Show Up & Serve Well
As a follower of Christ and a female pastor, I find common ground with people through building relationships, serving together in mission, grieving during loss, and celebrating in times of joy.
Whenever we see a person in need or in pain, it doesn't matter our beliefs, political views, or vaccination status. We simply need to show up and let the Spirit do the rest.
Since the age of 19, I have served in many church roles such as a youth director, mission director, associate pastor, and solo pastor of a church. Currently, I am the pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Waynesboro, Virginia. Often I am the first female minister many people hear pray at a luncheon or officiate at a funeral. On those occasions, I notice the little girls in the crowd. Despite the rejections in ministry, I keep showing up for those little girls and the teenage girls in my house. God has called me to serve as a pastor in ministry and to love neighbor through mission. I strive in ministry and mission to accomplish these two things well, every day!
Recently, I was a guest on the podcast, Common Ground with Bill and Odell. During the podcast episode, I told stories in ministry and challenges facing female pastors in the church today. Each week, Bill and Odell find common ground through controversial topics. These two friends are devoted Christians that love the Lord and each other. One is a Republican. One is a Democrat. One is Black. One is white. On your ride to work or during your morning walk, take a listen to the podcast episode, Common Ground: Female Pastors in the Church.
Ten Truths I Learned as a Female Pastor
On the hard days, show up anyway.
Everyone has a hurt that needs healing, so make the phone call, send the text message, or hold a person's hand.
Unfortunately, the best stories in ministry go untold because of confidentiality.
Every visit, phone call, sermon, lesson plan, or mission project is an opportunity to create a moment of joy.
Pastors start a long day with one step in a holy direction.
Whenever silence fills the room during a pastoral visit, watch the golf channel or an episode of The Golden Girls. Trust me, at some point the swing of a golf club or the words from Blanch Devereaux will provide something to talk or laugh about!
Jesus loved being present inside His Father’s house. Yet, Jesus advanced the kingdom more on the hillsides than inside the temple. Remember pastors, do not let buildings confine your mission or define your ministry.
Whenever officiating a wedding or a funeral, more than likely, you will be the first female clergy many of the attendees have seen. During the service, boldly proclaim the message of God’s love. Who knows, your presence may alter a little girl’s answer to the question; “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Whenever a pastor is invited into a person's home or a person's struggle, they treat these moments as precious treasures.
The title “pastor” is earned more by the tears shed with the suffering than the degrees earned in seminary.
This weekend, take a simple step in mission by showing up, serving well, and letting the Spirit do the rest.
Rev. April H. Cranford