As a woman who has been called by God as a minister of the gospel, I do my best to offer a servant's heart to the people I am privileged to lead. I commit my life to serving others and increasing their knowledge of the Kingdom of God. To a hurting and lost world I seek to show God's love and compassion as He has so generously given to me. I seek to view every person through the eyes of Christ and remind them of their inherent worth, regardless of what the world deems worthy.
Conversion and Call to Ministry
I sought initial salvation as a pre-teen through the bus ministry of Elwood Assembly of God. My family did not attend church and refused to take me, so I relied on the kindness of others to get me there. Through my teenage years I did not lose my belief in God, but I also did not seek Him and became lukewarm. In the early years of my marriage we sought God as a couple and attended church. My faith was growing when tragedy struck my marriage and I became angry with God and turned away completely. I avoided and raged against the Lord for years while my husband and some members of church diligently prayed for me. It finally became apparent to me that I couldn't handle what had happened on my own, and I recommitted my life to Christ. Immediately God began to heal me and our marriage and I went back to church with my family. At this time I had been attending school to become an elementary school teacher and I was nearing the end of my Bachelor's degree. However, as my faith once again grew, my interest in teaching in the schools waned. Instead, I developed a deep love for theology and studying the Bible. It burdened my heart to realize how little people actually knew about the Word. I became upset, wondering what on earth I was going to do with a teaching degree I no longer had the desire to use. Once again, God quickly answered that question. One day, while picking up my girls from a church function, I struck up a conversation with the children's pastor. Listening to her talk about her job made me think I would love to be a pastor and teach the Word of God. That evening I went home and researched what degree was needed to be a pastor. I discovered that many churches liked their pastors to have some sort of teaching degree, but what was really needed was a pastoral degree. While praying about it all, I contacted a school about enrolling in their pastoral program. I was told they had classes starting in two weeks, but there was little chance I could start. They stated that most of the information from my former collages would take a month to arrive and the application process, let alone the enrollment process, could not be completed in time. Still, I felt the Lord telling me to apply, that this was the new career path He wanted to take me down. So, I did. Miraculously, my transcripts arrived at my new school in less than a week and I was accepted as a student a few days later. The finances worked out in that time, too. Finally, two days before classes were to start I was able to sign up for my classes and I had my books rushed to me. I didn't audibly hear God's voice call me to pastoral leadership, but He made it so incredibly clear to me both then and ever since, that I have never doubted what He wants for me. Furthermore, I have received multiple prophesies, sometimes from total strangers, that reiterate that God is taking me down a path where I will teach many people throughout my lifetime.
Philosophy of Preaching and Teaching
I always keep James 3:1 in mind when I am studying the Bible or preaching. I take sharing God's Word very seriously and have no desire to twist Scripture in any form. I constantly seek God and ask for His clarification on things I don't understand or on things where the scholars are divided. I am in constant awareness that I am not fit for such a task without God's grace and help. Ultimately a pastor is a servant of God and a servant to God's people. Leading, teaching and shepherding God's people gives me an enormous feeling of self-worth and a healthy dose of fear, all at the same time. It is where our gifts meet a need in God's Kingdom that our purpose is found. Romans 10:14 says, in part, ".......And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how they to hear without someone preaching?" (ESV) This verse burdens my heart. God has given me the ability to teach and preach, and without people to use these gifts, there will be those who never hear. My philosophy is that I must use my gifts to help people "hear" God both through my teaching and through loving actions, that they might be introduced to Him or be led to a deeper relationship with Him!
Philosophy of Leadership
It is my conviction that leadership should never be about the interest of power. After all, Jesus states in Matthew 20:25-28 that even He came to serve. How much more, then, must leaders among us do so? We are servants of the one who came to serve. Leaders should provide guidance, not seek ultimate authority. Leaders should also seek wise counsel from others at all times. As a leader I have no personal authority, only the authority delegated to me by the Lord. I must lead by example and be ready to roll up my sleeves with, or before, everyone else.
Philosophy of Counseling
It is my belief that counseling is simply practical theology. This simply means that, as 2 Timothy 3:16 says, Scripture provides everything the believer needs for living a righteous life. Sometimes life circumstances simply require some guidance, with Scripture at the core. However, there is also an emotional side of things that must be addressed when counseling. People want to know that they are being heard, that someone cares, that someone understands, and that someone recognizes them. Romans 12:15 tells us to "weep with those who weep". This is the first step when someone comes to you in pain. It is only when you have lent your heart and your ear that people are then ready to take help and listen to instruction.