Every Friday, Baptist Women in Ministry features an interview with an amazing minister on this blog. Today, we are thrilled to interview, Jassmine Posada. Jassmine IS what a minister looks like!
Jassmine, tell us about your ministry journey and the places and ways you have served and are serving.
My ministry journey began in New Jersey where I was born and raised. I grew up attending a Southern Baptist Spanish speaking church, Iglesia Bautista Resurrección (IBR). At IBR, women were always encouraged to serve in leadership roles. We had a few female deacons. They were women I looked up to and admired. At the age of 12, I felt the calling to ministry during the Baptist World Youth Alliance in Houston, TX. Little did I know the Lord would bring me back to Texas. As a teen in IBR, I was given the opportunity to serve as a Sunday School teacher and within the youth group as a youth leader in training (intern). There were three youth leaders at IBR who worked together, Rick, Rosa, and Ianni. They saw the calling in my life and began to develop me as a leader. At this time, I knew my ministry journey would be bi-vocational.
By 18, I became the Youth Director and began to collaborate with other churches and Baptist associations. In ministry, I saw the importance of being actively involved in the community. God began to develop me in a way that would later impact my educational career.
During my undergraduate studies, I also served in the ESL (English as a Second Language) ministry. I graduated with a Linguistics degree thinking I would be called overseas. God demonstrated through ESL and youth ministries that oversees was not my calling. God wanted me to stay in the US and work with youth of all backgrounds. The trips we planned as a group were to ensure all students can participate without worrying about their legal status. He was preparing me for my next move.
At the age of 21, the Lord used Iglesia Bautista Internacional (IBI) in NJ to take me to my next step in ministry. At IBI there was no active youth ministry. I was their first youth minister and am thankful for this experience. My time at IBI was a confirmation of my calling. Through Pastor Victor Rios, I was introduced to seminary. By this time, I was about to graduate. My educational goal was to go straight to a Master’s program. God answered my prayer when he moved me to Texas to attend Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS). I graduated with a Masters of Arts in Christian Education with a concentration in Student Ministries. While in school I attended Southwayside Baptist Church (SWBC) and volunteered in their youth ministry. My mentor during SWBTS was Adlin Cotto. She introduced me to various ministry organizations as a youth worker by providing me opportunities to get involved in planning and leading at camps, retreats, and conferences.
During my time at SWBTS, I worked in an after-school program at a middle school. This is where I fell in love with teaching and working with the local community. After graduating, I became a middle school math teacher, math interventionist, and currently a Coordinator with Fort Worth Children’s Partnership in FWISD. I have the opportunity to work with students, educators, families, and community members. My ministry experience has prepared me in all areas of my career.
About three years ago I became Youth Minister at SWBC. I worked with youth and young adults. My ministry focus has shifted from working with youth to now also working with young adult females as they begin their journey in college and/or careers. I see how the Lord used my past experiences to bring me to where I am today.
What have been your greatest sources of joy in ministry?
My greatest sources of joy in ministry have been the relationships I have developed while working with students, seeing them grow in the Lord, and building relationships with their families. I still keep in touch with some of the youth I first worked with when I began my ministry journey. Some are currently serving in ministry. In seminary, I remember having to do a semester project on developing a five-year ministry plan. There were a few key aspects of the plan that made me rethink my approach in ministry. One is involving parents in all areas of youth ministry. They are key to developing strong leaders. The second was developing student leaders. I had three youth leaders who poured into me. In return, I put an emphasis on developing student leaders. They are the future leaders of the church.
What have been the greatest challenges you have encountered in ministry?
There are two challenges I have encountered in ministry. First is lack of community. As a youth minister, the expectation is to work with youth in all aspects. I have served in three churches with smaller congregations which have been a blessing; however, oftentimes I was the only one within my age range and/or life experience. My family has been a big support in ministry, but they live in other states. I do have extended family nearby which has been great. The Lord has provided through friendships. Currently I am part of a small group with ladies who love diving deep into scripture. We are studying the book of Romans. We all have similar life experiences, are within the same age range, but attend different churches. Through this challenge, I have seen his faithfulness.
The second challenge in ministry is self-care. Burnout is real and hits hard. I’ve had to learn to be purposeful in my self-care. Through prayer and guidance, this month I begin my year-long sabbatical from ministry. This does not mean I will not return to ministry. The focus of this sabbatical is to be restored spiritually, mentally, and physically as the Lord prepares me for my next step in ministry. I call this a year of transformation.
What is the best ministry advice you have received?
The best ministry advice I have received is to have a mentor for different areas of your life. I have a spiritual mentor and a professional mentor. They may change through the years but having a person who I can ask questions, pray with, and seek guidance has been a tremendous blessing in my journey. In the bible, we see Moses mentor Joshua as he prepares to lead the people into the promised land (Deut. 31). I am grateful to all my previous mentors who took time to teach me life lessons, discuss theology, and give me opportunities to serve as a leader or in administration. This has prepared me in ministry as well as my career in education. These past few years I have been in the mentor role. It is exciting to see the passion our younger generation has for the Lord.
Jassmine Posada is Elementary Schools Coordinator with Fort Worth Children’s Partnership (FWISD).