I can remember being a junior in high school when our youth pastor resigned. The youth ministry went into an interim period of volunteer leadership and one of these leaders asked me if I would teach the lesson for an upcoming week. I had no training and I really didn’t know what I was doing, but I was excited and went with my best instincts.
The lesson, all things considered, went great, and I can remember having this electric sense of fulfillment. I knew on some level, I was tapping into something I was made to do. That “thing” I thought I had identified was the ability to use words to make a difference. As I prepared for college, I thought I would use this desire to become a lawyer or a politician. Only a year later would I feel a sense — a “calling” — to head into the ministry.
Something that has never wavered for me since those days is the experience of using words to positively impact people. I love speaking, teaching, preaching, and writing; if it uses words, I have a passion for doing it well. The rest of the journey is one of evolving development. I suppose my awareness of my passion has been a combination of intuition and discovery. On the one hand, nobody ever had to help me discover my love for speaking. On the other hand, I continue to learn so much through each season of my life, refining how that love is played out in a way that is more and more fulfilling for me, and more and more beneficial for others.
My undergrad studies were very helpful. They gave me tools to pursue this passion more effectively. They helped me refine what I thought I would be doing with this passion and think “bigger” than I thought I should. Each ministry position I’ve held has offered an experience to sharpen a different part of me, and it greatly impacts the way I make a