God at Work Story

 In All Church of God, Youth Ministries

In my years as a student in youth ministry, my church went through several transitional periods. I felt called to be a consistent leader in an inconsistent ministry, and that was honestly the extent of my call to ministry. I knew that I was being used as a student leader, and I knew that I had a passion for the purpose and direction of our church, but I was under the impression that because I didn’t have a slap-in-the-face moment from God saying that I was going into vocational ministry, that it meant that I wasn’t “called.”

Fast-forward to the end of my senior year of high school when I was trying to figure out where I was going to college and when I was convinced that I needed to know right then and there what I was going to do for the rest of my life. I remember pleading with God to show me where he wanted me to go and what he wanted me to do. God answered me eventually, but just as he often does, it was in the most unexpected way. One evening I was sitting at home checking my e-mail and I noticed the Emerging Leaders 101 update. I read the e-mail and decided to watch the video. To be honest, I have no idea what the topic of the video was. All I know is that when Meaghan said, “YOU are called by God,” I felt as if the wind had been knocked out of me. As a Christian and a student leader, I had heard that statement countless times. Why was this moment, on my couch at 8:00 p.m. on a Tuesday, so much different than the rest?

“When God calls you into ministry,” one of my mentors once said to me, “it’ll hit you like a brick wall.” Oddly enough, that moment of watching a short Emerging Leaders 101 video was my brick-wall moment. It was the most complicated moment of clarity, and the most chaotic moment of peace. I had so many prayers answered and yet had so many more questions to ask of God at the same time. I had no idea how to make sense of it. I shut my computer and ran upstairs to my room to be with God. In those following hours, I knew that God was going to use me in ministry. God gave me a shove in the right direction, but he left the next steps after that hidden. The thing is, I’m now convinced that that call to ministry didn’t necessarily mean “go into ministry in the future.” It meant, “you are called into ministry TODAY.”

It has been two years since I hit the brick wall, and even now that I am nearly halfway through my college years, I am still seeing that calling unfold. Without my experiences with other emerging leaders reaching out to me at IYCs, SYCs, Leadership Summit, and, yes, even through those monthly emails, I can honestly say I would not be where I am today. Throughout my life God has surrounded me with people who come from broken homes, and through those relationships and experiences I have realized that he has given me a passion for helping people restore their emotional, spiritual, and relational wholeness. God has given me the opportunity to serve on Anderson University’s campus in relational ministry as a resident assistant, and he has opened doors for me to study family science and psychology with the goal to eventually become a licensed mental health counselor.

I truly believe that everyone who desires to live a life with God is called into ministry. To me, that doesn’t mean that everyone is called to be a pastor. I think it means that all of us are called to be light in the dark places wherever we are, because in those places, God is with us.

Hannah Witham

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