Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shepastor: Congratulations Are in Order for The Reverend Patricia P. Hernandez and The Rev. Dr. Marvin A. McMickle

The month of May, 2011 has been filled with many victories and praise reports for women in ministry! Today, Shepastor extends congratulations to two gifted, anointed, beautiful and genuine friends of clergywomen, The Reverend Patricia P. Hernandez, newly appointed National Director for American Baptist Women in Ministry and The Reverend Dr. Marvin A. McMickle, Senior Pastor of the historic Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, scholar and Judson Press author - "President-Elect" of the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. We praise God for both of their elevations to positions that will no doubt further bless and open doors for Women in Ministry.

Women Together in Ministry of Greater Cleveland, in partnership with American Baptist Home Mission Societies is also pleased to have both of these distinguished individuals serve as panelists for the upcoming clergywomen's conference, "Empowering and Encouraging Women in Ministry," August 26-27th, 2011; Beachwood, Ohio ( for more information and or to register for the conference, visit

Let us continue in prayer for both Reverends Hernandez and McMickle as they accept the challenge to “serve this present age.”

Read on and be blessed!

(Excerpts taken from the websites of The American Baptist Churches, USA and the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School respectively)

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 5/17/11)—Rev. Patricia P. Hernandez will begin work on Monday, May 23, 2011, as the new national director for American Baptist Women in Ministry (ABWIM). As national director, she will implement the ABWIM strategic priorities that include building mutually beneficial partnerships with ABC entities, developing a team of volunteer coordinators, and working with the ABWIM advisory committee on matters of strategy and support. She will be officially introduced at the ABWIM Biennial Breakfast on June 24, 2011 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“I am delighted to extend a call to Pat to fill this significant role in ABC life,” said Dr. A. Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA. “Pat’s spirituality and gifts for leadership and her work among the churches in ABC/Michigan will be a great blessing to the churches as she works to enable all of us to accept the gifts of God for ministry leadership in women.”

Hernandez comes to the position after serving as a consultant for Leadership Development with the American Baptist Churches of Michigan (ABC Michigan) since 2004. Prior to this, she was associate region minister to ABC of Michigan. She served as pastor at Picture Rocks Baptist Church in Picture Rocks, PA, and at Lincoln Baptist Church in Macedon, New York. She has held other ministerial leadership roles positions with other organizations. Hernandez was ordained at the First Baptist Church of Troy, New York. She graduated with her Master of Divinity degree from Colgate Rochester Divinity School.

To read more, visit

Board of Trustees Elects New President: Dr. Marvin A. McMickle

Dr. Marvin A. McMickle, a distinguished church leader and theological educator, was elected the 12th President of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (CRCDS) by the School’s Board of Trustees on May 17. Dr. McMickle will assume some part-time duties over the summer and will begin his full-time service on January 1, 2012.

Following his election, Dr. McMickle commented: "How could I ever have dreamed that I would be called upon to serve the school that opened its doors to Mordecai Wyatt Johnson and Dr. Howard Thurman in a city that was home to Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass? I am humbled by the honor and mindful of the challenges that await. Nevertheless, I am encouraged by the words of Paul in Philippians 1:6 that say, 'Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.' Pray for me and pray for God's grace to be showered on Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School!”

A Distinguished Church Leader and Theological Educator
Born in Chicago, Dr. McMickle is a 1970 graduate of Aurora University with a B.A. in Philosophy. His alma mater also awarded him the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1990. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 1973 and did two additional years of graduate study at Columbia University in New York. He earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey in 1983. He was awarded a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in 1998.

He was ordained in 1973 at Abyssinian Baptist Church of New York City where he served on the pastoral staff from 1972-1976. He served as Pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church of Montclair, New Jersey from 1976-1986. During those years he served on the adjunct faculty at Princeton, New Brunswick, and New York Theological Seminaries. Dr. McMickle has served as the Senior Pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohiosince 1987. He is presently a member of the Board of Trustees of Cleveland State University. Dr. McMickle is the Professor of Homiletics at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio, where he has served on the full-time faculty since 1996. He is the author of 12 books and numerous articles.

To read more, visit

We praise God for the doors He is opening, for the lives that are being rebuilt, renewed, restored and revived and for the opportunity to serve in greater ways!

Post a comment or send me an email at

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Making of a Minister: Shepastor Highlights “How God Builds You While You are Building Your Ministry,” By Pastor Rick Warren

“Lord, what are You doing? I have every confidence that you have placed this vision, this dream within my spirit but it seems to be going nowhere fast! I praise You, I trust You, but I’m struggling to make sense of this season – HELP!” Have you ever prayed that kind of prayer? Today’s Shepastor highlights some great words of encouragement from noted author and Pastor, Rick Warren. In his article, “How God Builds You While You are Building Your Ministry,” Pastor Warren provides practical guidance on how to recognize and navigate the phases and stages of ministry and leadership growth.

