Calling

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Is Seminary Part of Your Calling?

Sitting at the feet of Jesus might mean getting a degree
Is Seminary Part of Your Calling?
Image: iStock

I had zero intentions of ever going to grad school. In my mid-30’s, college was a distant memory, and the thought of pulling together enough time, focus, and mental energy to sit down and write a paper sounded like signing up for voluntary torture. “Ugh, school again? No thank you,” I blurted out to my friends when the topic of an advanced degree came up. ...

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Making the Leap from Marketplace to Ministry

Five truths to keep in mind when God calls you to a big career change
Making the Leap from Marketplace to Ministry
Image: iStock

My move from business to full-time ministry happened so fast, I probably should have seen a chiropractor for whiplash. I had held a litany of diverse jobs over the years―everything from fast food cashier to customer service representative, wardrobe coordinator on a Christian nativity musical tour to a very brief stint in the technical department of a major city’s opera ...

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Imagining the Next Generation of Women in Leadership

A conversation between a lead pastor and her daughter
Imagining the Next Generation of Women in Leadership
Image: Provided by the author

I’m purposeful in how I develop my staff members as leaders. I tell them what I see in them, put them in new situations which stretch them, sit with them regularly to ask, “How do you need to vent, process, or pray with me?” And, as uncomfortable as it makes me, I let them see my own struggles so they’re not surprised when leadership is hard. Without ...

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Find Your Place in God's Story

Like Esther, you may be exactly where you are for a specific purpose.
Find Your Place in God's Story
Image: iStock

A large group of college students gathered around a wise old woman as she spoke wisdom into their lives. Now in her eighties, she had a wealth of knowledge and experience from a life well lived. They leaned in close, for they wanted to glean from any specific lessons she had learned. Her life had been a testimony to everything they believed and wanted to be.

Growing up in the ...

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My Winding Road to the Pastorate

It was an inconvenient time to begin feeling called to co-pastor with my husband.
My Winding Road to the Pastorate
Image: iStock

There I sat. The good, supportive wife, watching my husband become the senior pastor of a rural church in Missouri. As various church members stepped forward to hand him symbolic items—a bowl and towel for servanthood, a Bible for the ministry of the Word, a chalice for the administration of the sacraments—I wept. Sobbed would be more honest. And they were not ...

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From Performer to Pastor

An interview with gospel singer—and pastor—CeCe Winans Love
From Performer to Pastor
Image: Provided by CeCe Love

CeCe Winans Love is known for many roles. With her family, especially her brother BeBe, she was a longtime fixture in Gospel music before launching a solo career. Now she’s a ten-time Grammy Award winner, a wife, a mother, a friend to many, a TV personality, a book author, the subject of a documentary, and a voice of inspiration to generations. We wanted to talk with ...

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A Conductor of Community

Gail Song Bantum turned a love of music into a life of ministry.
A Conductor of Community
Image: provided by Quest Church

She is a phoenix, rising up out of the ashes.

Try as I might, I can’t get this picture out of my mind. I close my eyes. I attempt to quiet my thoughts. Eventually, I turn to Google to expand upon the greater idea of life stemming from death, but still the phoenix appears. Still, she rises, over and over again.

I suppose some people are like this. When faced with the seemingly ...

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My Place in the Pulpit

Approaching that giant piece of furniture shook loose all my insecurities, doubts, and fears.
My Place in the Pulpit
Image: iStock

It was Saturday night, the night before I would give my first sermon, my first real sermon behind a real pulpit in front of a real congregation. Following the sermon, the congregation would vote, as dictated by our polity, on whether to hire me as a co-lead pastor alongside my husband, who had been serving as lead pastor solo for three months.

It was late on a balmy May evening, ...

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A Dream Becomes Reality

Cathy Loerzel founded The Allender Center to help people find healing from abuse and trauma.
A Dream Becomes Reality
Image: Talitha Bullock

In the battle for restoration and redemption, you want Cathy Loerzel on your side. She is a woman of fierce compassion, an incredibly sharp creative mind, and the will and strength to get things done. She has the sparkle of conviction and ambition in her eyes. She is a force.

Loerzel is the Vice President of Advancement at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and the ...

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Clues for Your Calling

Understanding your spiritual gifts can help you determine the work to which God has called you.
Clues for Your Calling
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The New Testament teaches us that God in his grace and power has poured out gifts and roles among his people. In Romans 12, Paul encourages the church community to release and use their gifts: “If it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully” (Romans ...

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