Every Friday, Baptist Women in Ministry introduces an amazing minister, and today we are pleased to introduce Jennifer McClung Rygg.

Jennifer, tell us about your current ministry position?
I am associate pastor at First Baptist Church of Pendleton, South Carolina, where I have served for six-and-a-half-years. I am blessed to serve alongside senior pastor, Courtney Krueger, who graciously shares ministry with me in remarkable ways. From the beginning, he has related to me as a pastor and has encouraged the congregation to do so as well. I have opportunities to participate in all aspects of pastoral ministry, including preaching at least once a month, leading funerals, planning worship services, and working with various committees. I enjoy working with the children and youth in our congregation, and have recently taken on more leadership for the youth ministry due to staffing changes in our church.

What have been some of the challenges you have faced in your ministry journey?
The most significant challenges for me in ministry have been dealing with criticism and finding balance for life and ministry. I love the church, I love the people of the church, but it is hard when the people I love are unhappy with me or with the work I am doing. However, I don’t want my primary goal to be pleasing others. Ministry can be all consuming; I tend to be a perfectionist, and there is always more that can be done, and more that I want to do. Finding a balance between working hard and yet still making time to rest, play, and be with family is an ongoing challenge.

What brings you great joy in life and ministry?
I am so thankful for my family–for my husband and our one-year-old son, for extended family, for friends who are like family, and for my church family. Since our son was born, I have been so encouraged by how our church family has embraced our son as their own, and even more significantly, how they have supported and encouraged me as I adapt to being both minister and mother. They have been gracious and understanding when I need to be away to take care of our son, and they have welcomed him to church activities, to visit in their homes, and to be a part of our congregation.

Who or what has inspired you along the way as you pursued your calling?
I have been inspired and blessed by the people of the church who have given so much to the church over the years. The church is full of faithful men and women who have given sacrificially of their resources and time, who have loved the church through both good time and tough times, and who will often sacrifice what they want for the health and strength of their church. I am humbled that they entrust me to be part of the leadership of their church.