Read on and be blessed!

Shepastor Highlights: "How God Builds You While You are Building Your Ministry," By Rick Warren, Saddleback Church &

(Excerpt from the Christian Broadcasting Network, --Did you know that God uses a very predictable process to build your character? I call this process the "Six Phases of Faith." If you don’t understand this process, you’ll get discouraged when problems arise. You’ll wonder, "Why is this happening to me?"

But if you understand and cooperate with what God is doing in your ministry, your faith - like a muscle that is stretched - will develop great strength.

Phase 1: A dream
God gives you a dream – an idea, goal, or ambition. Every great accomplishment first begins as a God-given dream in someone’s mind. "God is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of - infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.” (Eph. 3:20 LB)

Phase 2: A decision
A dream is worthless until you decide to do something about it. For every 10 dreamers, there’s only one decision-maker. This is the moment of truth where you decide to invest your time, money, energy, and reputation and to let go of security. If you want to walk on water - you must get out of the boat! "You must believe and not doubt … a double-minded man is unstable in all he does.” (James 1:6, 8 GN)

Phase 3: A delay
There is always a time lapse before your dream becomes reality. God uses this waiting period to teach us to trust him. Remember, a delay is not a denial. Maturity is understanding the difference between "no” and "not yet.” God says, “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (Hab. 2:3 LB)

Phase 4: A difficulty
Now the problems start popping up. The two most common types: critics and circumstances. Don’t worry. It’s all a part of God’s plan. “At the present you may be temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials. This is no accident – it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold.” (1 Peter 1:6-7 Ph)

Phase 5: A dead end!
Your situation will deteriorate from difficult to impossible. You are backed into a corner, you reach the end of your rope; it looks hopeless. Congratulations! You are on the edge of a miracle. Trust God. “At that time we were completely overwhelmed … in fact we told ourselves that this was the end. Yet we now believe we had this sense of impending disaster so that we might learn to trust, not in ourselves but in God who can raise the dead.” (2 Cor. 1:8-9 Ph)

Phase 6: A deliverance
God provides a supernatural answer. Miraculously, things fall into place! God loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections so you can see his greatness. “I expect the Lord to deliver me once again so I will see his goodness to me ….” (Ps. 27:13)

This article originally appeared in Rick Warren's Ministry ToolBox, a free, email newsletter.

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. Rick is also author The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, and founder of, a global Internet community for those in ministry.

To read more, visit

Have you experienced or are experiencing a season of spiritual drought, waiting and discouragement? Has God birthed a dream within you that has come to pass? Post a comment or send me an email at

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Shepastor Highlights Time Management Tips for Women in Ministry, by Minister Peggy Musgrove

We all are given 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Some years ago, I remember hearing that time goes really fast after you turn 40. Strangely – it seems to be true! Time, can be a great source of blessing, healing and hope or a burden, source of frustration and angst. The Psalmist declared that our times are in God’s hands (Psalm 31:15). How we choose to spend our time can mean the difference between health, healing and wholeness or pain, stress and disease.

In today’s Shepastor, we highlight words of wisdom from Peggy Musgrove, a licensed Assemblies of God minister, speaker, freelance writer, author, and prayer group leader. In her article, Time Management Tips for Women in Ministry, Minister Musgrove encourages women in ministry to carefully evaluate their use of time and provides insights on how to realistically set and maintain healthy boundaries.

Read on and be blessed!

Shepastor Highlights Time Management Tips for Women in Ministry, by Minister Peggy Musgrove

Recognize the Value of Time

Good time management begins with an understanding and appreciation for time. Each of us has been given the same amount of time each day. The unknown factor is how many days we are given. The Psalmist prayed that the Lord would help him evaluate his days. “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12 NIV). I believe this prayer was more than just keeping track of how old we are, something that some of us would like to forget. I believe the Psalmist’s deep desire was that his time would be well spent and that he would learn something from each day.

Solomon, the wisest of kings, wrote a beautiful treatise on time in Ecclesiastes 3. In this well-known passage he talks about the changes which time brings, the various cycles of life. Having this broad view of life helps us when the present seems desperate.

Paul, in writing to both the Ephesians and Colossians, addressed the appropriate use of time. “Redeeming the time,” the King James Version translates the phrase in Ephesians 5:16. The New King James says, “Making the most of your time,” while the New International translates the same phrase, “making the most of every opportunity.” How ever the phrase is stated, the teaching is that time is valuable, and it should be used purposefully.

