You there. Yes, you. I know that look in your eyes. The wondering if what you’ll say on Sunday will make a difference. I know that fatigue and I know that….”this text again? There can’t be anything more I can say about this.” I know the energy it takes to create something new from something old and listen to the same tired argument for months on end. I know that feeling of uncertainty and if your leadership is absolutely taking your church to where it needs to go. Yes, You. I know you. And I believe in you.
I believe in ordained ministers who tirelessly seek ways of preaching in order to speak justice in a way that is kind, but challenging. I believe in ordained ministers who take that call in the middle of the night even though every bone in their body says to ignore the call. I believe in ordained ministers who carefully let their best selves be invaded by the Holy of Holies. I believe in ordained ministers who speak truth into a world when everything seems uncertain. I believe in ordained ministers. I believe that the words you say do matter and do make a difference. I believe that taking that call has shown someone a love beyond boundaries and limits, a love that mimics the Christ on the mountaintop who came away from his prayer in order to heal and to listen. I believe that what you do speaks to justice even if it felt like a watered down point of view. I believe that who you are is exactly why God called you to ministry.
I believe in ordained ministers. I believe you are God’s gift to the Church and that gift is opened every day with new exciting opportunities to be who you are and exactly how God made you. I believe you are called. I have watched you reach into the depths of your hearts in order to make strong decisions for your congregations. I have watched you open your eyes to the pain in your neighborhoods and empower your congregations to heal that pain. I believe in your call even when you do not. I believe your call has led you at times into depression, and at times into amazing joy. I believe in ordained ministers because I have followed your examples of love and life. I have followed your footsteps in maintaining your integrity while walking the tightrope of peace.
I believe in ordained ministers because of the strength you’ve shown in faith. Your passion to share the Good News and to do it at all costs. I believe in ordained ministers because when hands were laid on you, you did not run, but instead you cried knowing that God saw you for who you are and designed your life to do important, sacred things. I believe in ordained ministers because of the numerous camps you’ve counseled and directed empowering youth and children to seek a greater faith. I believe in ordained ministers because of the ways you’ve served regions and greater Church. I believe in ordained ministers because you reach beyond the tradition and found a whole new world opening up in which God is doing great things. I believe in ordained ministers because you’ve been my friends, you’ve been my mentors, and you’ve been a challenging voice when the road has become too rough.
I believe in ordained ministers because I’ve watched you love recklessly, extended grace boundlessly, and healed the brokenness around you.
So YOU…..I believe in you. God believes in you. The Church believes in you. You are loved, there is hope, and I believe in you because you are exactly you.
Rev. Jill Sullins serves as senior minister at South Summit Christian Church. She joined South Summit CC on December 1, 2013 with her husband, Eric and daughter, Maddie. She previously served congregations in San Marcos, Texas, Independence, Missouri, Fort Worth, Texas and Grand Prairie, Texas. She earned her bachelors’ degree in Religious Studies and a minor in music at Texas Christian University and her Master of Divinity degree at Brite Divinity School. Jill finds God in lots of everyday things. She spends her free time playing volleyball, punching numbers on a remote control, conquering the world of tutu making and other nonsense crafts, cooking, and of course being a mom and a wife.