Share your Christian testimony and why you are seeking to enter ministry leadership
I grew up in the Reformed Church in America and attended church fairly regularly on Sunday mornings and often went to Sunday School. I led a moral life, but I thought my faith was simply attending church. I thought that’s what made me a Christian. Two events made me realize that faith in Jesus Christ was about my whole life and not just certain activities (i.e. attending church): my 9th grade Sunday School teacher, Mark Smith, and the beginning of my musical activities in worship. Christ is my Savior and Lord over all my life. God sent Him to die on the cross in my place – to pay the price for my sins. I don’t deserve anything, yet He gave His all for me. Therefore, He is worthy of all my time, energy, worship, thoughts, actions, etc. – my whole life. All the good I am able to do is only by His grace and He deserves all the glory for it (I Peter 4:10-11).
I have been serving in a variety of capacities in Christ’s church for over 25 years, including a term as deacon. Recently I completed a position as Worship Director at a congregation and wondered what God was calling me to do next. I am still open to some type of worship position if I feel God leading in that direction, but some recent activities have me thinking that God may be pushing me onto a different path for now.
In the last year, I have had the privilege of visiting friends, relatives, and people from former congregations who are shut-in, suffering from health concerns, or who are struggling in other ways. These visits have given me time to listen, pray, and read scripture with them. It has been a very rewarding experience – to step into these people’s lives and encourage them with God’s Word and in prayer. Many people have responded positively with comments such as: “Are you going to seminary?” “You’re really good at this.” “Have you considered being a pastor?” My current activities at LaGrave Ave. Church, some of which involve pastoral care, have also been affirming of this gift.
Meetings with some of the pastors at LaGrave, with the visitation pastor at my former church, with a prayer leader at LaGrave, and a classis leader have also been encouraging. I believe that God is calling me to seminary studies, and at least for now, to focus on pastoral care. However, I also I need to be listening to his Spirit for what he may call me to do in the future — knowing that it may extend beyond just pastoral care.
How are you currently working to build authentic relationships with people who may serve as references or points of contact in your future career in ministry?
Currently, at my home church (La Grave Ave. Christian Reformed Church), I serve on the Intercessory Prayer Team, the Comfort and Care Ministry (for those who have experienced death in their family), and as a Pastoral Care Assistant for visiting shut-ins of the church. I have formed relationships with my fellow Comfort and Care Ministry team members, as well as the leader of our church’s care ministries, Rev. Ruth Boven. I have also formed relationships with the leader of our church’s prayer ministries, Jolene DeHeer, and with several of our other pastors, two of whom also serve on the prayer team.