I like the poem by Christine Warner because she covers all the bases about the use of time:

I have only just a minute.
Only sixty seconds in it.
Forced upon me, can’t refuse it.
Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it.
But it’s up to me to use it.
I must suffer if I lose it.
Give account if I abuse it.
Just a tiny little minute,
But eternity is in it.

How Do I Use My Time?

Most of us have a good sense of the value of time, and want to use it to good purpose. The problem we constantly face in ministry is “How do we squeeze everything that is expected of us into 165 hours per week?”
One day when I was contemplating the frenzied life of the ministry, I began thinking of all the demands made upon our time, just simply to keep up with life. That image of the perfect minister constantly haunted me. Somewhere I was sure a woman existed who knew exactly how to manage her time to get everything done. She was so real in my mind that I wrote the following description of her, first as a laywoman, then as a woman in ministry:


She is beautiful; she can wear her wedding dress 10 years after her wedding. To do this, this beautiful woman exercises 20 minutes each day, making a total of 3 hours per week. She watches her diet, prepares nutritious food, relaxes while she eats, which used to take 21 hours, but now she needs an extra hour to read nutrition labels. She is health conscious, so she gets eight hours of sleep every night which takes 56 hours of her week.

She keeps up her personal appearance. She is color-analyzed, dresses for success, coordinates, harmonizes, and accessorizes in the latest fashions. She keeps everything laundered, cleaned, and pressed—and does this on a minimum budget and time of about 20 hours per week.

She is coiffured, manicured, and pedicured in trendy styles. This washing, blow-drying, styling, perming, coloring, conditioning, polishing, sculpturing process may take up to five hours per week. The total for her personal care takes a mere 106 hours out of 168 hours, leaving 62 hours in her week for other things.

This woman is not only beautiful, but also intelligent. She develops her mind by reading daily newspapers, weekly news magazines, monthly best sellers, and watches TV news to keep up with current national and international events, all of which takes at least five hours per week.
She is educated, informed, and stays aware by taking continuing education classes. Because she has developed her mind, she is career oriented and works outside the home 40 hours, plus an additional hour each day for transportation, making a total of 45 hours per week for her career.

If she does not work outside the home she has to do all the volunteer work the “working” women do not have time to do, which can take just as much time as if she were employed. The total for mental development, career, and volunteer work is 50 hours, leaving 12 hours in her week for other things. This beautiful, intelligent woman also cares about her family and community. In the time that remains she keeps an immaculate house, passing the scrutiny of the most inquisitive neighbor at any moment. Her yard also looks like a country garden with flowerbeds that change with the seasons. She spends quality time with her children, plays with them, helps with homework, attends all school and sports events, taxis their friends, and keeps up their wardrobes while serving them nutritious meals every day (which they always enjoy).

She is involved in community affairs, volunteering for scouts, food bank, and any current charity. The total for family and community activities should have been 38 hours but this marvelous woman crammed it all into 12 hours. And the most amazing thing about this ideal woman is that she does all of this and when she goes to bed at night, she never once says to her husband, “I have a headache.”

And that’s just the ordinary woman.

The Ideal Woman in Ministry

The woman in ministry meets all those expectations plus:
She attends at least three church services per week, prepares inspirational lessons enabling her to teach outstanding Sunday school and midweek classes, attends and contributes to staff meetings, committee meetings, women’s meetings, prayers meetings and all special meetings that occur “only once a year.” She leads the way in introducing needed change in such a manner that the people eagerly embrace her new ideas.

She has an exemplary devotional life, reading her Bible and praying daily; she keeps current on the latest Christian books, and has thought through the theological implications of current events. She has time for witnessing to unbelievers and counseling with Christian friends. While she is on call 24/7, let’s assume this averages 20 hours per week, making a total of 214 hours needed by women in ministry, just 46 hours more than the average week of seven 24-hour days.

The incredible thing about the woman in ministry is that she somehow does it, and every Sunday arrives on time to sit calmly smiling in her place on the platform.

Facetious? Yes. Realistic? No. This woman only exists in our minds, yet we too often try to conform to her image.

Some Time Management Principles

Many excellent books on time management are available to us when we realistically try to control our time. The influence of these books can be seen in the increased usage of pocket calendars and personal digital assistants. Anyone seriously struggling with time management would do well to visit a local bookstore and pick up a good book on the subject. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Establish Your Goals
. Most time management books recommend being aware of our goals as a basis for managing time. In determining goals, consider every area of your life. Ask yourself, “What are my spiritual goals, my physical goals? What are my mental, social and financial goals? Clarifying goals helps you know where you are going.

