Marissa Walters

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Share your Christian testimony and why you are seeking to enter ministry leadership.

I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home. My dad was and still is a pastor in the CRC. Ever since I was young, I not only attended church, but was pretty involved in whatever ministry or program I could. As early as 3rd grade I had a passion for evangelism. I had one neighbor friend who didn’t know Jesus and I wrote a story about how I told her about Jesus. In middle school I grew in my love for Jesus and professed my faith publicly in 8th grade. During my first year of high school I was involved in a prayer/outreach initiative through my church where myself and two other girls were on a team that prayed for a specific neighborhood in our area and went door to door prayer walking in one of those neighborhoods each week. We also were required to spend at least 30min each day in prayer for that neighborhood. My faith grew exponentially during this time as did my passion for outreach.

Fast-forward to my junior year of college where I was employed as the outreach intern at my church in response to God’s call for our church to reach out to our own neighborhood. I organized and led street teams to pray for and canvas our neighborhood on a weekly basis all summer long. The following summer I was able to lead the whole congregation in outreach. While outreach/evangelism is one of my passions/gifts, I also love teaching and discipleship. I was able to volunteer in the youth group and teach Sunday school at my home church through college, was employed as a middle school youth director during my first year of seminary and have been able to disciple college aged students that participate in the Bridge Street Mission School in Grand Rapids.

I have always loved prayer walking and am blessed to be on the prayer walking leadership team at Gold Avenue Church, serve as a prayer partner on a monthly basis and serve as a volunteer worship leader as well. As of this Fall, I started volunteering with Youth For Christ at Union High school and am the freshman and sophomore girls small group leader. For the past two winters, I have been blessed to serve as a co-leader on a 2-month long trip to India with the mission school students and it was during that trip last year where the Lord laid on my heart, the call to be an evangelist. I don’t fully know what this looks like lived out, but I am excited to see how God is going to give me opportunities to use my gifts to make the name of Jesus known to the glory of the Father.

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?

To be honest, finding a mentor or people to pour into me has been a challenge. I was the pastor’s kid and it was like no one wanted to be a mentor to me. I was also pretty spiritually mature for my age so I probably intimidated people. For the past 2.5 years, I’ve been blessed to have a wonderful mentor from my church. She is a prayer warrior and we meet on a monthly basis and see each other at church on Sunday. She sends me sermons to listen to and invites me to reach out at any time. It’s been such a gift.

Just this Fall after stepping into a volunteer worship leading position at my church, one of the pastors, a recent grad from Calvin Seminary, offered to disciple me. We have met on a monthly basis starting this Fall and talk during the week as we discern the order of worship and meet for prayer on Wednesdays with some of the leadership and members of our congregation. She was one of the first people that I was able to be open and honest with. I was able to share with her not only the good things that God has done in my life, but also the struggles—really hard things. In response, she invited me to have a prayer appointment at my church and I received so much inner healing. She probably knows me better than anyone else.

It’s a gift to have people like these two women in my life as they are Spirit-filled, prayerful, and mature people who encourage me and speak truth into my life when I’m believing lies of the enemy. I’m excited for how God will continue to grow my relationship with them.