Women in Ministry Series: On Failing at Ministry

I've been a fan of Ed Cyzewski ever since I first discovered his "," while simultaneously realizing he was a man! (Which means he is the bravest kind of man and I truly admire him.) He was our to the {This Sacred Everyday} series. And, he's a fellow stay-at-home parent. (Which means I admire him even more.)

So it's an honor to be able to contribute today to the very series I first found and loved from afar. And if you have a chance, take a look at the series: It's a beautiful and important conversation we need to keep having.


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I stood on Mt. Princeton in 2005, overlooking the valley and the aspens that stretched out miles before me, and I sighed my surrender to God. I had just finished grad school, was newly married and moving soon to Philadelphia, my husband’s hometown. And I’d just traveled with 150 high school students on buses for two days, all the way from New York State to Colorado for camp.

I whispered, “God, I think I’m created for this work. Right here.” Nothing brought me more joy than ministry to middle and high school students. I gave myself to it.

I cried a lot my first year “in ministry.” It turned out that working for a parachurch mission meant devoting one-third of my time to fundraising. In my town, where most men were working in suits and most women were home with their kids, that meant helping to run a golf tournament for men twenty years my senior and asking for a big financial donation from an intimidating male executive over lunch. It meant constant discomfort in my skin.

I wasn’t good at developing volunteer leaders and having hard conversations with them about their choices and gifts. I wanted to avoid conflict at all costs and in doing so, I struggled to be more than a surface-level cheerleader for them. I was not good at managing my area’s finances. I was not good at notcrying when faced with all the things I wasn’t good at.

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  I would encourage those applying to spend some time as a nurse's aide because you learn to appreciate all team members involved in patient care and you also will learn how to become a vital taking master, which will always come in handy