Mary responded to God’s call to ministry by moving to Wilmore KY in 2013. There she attended Asbury Theological Seminary and graduated in 2016 with a Master of Divinity. Mary then returned to the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
After serving one year at Portlock UMC in Chesapeake, Mary was reappointed to Sandbridge Community Chapel UMC in Virginia Beach where she has served and led as the pastor of Sandbridge Community Chapel UMC since 2017.
Outside of the church, Mary can be found enjoying various activities with her 6 daughters and her loving husband, Justin. She and Justin feel passionately that their primary call from the Lord is to practice discipleship at home and encourage one another to share their faith with those who are separated from the love of God.
In the episode, we talk through some of the internal and external pressures of being mom and in ministry, the trap of people pleasing in ministry, setting healthy boundaries and mental health in ministry.
This conversation is rich.
Mary shares her wisdom that is rooted in her real life experiences of walking through good, and challenging seasons of ministry and motherhood. Even if you’re not a mom, you’ll be able to relate to how she talks about the need to be healthy in ministry and some fo the ways in which she encourages it.
Mental Health in Ministry
Near the end of the conversation, Mary and I start to touch on the topic of mental health in ministry. It is so important! Far too often, people in ministry carry the weight of the world and end up crumbling. After we finished recording, Mary and I continued to talk about mental health. We both agreed that we wouldn’t be who we are or where we are in ministry or life without getting good counseling early on.
I believe it’s vital for every leader, at some point, to check in with a counselor.
So I encourage you, if you haven’t already, consider seeking out a counselor. Even if you only visit when you need to, as a leader, it will prove to be very helpful in the long haul.
Finding a Christian Counselor
If you don’t know how to find a Christian counselor, I’d like to offer a few tips.
First, if you’re not a lead pastor, ask your church for a referral. If you are a lead pastor, I encourage you to check with your denomination (if you’re a part of one) to find out what counseling resources are available to you.
There are also a couple of websites that may prove to be helpful for you.
PastorWell membership to help strengthen pastors. Included in the membership is 8 counseling sessions.
If you’re unfamiliar with, or uncomfortable with the idea of Christian Counseling, I encourage you to watch this brief video discussing how Christian Counseling intertwines with the Spiritual world.
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Finally, I’d love to share a special freebie with you today. One of the things that Mary and I spoke about what the importance of being HEALTHY as a leader. Seriously, you can only lead well when you’re healthy.
And, you can only put work down and love your family or friends when you’re healthy. Moreover, you can only be a fruitful disciple when you’re healthy. This freebie is just a simple guide to help you walk through some reflection questions about your own health.
It’s a totally free download that I’d love for you to have and work through on your own time.
Okay, lovely. Until next time, I hope you continue to lead like Jesus.
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