When we have done this, we can begin to orchestrate time to meet our goals. Some time is controlled by other people and obligations, such as time for the church, or the need for rest. In these areas you do not have as much control. However, all of us have some discretionary time which is the area we must manage efficiently if we want to meet our goals.

Engage in Activities Consistent with Your Goals. As we understand our goals, and start working toward them, gradually we begin to eliminate activities inconsistent with our goals. Interruptions will undoubtedly come as we pursue our goals. We will be terribly frustrated if we do not expect them and make time for them. Expecting the unexpected helps balance an attitude of rigidity toward time management.

Eliminate the Clutter in Your Life. Sometimes we may think we have a time problem when really we have a “space” problem. If the areas we work in are cluttered or disorganized, we may be wasting valuable time in our work. One goal should be to eliminate all clutter from our lives, whether it is cluttered time or cluttered space. Clutter can also include unfinished tasks, broken relationships, and fragmented thinking caused by indecision. In our quest to eliminate clutter as a means of saving time, we will want to consider removing clutter in these areas also. Completed tasks, mended relationships, and decisive thinking free our minds and increase our efficiency.

Discipline Yourself to Do the Big Things First. I have found that filling time is somewhat like packing a suitcase. You put in the big stuff that you have to have first, and then pack all you can in the small places. Hopefully you can get everything in that you need. The difference between the two is that you can dump the suitcase and start over, but life has no reruns. That is why acquiring good time management skills is so important. Without them, we may find ourselves saying, “Life is the pits.”

Adapted from the book, Musings of a Maraschino Cherry: Reflections on the Role of a Minister’s Wife, ACW Press, 2004.) The book is available from the Gospel Publishing House.

Peggy Musgrove, a licensed Assemblies of God minister, is a speaker, freelance writer, author, and prayer group leader. She has held diverse national and district ministries for the Assemblies of God, including serving as national director for the Women’s Ministries Department.

To read more of Peggy’s article, visit

Post a comment or send me an email at

Until next Wednesday
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Shepastor: Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Friends in the Spirit

This past Saturday, I was invited to a local church “Mother/Daughter” luncheon in honor of Mother’s Day. Women were asked to dress in “hats, pearls and gloves.” I complied (except for the gloves). The event was extremely well attended (at least 500 women from various churches around the city). The women were absolutely stunning!

The hat wearers from the recent royal wedding had nothing on these “sistahs!” Cream, pink, blue, silver, gold, gray, green, black – you name it – suits, hats and gloves of all colors adorned the ladies that day.
More beautiful than the stylish hats, and gorgeous outfits, however, were the messages that came forth from the event. The luncheon highlighted a horrendous condition effecting women, “Triple Negative Breast Cancer.” According to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation,

"It is only in the last few years that professionals studying breast cancer have concluded that breast cancer is not one disease, but many different forms of cancer all originating in the breast. Depending on its stage of diagnosis, triple negative breast cancer can be extremely aggressive and more likely to recur and metastasize than other subtypes of breast cancer. It typically is responsive to chemotherapy, although it can be more difficult to treat because it is unresponsive to the most effective receptor targeted treatments."

Women were given brochures providing information about the disease. We also were privileged to hear from a local physician who spoke candidly about the need for women to do self-breast exams and to have mammograms.

During the luncheon, another beautiful thing happened. As I sat among women I’d never met before, we all began to laugh, talk and share our experiences in church, with other women, about fashion and our health. Following the “hat parade” and prizes, the beautiful friend that invited me asked that several of us come out to the atrium to take pictures. Mothers, daughters, sisters and friends huddled together for the pictures.

Although many of us did not know one another, we put our arms around each other, pressed cheeks together and smiled for the camera. Short, tall, plump, slim, young, old, fair, dark, brown – large brimmed hats, tall hats, small hats, no hats – we all stood together. Laughing, smiling, encouraging, loving each other in the moment – beautiful women of God! We did not know each other – but in a sweet sense we did – in that moment we were all related – sisters, mothers, daughters, friends in the Spirit!

As I walked out of that beautiful event, a warm feeling came over me. In those women I saw the love of the Lord. I saw my mother and my sisters. Although not my biological family – there was somehow a connection – a bond. That day it impressed me that we are all connected. We must strive to remember to love, care for, lift, teach, encourage, warn, share and bless each other wherever and however we can – we are sisters in the Spirit.

As we prepare for Mother’s Day, remember that we are all connected and God wants to use us to bless, nurture, support, mentor and “mother” somebody. Whether you have a healthy or unhealthy relationship with your biological mother, this weekend, thank God for the gift of life, praise God for your mother, look at your belly button and remember that you have been nurtured. Begin to count the ways!

For more information on Triple Negative Breast Cancer, visit

Post a comment or send me an email at

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris