Waypoints: Plotting a Course to Calling Waypoint 4: Galilee Baptist Church
Waypoint 4 – Galilee Baptist Church, Portland, ME
Much of my skill and competency was augmented at my first paid ministry position as Director of Christian Education at Galilee Baptist Church in Gorham, ME. One aspect of call that I felt was affirmed in this was my passion for ministry in the northeast. Seeking a ministry home when I moved to Maine was huge and I was blessed to find this job to work part time. I had to make a budget for several years, with one of those years having to make cuts in my budget. This helped me learn leadership and stewardship in ways that I could not have appreciated if I had not had to make cuts in an already shoestring budget.
This ministry had already been given strong footing by its previous youth leader as a PDYM ministry called FBIC (Firm Believers in Christ) and I was able to step in and readily work with the philosophy that was in place, earning quick trust from the leaders. I augmented the ministry by adding worship and a parent initiated ministry called FBIC Cooks where the teens would come over to her house and cook a meal for someone in need in the community. I also developed leadership meals for fellowship and mentoring among the leaders on a quarterly basis and began moderating pastor2youth.com, an online community of youth pastors who post to a bulletin board for advice and an exchange area for youth ministers to swap lessons and other ideas for the implementation and growth of youth ministry.
Ministry accountability was a second area of growth that was fostered between the facilities director, Irv and I. (Why do youth mins. and facility directors always seem to run into each other?) There was an instance where the youth did not leave a room in good condition. They were accustomed to stacking chairs in a side room so we could play games in the fellowship hall. One evening I was trying to accomplish too much and thought that they could handle stacking chairs without my direct supervision (which had been carrying on for at least 5 months). I came into the hall and the place was ready for games, so we started. Then I neglected to check after the evening to see if they did stack the chairs correctly in an adjacent room. The following Thursday, I was called out of a staff meeting to check the chairs and discovered that they looked like a giant game of pick up sticks. Luckily, my Facility director had been a Christian school administrator and understood the nature of youth ministry. I was able to diffuse the situation with some humor and I apologized for the situation and rectified it. This was a resolution that helped me work on conflict management/resolution that I believe went well and helped me gain ground with the facilities director.
After marriage and a few years working/gaining experience it became clear that it was time for me to pursue a seminary education. Jointly, we chose Denver Seminary because of its pastoral counseling and youth and family ministry concentrations. So, we packed our stuff in a large Penske truck and over five days made it from Maine to our residence in Lakewood, CO.