Over at RGBP Marthahas challenged ring members to "write a blog post about a woman who has been a positive influence on your ministry (whether or not she is/was a pastor),"
I have two women to write about. So here is #1:
It was a woman who first suggested I go into ministry.
Barb came to serve my home congregation when I was in high school, grade 11 I believe. One of her main roles was support for the Christian Education activities and that is how I got to know her. She also led an adult Bible Study but I was not heavily involved in that group until after she had moved on (though I heard reports of some of their discussions). But as part of an active family in the church I got to talk with her relatively often and felt a connection I did not feel with either of the other ministers who served that congregation while she was there.
When I first applied to work at Camp in the spring of 1989 Barb was one of the people I used as a reference. I remember that discussion. We talked about my experience with IVCF (a group I was by then finding less and less comfortable in) and how their approach to Bible Study sat with me.
The other time I worked most closely with Barb was when I was on the interview/hiring committee for a new church musician (organist and choir director) and she was the ministry personnel working with the committee.
Then one day she said to my mom: "has Gord ever considered ministry?". We all laughed. And yet within a year I was sitting in the office of the University chaplain asking about the process. As I was getting ready to go to seminary I wrote to Barb. Haven't talked to her for years in person, though we have connected on Facebook. But without her question, I wonder if I would be where I am now....
And when I remember that story I remember that we in the church have a duty to call out leadership. And yet I wonder if I would be able to do that, to ask that question.