Each Friday, Baptist Women in Ministry features its blog series, THIS IS WHAT A MINISTER LOOKS LIKE and introduces you to an amazing woman minister. This week we are proud to introduce Meredith Stone, a current member of Baptist Women in Ministry’s Leadership Team.
Meredith, tell us about your current ministry role and about your previous ministry experiences.
This past August I joined the faculty of Logsdon School of Theology at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. I teach ministry and scripture and also serve as director of ministry guidance. Ministry guidance involves supervising internship experiences for students, providing counseling for students in call discernment, coordinating placement services, and managing ministerial financial aid. I have previously served as Women in Ministry Specialist for Texas Baptists (BGCT), Teaching Pastor for Crosspoint Fellowship, and Admissions Coordinator at Logsdon Seminary.
What is the best ministry advice you have ever received?
I began to sense a call to ministry when I was seventeen during the summer before my senior year of high school. That summer I struggled to let go of some of the previously imagined dreams and expectations that I and others had imagined for my life. Don’t get me wrong, they were good dreams. But it seemed a call to ministry would require flushing everything I had been working so hard to achieve (especially when I thought I may never be able to have a ministry job as a Baptist woman).
When I was at youth camp that summer, I finally found the courage to admit that ministry was something that had been stirring in my heart and mind. The camp pastor, Voddie Baucham, held a small group session for anyone trying to discern a call. I will never forget his words. He said, “If God has called you to ministry, then God is not calling you for tomorrow. God is calling you for today.” Now others may have taken that to mean they needed to leave everything else behind and run toward a formal ministry position. But to me, it meant that the God who was calling me could use me wherever I was. Whether or not I abandoned those career dreams, I could live as a minister that very day and every day after that in any circumstance, job, role, or occupation
As my ministry path has not taken traditional routes and I have not always been able to find ministry positions in the exact roles I felt equipped for or called to, I have held on to these words of a camp pastor. God has not called me for some ministry position I might have in twenty years, God has called me to be a minister today in whatever job, town, situation, or conversation I might find myself.
I am a person who loves both the academy and the church. I love to learn, reflect, and analyze, but I also love to care, serve, and live faith-life in community. While no one teaches that these sets of actions are mutually exclusive, sometimes the realities of the academy and the church create a functional dichotomy in which we feel forced to choose one or the other.
In a particular moment when I was feeling compelled that a choice between academy and church was imminent in my life, Dr. Molly T. Marshall visited Logsdon Seminary as a guest lecturer. As I listened her words over those two days and imagined the impact she has had on the community of God from both the arenas of church and academic institutions, she gave me hope and assured me that no choice was necessary. Dr. Marshall models what it means to be a bridge, or a translator, between academy and church, and she inspires me to try and do the same.