Every Friday, Baptist Women in Ministry features an interview with an amazing minister. Today we are thrilled to introduce Raquel Webb. Raquel IS what a minister looks like! 

Raquel, tell us about your ministry journey and the places and ways you have served and are serving.

At a very young age, I knew with certainty that God had called me to vocational ministry. The details were not clear, but the call to serve was as clear then as it is today. Whatever this call might look like in the future, I made a commitment to respond in faith to this calling, to realize that Jesus Christ was worth my whole life’s devotion to Him.

My call has remained constant, but the the ways it has expressed itself have changed with the seasons of life as I have matured and grown. Initially, I was deeply involved and committed to evangelism and to the teaching and training of new believers through discipleship, mission trips, and church involvement. My first paid ministerial job was as a campus intern at the Baptist Student Ministries on the Texas A&M campus. I ministered to American students with zeal, learned to engage and cultivate relationships with International students, and absorbed leadership skills from those around me. While in seminary at Truett in Waco, Texas, I was involved in religious research and almost landed myself in a PhD program, but the Lord had a different path for me. After experiencing trauma at a church ministry, I began to ask God for direction and to look for a place of service outside of the ministries in which I had imagined myself.

I applied for a Clinical Pastoral Education internship in the Houston medical center to evaluate if chaplaincy would fit my skills and calling. I was unaware that the experience would be life-changing. As I began to visit care seekers in the hospital setting and had opportunities for self-discovery and self-evaluation, it became very clear that in this new ministry experience I was coming alive again as a person with purpose, worth, and something valuable to offer. After receiving feedback that I was a competent and compassionate chaplain, I continued to pursue this call toward chaplaincy in any way I could.

When I encounter individuals in the hospital, I feel deep compassion to respond and minister to them. I believe this is not automatic, but a deep moving caused by God’s Spirit within me. In December of 2018, I was promoted to the position of manager of the Spiritual Care Department at my hospital where I now supervise seven other chaplains and manage the provision of spiritual care for dozens of clinics and hospitals throughout the Brazos Valley. This promotion speaks of how others can see my impact and testify to my calling. It also calls to mind the responsibility I now carry in the spiritual leadership of a healthcare system that employs over 2,400 people in our region. Chaplaincy is an opportunity to minister to many who might never step foot in a church, but my encounter with them in a hospital room or a staff meeting might make a difference in their lives and in their understanding of who God is. If you are struggling in your discernment of where to serve in your call to ministry, I encourage you to enroll in a unit of CPE. It might change your life.

What have been the greatest challenges you have encountered in ministry?

My greatest challenges in ministry have not been those I seek to care for, connect with, or minister to, but other ministers and church leaders. I believe in ministry there is still an enormous struggle with power, with ego, and with pride. While peoples of all genders and races are targeted, women, unfortunately, continue to bear the brunt of this burden. The answer for me has been to follow Jesus, to remain connected to Him and seek His will for my actions and for my life, and to always be compassionate and kind to others. After all, our attitude should be the same as Christ, who humbled himself. God has sensitized me to minister in a way that values, respects, and builds up individuals. A female leader I greatly admire has said, “Live peace, speak kindness, and dwell in possibility.” We must live our lives in a way that builds others up, values all, and energizes others to reach their full potential. As women, we must pioneer the way for all of our sisters in Christ who will come after us, empowering them to be able to speak, serve, and unite the sisterhood to serve God and love others.

What advice would you give to a young girl in your congregation who might be sensing a call to ministry? 

If you are sensing a call to ministry, ask God to clarify and solidify this call. Remain faithful to prayer, reading scripture, communing with other believers, and serving. Allow for periods of silence and solitude.Seek advice from those whom you and others consider wise and God-filled.

Spend time identifying who you really are, where you come from, the experiences in life that have shaped you, and then name the things that you find most fulfilling in life. We cannot make plans to go somewhere with God if we are still unsure of our own identities and have not taken the time to process our past.

If God has called you, be faithful in responding to your call.
If God has called you, God will also direct you.
If God has called you, God will also provide for you.
If God has called you, God will strengthen your gifts to serve.
If God has called you, God will bless the work of your hands.
If God has called you, be faithful in responding to your call.

When roadblocks come your way, step over them.
When insults come your way, pray for those who insult you.
When a pink slip comes your way, look outside the box, find another way to serve.
When an opportunity comes your way, seize it.
When an accolade, award, promotion, or raise come your way, say thank you.
When the affirmation of your calling comes your way, expect it.

If God has called you, God will make sure you know.
God is calling you, be faithful to your call.