You Have To Be Kidding

3 comments Written on January 17th, 2017     
Filed under: Project Deborah, Testimonies and Stories
The following post is the third 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. Margaret “Peg” Kohring, serves as Community Life Pastor at Covenant Community Church in South Bend, IN

My beloved mother’s god was science. She often said that soon science would explain everything. I lived comfortably with her moniker of atheist and became a scientist as well.

When I was 53 my mother passed away and I thought, it was time to purse my interest of caring for children in poverty. As I surveyed the area, Harbert Community Church’s Half-Day Program gave the best care for families and children in poverty. I gave money and then was asked to lead a walk for the kids. Later, I accepted an invitation to church. I thought, this was going to be a good social club to join because of the community commitment.

After a couple months Pastor Kyle Small asked me to a Bible study. I bought a paperback Bible thinking I would only read it once. As I struggled to find John, I told Kyle it would be better if this book was alphabetized. This began a journey to accept Jesus as Lord of my life and becoming a disciple.

Four years later, I burst into Kyle’s office to tell him I was offered the presidency position of a major conservation organization. Kyle said, “no, you ought to pray about going to seminary.” I told him, “You have to be kidding. Why would I want to go to seminary?”

Three weeks later, I started seminary and sat surrounded by young men who earnestly told me that they wanted to be pastors all their life. I thought, why in the world am I here? I don’t want to be a pastor. Fortunately, Pastor Ron Magnuson saw the potential in me and met regularly with me.

Seminary required several internships. Pastor Jay Fast, now the Lead Pastor, suggested that I consider a nearby ECC church to grow into my pastoral identity. I met with Pastor Ryan Cooper, who invited me to serve my internship at Covenant Community Church in South Bend. Six months later, I was called to be the Community Life Pastor at Covenant Community Church where I joyfully serve as a licensed bi-vocational pastor and hope to be ordained in 2018. What a blessing be mentored by many who recognized God’s calling when I did not!

 

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3 comments “You Have To Be Kidding”

Thanks for sharing a little of your journey, Peg. I think it’s fascinating to see the different paths God leads us on to bring us into ministry. It certainly enrichens the church to have pastors with a variety of backgrounds.

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Praising God for Peg’s calling and gifting. Grateful and honored to serve with her!

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Your journey reveals how God has opened doors of mentorship to guide you confidently into your place of call but it also reveals your openness to listen and be obedient to the wisdom of those whom God placed as companions on your path. Once again we witness the tension of discernment and realize that when a door opens it doe not necessarily mean that we should walk through it. Thanks for sharing your story Peg and praising God for your mentors along the way!

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