When I was a student at Pfeiffer, their mission was to “prepare servant leaders for lifelong learning.” And though I cannot imagine doing ministry without the amazing education that the Christian Ed. Program at Pfeiffer gave me, I am indeed still learning.
I have served in five churches since I graduated Pfeiffer and I swear, every time I speak about the church I serve, I say, “this church is unlike any other that I’ve ever served.” And it’s true, especially for my current appointment.
Each church is different; the people, the culture, the community, the way things work (or don’t work)…even in a denomination with a very particular set of structures and processes, things are different from church to church.
So I’m constantly learning and discovering new ways of doing things. The way Vacation Bible School has always been done at the church I’m currently serving is totally different than I’ve done it before. So this summer we’re doing a cool hybrid, mixing our different ways and exploring a new way forward together.
My last church challenged me and the ways I had always done things and required that I try different approaches and broaden my understanding of ministry. Those three years were some of the best, most formative years of my ministry.
Learning reenergizes me for ministry and reignites my passion. I especially love hearing how other people do ministry in different contexts and love spending time discerning how I might do things differently in order to fit the context I’m in at the time.
So I’m beginning a year-long cohort of the Youth Ministry Coaching Program with The Youth Cartel. Mark Oestreicher is leading a group of us youth ministers in the WNCC and we’re learning together – from Marko, from each other, from the various books we’ll be reading…and even after just the first day together, I’m so excited for this coming year and all that we have to learn and explore together.
Thanks to all the churches I’ve served and for all that you taught me. Thanks for being patient with me through my learning and wanting to try new things. Thanks to Pfeiffer’s commitment to lifelong learning. And thanks to my new friends and colleagues in ministry – it’s going to be a fabulous year!