The Rev. Emmanuel, associate pastor at Aldersgate UMC in Wichita, KS, shares about his journey in the TiM Program.
The Transition into Ministry program has been of immense and significant contribution both to my personal growth in Christ as a disciple and in my call to the pastoral vocation—servanthood endeavor. From my standpoint as a person with international cultural nurture and perspective, my general life here in the United States has always been cross-cultural, with its attending challenges and opportunities. Thus, my call to the pastoral vocation has seen an added challenge of having to grow my cultural intelligence so that I could minister in appropriate and receivable ways. It is from this background that the Transition into Ministry program has become so central and essential to me.
The TiM program has contributed and deepened in me a sense of belonging. The need for full integration into the general cross-cultural context I find myself is so crucial to my effective service. While I had an initial network of colleague clergy to enhance my cultivation of integration into our ministry, the Transition into Ministry program catapulted my integration to a new and deeper level. It became the next doorway for me to walk farther into and share in the life of our annual conference. Being part of this program has given me the opportunity to meet and interact with some leaders across the leadership spectrum in our connection. The awareness into the fact that some of these leaders are interested in my story and service made me feel and believe that I am not alone, but I am surrounded by a cloud of witnesses for encouragement and sharing in the life and ministry of the Great Plains Annual Conference.
Again, the TiM program has made significant investment in me towards my personal and professional growth. The retreats and seminars organized for TiM pastors have exposed me to seasoned facilitators and resource persons on subjects that border on ministry leadership effectiveness. These retreats have been avenues to tap into and acquire cutting edge information, thus, building my cognitive capabilities regarding vital ministry leadership. These retreats and other opportunities of learning through the TiM program have also given me the privilege to learn through brainstorming and discussions with other colleagues on various disciplines within the landscape of the pastoral leadership. The intentional practical approach to most of the TiM retreats have enhanced my ability to apply content in ministry situations. As a result, I believe I am developing significant level of ability to exegete situations in ministry, and crafting efficient and effective responses to them. These retreats have also helped me to hone and further develop my gifts and graces for ministry.
Furthermore, I believe I have developed a good sense of confidence to minister in compelling and receivable ways in my cross-cultural ministry context. The TiM program created a community in my ministry setting that enabled me to quickly acquaint myself with the life and culture of my ministry context, thus, integrating and becoming part of their story. This community also became an accountability group that helped me with my personal and professional growth. In this way, I developed vulnerability and the boldness to confront my growth areas, and also to receive in good faith constructive feedback. Lastly, this community in my ministry setting helped me to become aware and avoid some pitfalls in serving a particular group of people.
Conclusively, the TiM program has accelerated my growth and development in the pastoral ministry, and my connection to and participation in the life and ministry of our Great Plains Annual conference.