Every Friday, Baptist Women in Ministry introduces an amazing minister, and today we are pleased to introduce Jessica Asbell.
Jessica, tell us about your current ministry role.
I am the minister to children at First Baptist Church in Roswell, Georgia. Although my title is minister to children, I tend to focus much of my time on family ministry. Children need more spiritual formation than the forty to fifty hours a year that many of them get at church. I look at my role as a partner for parents, joining with them to spiritually nurture their children. I plan events, pick curriculum, and do children’s sermons, but I also plan family activities, teach classes for parents around topics of spiritual formation, find resources for parents, and write weekly family devotions for families to do at home.
Ministry-wise, my inspirations have been the children’s ministers with whom I have worked. Ruth DuCharme and Carol Browne took a chance on a business major who interviewed to be a children’s intern. They showed me how to do children’s ministry well, and I still follow in their footsteps. Debbie Britt modeled for me how to do children’s ministry in a larger church setting, and for that I will always be grateful. They have been strong women along the way who have reminded me of the greatness and the mystery of ministry.
How do you keep yourself healthy–physically and spiritually?
I would love to tell you that I do everything I’m supposed to do to keep myself healthy physically and spiritually. And I always have good intentions, but those intentions don’t always translate into action.
But to keep myself healthy, I am trying to cut down on the caffeine and get more sleep. Full disclosure: it isn’t ministry keeping me up late, it’s the books that I love to read that keep me up late! I am also starting a new exercise routine, but I already do yoga a couple of times a week. I’ve found that yoga helps me relax and get rid of stress. I read. Reading is good for the soul (at least it is for mine).
Reading helps me relax, which is a key component of staying healthy. There are times when God shows up unexpectedly in a fiction book that I’m reading and teaches me something. I love when that happens. As far as keeping myself healthy spiritually, lately I’ve been focused on the Book of Common Prayer. I find that I get a good bit out of it when I use it as a devotion. I wish I could say that I pick it up every day, but I don’t. That is something that I’m working on. When it is cooler I go for walks and just enjoying being in the silence with God. I also read spiritual/religious/theological Books as well.
There are times when I am surprised that my life has brought me here. But I know that I am where God has called me to be, and I love being a children’s minister. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!