Each Friday, Baptist Women in Ministry introduces an amazing minister. This week, we’re thrilled to introduce Lillian Hinds.

Lillian, tell us about your ministry journey, the places and ways you have been serving and are serving.
I’ve attended church my entire life and worked in pretty much every area of the church you can work. After God called me to preach, I attended Truett Seminary in Waco, Texas. During that time, I worked wherever I could find an open door; sometimes playing the piano or leading music. At one church I was given the opportunity to lead music in the morning service, and teach at the evening service, although I was not allowed to stand behind the pulpit. Since 2008, I’ve been the pastor at Meadow Oaks Baptist Church, Temple, Texas.

What have been your greatest sources of joy in ministry?
I love to preach, so it is a joy to stand in the pulpit and endeavor to bring the Word of God to the people of God. Baptisms fill me with joy as I realize that someone has stepped forward to follow Jesus; the picture of His death and resurrection are incomparable. It is always a joy to be with “my people.” Fellowship is not overrated!

What have been the greatest challenges you have encountered in ministry?
My spiritual gifts include leadership. As a result, I’ve often worked in locations where I needed to be in charge and make most of the decisions. It was a challenge for me to work in a congregation that valued working together, listening to each other and moving ahead as a group. That has also been one of my greatest joys – I’m not in this by myself! Being part of the body of Christ is a wonderful place to work and serve. Another challenge was learning how congregations work and that it really isn’t all about me. I take my responsibility very seriously, but still try to understand the limits of that responsibility.

How do you stay healthy, physically and spiritually?
I’ve worked at jobs where I never took vacation. And I felt guilty if I overslept. That is so absurd in retrospect. When I became a pastor, I determined that I would lead a more balanced life. I endeavor to take a day off every week (sometimes not possible as a pastor) and I make sure I get enough sleep. I give myself time to be alone with God and to hear from other wise voices that speak into my life. I’m very deliberate about spending time with my husband, children, and grandchildren. I’ve learned to listen to the voices of my congregation; they have wisdom and discernment and are often the way God works in my life.

What advice would you give to a teenage girl discerning a call to ministry?
If you feel God’s hand on your life, go down paths that are open to you. There is no such thing as a “wasted experience.” Whatever job or role you take can be useful later in your life. Make friends with and stay close to those who are encouraging. Remember that some of the most negative voices will be people in church, sadly, women in church. However, the call of God supersedes all others, so always keep that in front of you. Being a woman in ministry is not easy or automatic; that’s okay! God is still God and He will ultimately have His way.