Acknowledgement and Celebration of My Call

2 comments Written on February 14th, 2017     
Filed under: Project Deborah, 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 seventh 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. 

Rose Lee-Norman is Associate Pastor of Family Ministry at Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis Minnesota.

When I came to Sanctuary Covenant Church 6.5 years ago I knew it would be a call unlike any other. It was a call that aligned so many of my passions – urban ministry in North Minneapolis, a call to reconciliation and justice, and children and family discipleship, yet I was still so young and new in my calling as a pastor. I have grown and been stretched in many ways  and by many people over the year. In particular was our Senior Pastor Pastor Dennis Edwards who not only acknowledged my call to ministry, but also pushed me further in it. Through his shepherding I have grown in ways I never thought possible. I have conquered almost every ministry fear I had going in to my call and I have felt supported through every step of the way.

Not only does he give me equal and regular opportunities to preach and lead as the other male associate pastors on staff, he has affirmed and uplifted my specific gifts in significant ways. Not long after I began preaching more regularly we co-preached during a church-wide series on reconciliation. As we preached on reconciliation among gender and specifically giftings in the church, he said something that will forever be etched in my mind and my heart. He said that when I am preaching and leading our church he is under my authority and teaching. It is something so simple, yet was and still is so significant. God used that moment and those words to legitimize my call in a very deep way. It wasn’t his approval I needed of my call, but his acknowledgement and celebration of it that made such an impact. His humble and intentional leadership has allowed me to discover my gifts, to make mistakes, to value my calling, and to utilize and strengthen my pastoral leadership. I am thankful for his faithful shepherding and stewardship of my development as a pastor.

 

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2 comments “Acknowledgement and Celebration of My Call”

Thank you for sharing your story. It is so encouraging to hear about women thriving in ministry!

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I’m honored to be mentioned in this post. I’m pleased to have so many Deborahs in my life and grateful for the ECC encouraging all of us in our calling to shepherd God’s flock. Blessings on you, Pastor Rose Lee-Norman–you are awesome!

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