Every Friday, Baptist Women in Ministry introduces an amazing woman minister, and today we are pleased to introduce you to Nora O. Lozano.
Nora, tell us about your current ministry?
I serve as professor of theological studies at Baptist University of the Américas and as director of the Latina Leadership Institute in San Antonio, Texas.
What have been some of the challenges you have faced in your ministry journey?
A long-term challenge for me has been to discern what should be my primary focus in a given year. Do I need to spend more time and energy researching, writing, teaching, speaking, or doing administration? Trusting that God is placing particular circumstances, gifts, and opportunities in my life, I try to discern this emphasis by praying and listening to trusted people.
A challenge I face daily is maintaining balance in my life. I love what I do and am very passionate about my ministry, and on top of this, I am blessed to receive a salary for doing it; I love it so much that I could work all day and night. The problem is that this lifestyle is not self-sustaining, so I have to remind myself that getting burnt out is a real possibility. Thus, I must set aside time to take care of myself and to nurture my important relationships. This need for balancing these gifts (ministry and important relationships) is a constant challenge for me.
What do you love best about your ministry position?
Many times, due to particular class, gender, and race dynamics, individuals are not encouraged to think by themselves. I love the opportunity to empower people, both women and men, to think theologically and biblically about God, the world, themselves, and others.
By teaching, writing, and existing (the power of being), I love the opportunity to open the imagination of my students and audience to a better, richer future. Most people have wonderful potential to become all that God created them to be but have been constricted by oppressive circumstances in their lives. Often all they need is a word or action that will bless them with a wider imagination and launch them into unknown, rich possibilities of ministry and existence. One of the most rewarding things for me is to see a former student, reader/listener living fully and in the process of reaching all of his/her potential.
What is the best ministry advice you have ever been given?
This is a hard question to answer. Because I am usually not embarrassed or afraid to ask when I do not know something or when I need help, I have received so much good advice in my ministerial career. Among the most important are:
• Nurture your spirituality. Stay focused on God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
• Take care of yourself.
• “No” is a complete sentence. Learn to say “no” in a wise, polite, and effective way.