The First to Call Me “Pastor”

1 Comment » Written on January 10th, 2017     
Filed under: Testimonies and Stories
This is both the 125th anniversary of the Evangelical Covenant Church as well as the 40th anniversary of the ECC’s decision to ordain women as pastors. The following post is the second in a series of brief stories from a group of eight women who describe their personal experience(s) in being either mentored or encouraged to follow the calling of God to become a pastor. This is part of an initiative of the Commission on Biblical Gender Equality to be known as Project Deborah. Our hope is that you might also respond to God’s “nudge” to develop a Deborah that may be in your midst.

Char Rotvold is the Care and Connections Pastor at Faith Covenant Church in Burnsville, Minnesota

I have served as the Care Pastor at our church since August 1, 2008, have been licensed in the ECC since November 2010, and was ordained this past June. As I like to say, I was the “last one” to see that God was calling me to pastoral ministry! God, in His goodness and because He knows me so well, used a number of others to speak this call into my life…

I had been a stay-at-home mom for 9 years, serving part-time in Children’s Ministry at our church for 8 of those years. It was that position that allowed God to use me as a “pastor” to many young families at our church, as well as to volunteers of all ages (men and women).

A new care pastor was called to our church toward the end of that time, and he asked me to teach a parent class for him (one that I had been teaching for several years). I agreed, I taught, he observed, and he asked shortly after if I would serve alongside him as Director of Adult Ministries. I accepted, and less than two years later, he left our church and I was entrusted with his role as care pastor.

His name is Mark, and he’s not a Covenant pastor, but he played a significant role in my journey, mentoring and shepherding me and being the first to call me “pastor” (as an observed call/gifting, before my name ever bore that title). He listened, asked a lot of questions, prodded and challenged and encouraged me, and when it came time for him to move on to another ministry opportunity, he boldly said “I choose you.”

He was the first, but not the only, person to speak this call into my life. Five others from our church independently spoke this to me, giving this stay-at-home mom and part-time ministry worker the confidence and courage needed to receive and step into this call.

8+ years later, I have finished my seminary work and have been received into the ECC as an ordained pastor. I have been overwhelmingly supported and encouraged every step along the way by those with whom I have served and by those in our congregation. I am a living testimony of the power of another to speak truth and a life call, and I look forward to having the opportunity to speak this way into the lives of others!


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One Response to “The First to Call Me “Pastor””

Char – Thanks for sharing how God moves through creating opportunities to affirm call. I’m encouraged by women like you who continue to be obedient to the unfolding mystery of saying ‘yes’ to God’s call.

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