structure, which serves your vision.
You are close to your people to develop them, and you spend time with the Lord through reading his word and prayer.
There are always other things to do as well as in your personal life etc. The biggest challenge is to manage everything well. I really enjoy the part of being close to people and preaching. What I do not like is all the time management, it’s challenging.
What does someone who wants to become a pastor have to learn at all cost?
Time management and more time management! Maybe other people are better at it than me, but it’s a must have quality of a future pastor.
The dream of most pastors is church growth and to see breakthrough. Many have been disappointed, and some have even left the ministry. Why do you think that is?
This is a very good question and I do not think I can totally answer it. I think that many pastors are possibly overwhelmed and because of that give up. The church is not running as smoothly as in the beginning, you loose your passion for church ministry, everything you need to do suddenly becomes a burden, or maybe you experience a crisis in your life etc.
Something I think that will help is good preparation for that what might come my way as a Pastor.
I believe this will help me to endure and not give up.
Why did you decide to study at THS- School of Pastoral Leadership and not at another school?
Another good question and exciting one as well. It was an exciting journey for me when I asked myself the question, “what’s next in my life?” Surprisingly, God spoke very clearly to me so that I had no other choice, but to join.
What has been most significant in your learning process so far? Where has your life changed through the church placement?
Most beneficial for me so far, were the different opinions and faith emphases of my fellow students.
They all have a strong faith and it’s great to test my own faith with theirs.
It expanded my view of how God works and what my role is in all this.
How would a typical week look like in ten years’ time? You can think outside the box, don’t feel limited. How does the week look like?
In 10 years’ time, I will probably go into the office of my mega church and prepare everything to handle the daily business of the church. I will still love Jesus and serve him with the fire I had on day one. There is so much to do! I will also take time to look at my family portraits in my office and just ponder. I love my family and I’m very happy about what God has given me. It still fascinates me! There will be this strange tension of giving up your life to do the things of God, serve people, eagerly await his return and to enjoy this beauty in life fully, which he has given us! Then I will drink a cup of coffee or two.
I would imagine it to be something like this in ten years’ time.