Farewell to a Rock Star (and I don’t mean Lee!)
When Scott brilliantly added Allie White to the junior high ministry team, my heart soared. Finally, someone who “gets it”! Then he moved to High School ministry and decided to move in a similar direction further showing his heart. I am so glad God led you to apply and become the first face of a woman on the high school ministry team. The rest, as they say, is “herstory”.
Katie, the past 2 years have been a confirmation that you belong in ministry and that the right choice for this specific ministry was made when you were hired! I know we live in a culture that continues to marginalize women and undervalue their roles, but when I hear the parents of daughters in the ministry and when I watch the quality of the core group leaders chosen (even though some are tattooed!), you have done an amazing job at creating the importance for the unique contributions to a job that only a woman can make, as well as defining the validity of hiring quality female ministers to accomplish what would otherwise not be accomplished.
Statistics continue to show that women are tired of being undervalued, disenchanted with a church that trivializes even the menial tasks relegated to those who are underpaid or volunteer, and they are quietly resigning and slipping out the back door. I know that there have been times over the last 2 years that you have not have the freedom to bring your whole self to the table, but at the same time, you have brought so much and for that I am more than grateful. Women have fewer female leaders in the church to look to as role models or to go to for counsel and encouragement at every age level; but, you and Kelsey have been making a difference offering incredible insight and perspective for those guys and girls and their families in your niche in this place. Thank you.
It has been my longtime prayer that the trend for girls in the church, in youth ministry (my daughter too) and even the view of women by men who influence my son and his peers would change so that being a female in ministry would no longer be considered a liability and that women would not have to work twice as hard to earn less money than men in church. I know that it took over 60 applications for you to get your next assignment and that is indicative of both the current job market and the struggle for women to find opportunities to answer the call of God for fulltime ministry on their lives. I know it is so discouraging but please stay tender to that call since I know there are young women watching and waiting for their opportunity to one day stand on your brave shoulders. And some of us are waiting in the margins cheering you on! I want to give my own version of MLK’s “I have a dream speech”: that one day women will have the same opportunity to serve the Lord in whatever area of ministry God leads them to, that the lists of spiritual gifts will not be seen in pink and blue, and that there really will not be any difference between slave and free, male and female, young and old, Gentile and Jew. Imagine what the church would look like if it paired the contributions of both men and women, young and old, single and married, disabled and able-bodied. I dream of a church community that hires more evenly its seminary graduates, nearly half of whom are female.
Katie, you do work twice as hard as the average male counterpart, but that is your work ethic and part of your organizational giftedness. That you are humble and talented beyond belief is only upstaged by your determination and your inventiveness in accomplishing ministry. From learning to drive the bus to painting your own office to creatively tackling each tough job and attitude thrown at you, even from fellow employees, you continue to be intentional about your job.
There are people who come into our lives for a season who leave a powerful impact; working with you has been one of the best experiences of my career. I value you and will continue to pray for you and Lee as you navigate work and ministry and marriage in the future. Thank you for the things you have so cheerfully taught and modeled. Thank you for being so transparent and full of integrity. Now that you are leaving, present company excepted, miscellaneous expenses will increase, productivity will decrease, the ministry spaces will be messier and less efficient, deadlines will not be met as often…
Katie, I want to bless you as you head to the next chapter of your life, knowing that you are leaving behind more blessings than you know. Your presence and gifts will linger and continue to fill us with things that make us more Christlike. May the blessings of each day be the blessings you need most. May the Lord bless your future with joy and peace and may you have knowledge of His will and bear much fruit. May you be strengthened with His power and hope and may you live in confidence that comes only from knowing whose you are and whom your serve. Amen.
I love you Katie Humerian!