After seminary Gene pastored a total of two churches. He has many a story to tell about that period of his life.
“I never belonged in the pastorate! Nor was there ever a moment in my life when I felt that I should be a pastor. It is only that this is what was expected. I knew nothing else. It is what men called of God were supposed to do.”
Gene entered evangelism at the age of twenty-five. By the time he was twenty-seven he was holding city-wide campaigns and had authored two books, both of which became best sellers. (And both of which he later took out of print after he left the institutional church.)
Gene’s evangelistic ministry zoomed to the point that he was not only holding multi-church campaigns but even being invited into many denominations’ headquarters to train their leaders in personal evangelism.
But during all this there was a desperation going on inside of Gene, a sense that he worked from out of the soul, not the spirit. This he also saw as true throughout the ministerial world.
“None of us knew Christ very well.”
Gene had a driving desire to know his Lord better. He was not aware that deep within his being there beat the heart and hunger of a Christian mystic. There would have been no way he could have known that fact, as he had always been a “do-er”, and nothing of a “be-er.”