I will never forget how I came to Revival Tabernacle, eight years ago:
Following graduation, I needed to intern at a church (as part of my degree). I thought Chicago was the city for me. I had a dream that I was ministering in the streets of the inner city of Chicago and when they interviewed me to intern with them, I was sure this was where I was headed. To my surprise, I received a call a few days later that my application to intern with them had been denied. I was truly taken back by this as I was sure Chicago was the city God wanted me to be in.
Shortly after, Pastor Tim Dilena, who had ministered at a memorable Spiritual Emphasis night years earlier, came to interview for interns to minister in the inner city of Highland Park, MI. My interview, looking back, is something to really have a good laugh at! I told Pastor Tim that “I don’t really think I am called to Detroit, MI. I haven’t heard from God on this. Can I please get back to you in a few days?” HA! I will never forget Pastor Tim saying, “There are times when God lets you make a decision in life. He will give you Path A and Path B. Neither are really wrong decisions. If Path B has the ministry opportunities you are looking for, sometimes He will allow us to make the decision.” Well, Highland Park had the ministries I was looking for! I had a heart for the inner city and wanted to minister to those in need. I was about as naive as anyone could be, but I called Pastor Tim back the next day and accepted his offer to intern.
The day after I accepted his offer, Chicago called me back! They wanted me to come after all. But, I had been trained by my parents that when you commit, you commit. There is no going back on a commitment. So, I kindly told Chicago that I had accepted Pastor Tim Dilena’s internship at Revival Tabernacle in Highland Park, MI. Their response was, “Wow! You will have a wonderful internship. He is a great pastor to work with.”
And right they were! I had a positive intern experience, ended up moving here, making this my church home, and even getting married here (the best day ever apart from coming to know Jesus)! Through a series of events, I also came on staff at RT five years ago.
It has been a wonderful five years! I’ve had wonderful opportunities to sit under the wisdom of Pastor Tim – even as an office manager. Often in staff meetings he would share what God was revealing to him in a short scripture or even through his children. Time and time again he has held his tongue when he could have shown off his knowledge and wisdom – and instead listened. He listens to the heart of the matter and brings Jesus into the conversation. He is truly a person that inspires you to know Christ better… And a great boss too!
In addition, Pastor Tim pushed us as staff not settle for second best because we minister in an inner city. We are to always provide excellence in absolutely everything we do. Whether it be a bulletin, insert, or a huge event, such as, War Week – we give it our best.
I think that of all the areas of ministry training, this has been the most valuable lesson to me. It is not about the “grand stage” of being on the platform or ministering with a song in the spotlight. No, not at all. Instead, did we fold our napkins correctly for a Pastoral Banquet – or – are our guests offered water or coffee? Do we fix typos or provide the best quality promo designs we are capable of? Another way to word it – Do we refuse to be lazy?
I’ve learned this lesson and many more while here at Revival Tabernacle…It has been a wonderful journey.
You might be asking why am I writing in past tense?
It is because we are happy to announce that I will now become a full time foster mother!
This Friday is my last day at the Church Office.
I am not a person that is meant to work a job and mother children. If children are in my home, I want them to be on my hip, at my feet, or in my eyesight. I want to be the one to teach them the alphabet, tie their shoes, and share the regular day to day activities.
After much time and prayer making this decision, both Jeff and agreed I was to stay home with big boy, TD and other foster children to come.
I am sad to leave this working environment (which included everything from tons of laughter to high impact ministry). But I am excited to enter into the area of stay at home foster mom ministry (my new title – ha ha).
I am looking forward to the days ahead with much anticipation. I feel I will be exactly where I was made to be.
And that is a FINE place to be.
As a sidenote: Just to be sure I am totally clear – we are NOT leaving Revival Tabernacle at all. This is our church home! I just won’t be employed by the church.