Every Friday, Baptist Women in Ministry introduces an amazing minister, and today we are so pleased to introduce Kristen Muse. 

Where and how are you currently serving in ministry?

I am currently serving as the associate pastor at Hayes Barton Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. I have had the opportunity to serve here for the past twelve years in a variety of roles. There are many hats that I wear as the associate pastor, but my main focuses include Christian education with adults, outreach, missions, pastoral care (particularly with senior adults), and communications.

What have been some of the challenges you have faced in your ministry journey?

Prior to coming to my current ministry position, I was in a place that valued the work I was doing but found it difficult to acknowledge me as a minister. As I look back over that experience, I acknowledge even more how blessed I am to be in a congregation that affirms my gifts and has allowed me to develop these throughout the years. I think some of the biggest challenges in my journey have come from trying to balance administration and people needs as well as ministry and family life. It is difficult to decide what becomes a priority. I also think ministry can be isolating at times. Being intentional about connecting with other ministers, finding people to be authentic with, and finding those places that feed your soul are so important.

How do you stay healthy, ­­physically and mentally, ­­in the midst of your busy life as a minister?

I try to make time on a consistent basis to exercise. This is often in the early hours of the day before I get into the office. I have found that this becomes an important thinking and praying time. It helps me get focused for the day. I try to eat well and fuel my body and spirit with the things that sustain me. Planning ahead and scheduling my day helps me to stay focused when life gets really busy. Although I don’t get everything accomplished, I have a plan as I begin the day and feel better when I can at least cross off one thing as the day goes on instead of sitting at the end of the day and wondering where the time went.

Who have been sources of inspiration for you along the way as you have lived out your calling?

I am continually inspired by the stories in scripture in which God uses the ordinary; when the unexpected people and situations are used for greatness in the kingdom. I have had several people along the way who have encouraged me and pushed me. Some of these have been professors or mentors, but often they are children or teenagers who want to sit and talk about their faith and struggles. I am inspired to continue to live out my calling when I have the holy privilege to walk along people in some of their darkest moments when I don’t know what to say or do, but we sit together in God’s presence. I am reminded in those moments of the call that God has placed on my life and am inspired.