I’ve been asking the question, “What’s next?” throughout the Lenten season. I knew God was calling me to leave Emmanuel in capable hands and step into the darkness of the unknown. The unknown is not a comfortable place for me and my planning instincts. I’ve spent many sleepless nights wrestling with why I couldn’t see what was next.
I thought back to my ministry experience. Maybe there was something I was missing.
My first ministry position was in a church that didn’t have a senior pastor. I was the youth intern and the church was going through a series of transitions including hiring a new youth minister. I found myself in the midst of uncertainty, conflict, and tension as the church discerned what was the next step. I found myself counseling youth as they tried to understand what was happening at the church and in the youth group. I didn’t have any training for navigating this kind of conflict or pain, but I was there and I listened.
After a year with that church, I moved to Asheville and began pulpit supply. I received feedback that I had spoken to the very heart of what the church was struggling with and conflicted about.
My husband and I moved to Columbia and I continued pulpit supply. This time it was for a church who had been told it was time to call it quits. They were told, they didn’t really need to be a church. I was called to pastor that church because I saw that they believed earnestly that God had a call for them.
They were right. We spent the next two and half years discovering what that call was together. It was hard to leave that community of faith, but I knew there were other churches who were in the same position. I knew because I had served them, because I had preached in them, and because my friends were ministers in them.
So, I’m excited to be joining the Harrelson Agency team working on young minister consulting, bi-vocational pastor consulting, and church growth strategies. I am called to churches in conflict; churches who are hurting and who need a new vision. I also just happen to be one of those millennials as well. I can provide valuable insight into the thought process and spiritual practices of my age group. I can also help uncover the stereotypes around attracting millennials and why these are so dangerous to the future of the church.
In my ordination council, one of my ordination team members asked me, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” I answered without hesitation that I saw myself in parish ministry. This is work is critical for the health and future of ministers and churches.
I’m so excited to get started!