God has graced me with a journey of trials, victories and awe-inspiring views of His love. After I graduated CCBC, I felt compelled to continue my education and attended Liberty University and received my Master of Arts in Religion with an emphasis on Church Ministries. During my last semester at Liberty, I applied for my second Masters of Philosophy and received a full stipend and scholarship; however, God had other plans. Before I started my second masters, I was diagnosed with a connective tissue disorder that weakened my aortic root and left me with recurring heart issues. I prayed for wisdom and God gave me such grace! I’ve seen him use my health issues to draw me closer to His throne and into His purpose.
After the diagnoses, I gave up my scholarship and decided to start speaking everywhere – I would literally knock on doors and hand strangers my business card. I knew that God wanted me to share my story so that it would bring Him glory and others hope. I spoke for 10 years at conferences, colleges, church and companies.
I spoke to thousands of young adults and heard their stories of leaving the church, questioning their faith and feeling burnt by leaders. However, at the same time, I saw men and women on their knees praying for my generation and looking for ways to be like Christ to them. I knew at that moment that God wanted me to create a bridge – I knew that I needed to create a place where those in their 20s and 30s could see Jesus even if they felt disconnected from the church. LOUD Summit was born and continues to expand its reach and influence on this generation to date. God created an amazing team, passionate leaders and men and women who had a calling to reach this generation. We’ve held summits, done workshops, created a podcast/radio show and have seen God use this event to reach the nations. I also started my Doctor of Ministry in Leadership and Global Perspectives at Portland Seminary during this time and was blessed to combine my love of learning with my love for people.
Tons! There’s an old African Proverb that states, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I’ve been involved with many ministries and seen God use partnership as position of worship. I was invited to be part of Mayor De Blasio’s Interfaith gathering of leaders in NYC 3 years ago and was 1 out of 40 young leaders who was chosen to take part. I’ve worked closely with LEAD.NYC, Movement Day and Voca Center in NYC and partnered with them for many ministry events. I also write for QARA.org and InClub Magazine, Portland Seminary and serve as an intergenerational consultant.
This will take a while… lol
Two things at CCBC influenced me the most: The little chapel near the lake and the dirty chai lattes. Lol In all seriousness, nothing compares to the beauty of Christians being immersed in the Word of God, great community and fun doctrinal debates. CCBC prepared me to understand and appreciate the dynamics and personalities of my team. All of us are SO different. We stem from varied theological backgrounds, denominations, political beliefs and callings; however, when we meet together for LOUD Summit, the gathering reflects Jesus.
Allow the needs of your audience to dictate your presentation. Ministry is not simply a background or a calling, but a response to the questions of those around you. Psalm 116:2 reveals that worship happens when God leans down. It reads, “Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” There’s a beautiful response of worship because God leaned in – He heard our cries, He listened to our prayers and He gave us His attention. As ministers, we need to lean in and lean down to our audience. Otherwise, we’re delivering a monologue and not a God-given conversation. My greatest prayer and piece of advice is to love people enough to meet their needs, not assumptions.