I can clearly recall wanting to be a pastor from early childhood. My father, a Methodist minister, founded a church in South Korea and my mother often filled in whenever help was needed. As a pastor's kid growing up, I remember being at church far more often than anywhere else. With so many family moves throughout my childhood, my church remains the only constant home that I've ever truly known.
The Church, my home, continues to guide me toward the path of God's forgiveness, grace, and joy. Although I graduated from college with an Economics degree, i never doubted my call into ministry and entered seminary the following year. My discernment process into ministry involved the entire church family. I do not walk alone as I am encouraged and blessed by so many of God's faithful messengers.
I never felt a "light bulb moment" in regards to my call into ministry. But I never doubted God's call upon my life - God called me to share the good news of Jesus with God's people and I gratefully responded and followed.
When I was in high school I didn't feel like I fit in. There was one place where I felt I could be 100% myself, my church. My youth group allowed me to be who I was and use my talents and gifts without judgment. Church is where I felt most comfortable and connected to people. My experiences with my youth group, youth choir, puppet ministry and missions trips led me to desire to possibly pursue working in the church.
I grew up extremely fearful of speaking in front of people. As I followed my calling it lead me to college and then seminary but I fought the feeling that God was leading me to the local church. Finally after doing some internships in the local church I came to the realization that despite my fears, God was calling me to the local church. I have been in ministry for over 11 years now and I still get nervous behind the pulpit each week. However, it is there that I know that I am doing what God desires out of my life and I can feel the Holy Spirit working through me. My greatest fear is now where I feel closest to God.
In high school I struggled with Christianity. I was frustrated with the separation between what I heard on Sunday mornings and with how I saw faith lived out during the week. It felt as though the Good News to the poor was muted by the sounds of the world when we left the sanctuary. Yet something kept pulling me back. In college, I was placed as an intern in a local church. in that congregation I finally saw the connection between how I felt the Spirit stirring and God's work in the world come alive. I saw glimpses of the Kingdom of Heaven as members of the congregation lived from the core of their faith. And, here, I first felt God call me to ministry.
Still not sure if ministry in the local church was for me, I went into the non-profit field to serve the least and last of our community. Yet again, the Spirit kept calling me back to the church. I answered a call from God to lead congregations to be the Body of Christ in this world. With more people living as the hands and feet of Christ, surely the Kingdom of Heaven will be in our midst.