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From Performer to Pastor

An interview with gospel singer—and pastor—CeCe Winans Love

When the church thing came along, my husband and I looked each other. We were about to retire. I was going to continue singing until I take my last breath, but I wasn't going to continue to tour. We were going to chill out. So that's changed my whole life—timewise, marriage-wise. We have only so many hours in a day, and we have to balance everything. It’s the same answer I gave when I was on the road: you have to prioritize. Our relationship with Jesus is first and foremost. We make sure we keep our devotions with him daily, being in the Word, fasting, all the things it takes to keep myself submitted to the Word of God. Then our relationship with our family. God didn’t call me to win the world to lose my family.

The challenge has been becoming a pastor. Now, after five years, we know we are pastors because we have labored with people. But at the beginning we didn't see ourselves as pastors. We didn't feel like we were qualified. But God qualified us through the work. And he changed our hearts. That was probably my biggest challenge, to see myself as God saw me. And to not worry about titles. I know some people don't feel like women can pastor. We're just here to please God.

The greatest challenges I hear other pastors going through, I think we have escaped those. Not that we have not gone through them, but we were older. At this age, we have dealt with people already. We're going to have people get mad or whatever, but we’re too old to be moved by that. I can definitely tell how it would be different if we would have started this in our twenties or even in our thirties, but I'm in my fifties and my husband is in his sixties. So we are like, “God, whatever you want.” We are not here to impress people. We are not here for our motives. We are purely here to serve God and do his work. And that's pretty awesome. There's no clutter.

I think that's why Millennials are being drawn to our church. It's not based on music. When the word started to get out here, a lot of people thought we would have great music. They'll come to the church with their guitars and want to get on the music team, and I'm like, “Do you have a relationship with Jesus?” You don't get on the worship team unless you're being discipled by somebody, which is awesome. You don’t have a whole lot of people running there when they find that out, but that’s okay.

July06, 2017 at 8:00 AM

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