The first 12 years of my life, I lived in Korea. During those years, I experienced and witnessed the life-changing power of the Holy Spirit working through God's people and bringing about hope and joy even in the midst of the aftermath of the Korean War.
My father planted and pastored a church that was very active in evangelistic outreach. I was only 4 or 5 years old when I began to help in the church's soup kitchen, yet I was old enough to know how great it felt to help others and to be part of God's work.
Now I am the resource minister of education ministries for the American Baptist Churches, called to work with 350 American Baptist congregations in Indiana and Kentucky by overseeing all aspects of Christian formation and discipleship ministries. God has given me the perfect opportunity to work with both professional and lay leaders in the American Baptist Church and to share the importance of empowering and equipping lay leaders for the ministry of Christ.
While my ministry covers the physical expanse of two states and has introduced me to so many different people in the American Baptist Church, the Doctor of Ministry Studies Program at the Anderson University School of Theology has opened up opportunities for me to learn from the experiences of other pastors in other denominations. We each bring a different tradition and background into the classroom. That has really enriched my ministry. I have developed a deep appreciation for the differences between churches.
While in our churches, we focus on intellectual processing, I've been enriched to find others who allow the Holy Spirit to work through them and their ministry. That is such a breath of fresh air for me. It has helped me view the way I do ministry differently. To intentionally seek that relationship with God through the Holy Spirit has created a sense of renewal in my own spiritual development.
— Michelle Thompson, DMin '04