Join me in celebrating David Borum and Elizabeth Mullins, who completed their GCI USA Pastoral Residencies this year.
David completed his residency on January 24. He served as a Pastoral Resident with Pastors Linda and Tim Sitterley with Grace Communion Eugene and Grace Communion Salem in Oregon. David brings wit as well as a depth of reflection and inclusive spirit to his pastoral ministry. Ministering alongside David, I’ve experienced laughing over a sarcastic joke one minute and a soul-deep conversation the next.
Elizabeth completed her residency on April 3. Elizabeth served as a Pastoral Resident with Pastor Anthony Mullins with Grace Communion Hickory in North Carolina. Elizabeth brings great compassion for those of God’s children hurting and oppressed and a heart on fire for God’s healing and restorative justice to her pastoral ministry. Ministering alongside Elizabeth I’ve experienced being challenged into uncomfortable depths with Jesus that lead to growth and a little bit of holy mischief.
Below, we asked them to speak about their ministry and review their experiences and takeaways from their time spent in the GCI Pastoral Resident Program.
I’m very passionate about how God conforms us to Christ’s image in the context of God’s Body. My faith is not merely a private, individual transaction between God and me. God’s story has always been one of renewing, redeeming, and restoring a people! We grow in love and desire for God and experience God in the relational community of the Church. And the Church is the beautiful Bride of Christ!
I have been shaped by the Pastoral Resident program by sharing community with and learning from my cohort of other pastoral interns and residents. The intentional leadership development I received was also an important piece. Pastoral leaders must possess a love and desire for God and an understanding of theology, of course. I learned that leading and discipling others in a healthy church goes beyond this. Healthy leadership is a skillset that can be refined. Personally, healthy leaders are growing in emotional intelligence, self-awareness, boundary-setting, time management, and the development of nourishing habits and rhythms. Interpersonally, healthy leaders are growing in the skills of team-building, communication, empowering and calling up others, and change management.
I served in Grace Communion Hickory in North Carolina. Since our congregation was a relaunch into a new neighborhood, we decided my role would include serving as the Community Developer. My role evolved to include the Champion of the Love Venue, also.
In addition to falling deeper in love with Jesus’ Church, my time in the Residency program demonstrated how important it is to be a local, community church. It’s very difficult to discern how to participate with Jesus’ renewal in my neighborhood without proximity and daily presence. Having a laser focus on one square mile surrounding our church building has had a huge impact on how we love our neighbors.
Since the age of 16, I have been involved in some form of ministry. Over the years I have participated in everything from street evangelism, youth ministry, worship leading, jail ministry, leading home groups and preaching. The most memorable time in my life was when I spent two years in full-time ministry in The Philippines with Youth With A Mission. My hope is that by the end of the year I will be a lead pastor somewhere within GCI.
The Pastoral Resident program afforded me the opportunity to take a good hard look at pastoral ministry within GCI. Through the program I was able to assess what my strengths and weaknesses were and to learn how to work together with others in ministry. Through the Pastoral Resident program I was made fully aware of my need to be dependent on the Holy Spirit for guidance and wisdom. The program positioned me to develop a heart for God’s people.
I served two congregations: my home church in Eugene, Oregon, as well as the Salem, Oregon, congregation an hour away. Serving two congregations helped make me aware of how different a culture can be from congregation to congregation. I found that I needed to tailor my sermons and approach to people in these congregations based on their specific needs.
I will always have fond memories of our annual resident/intern retreats that were held in Ohio and Tennessee. Having the Regional Director also serving as my lead pastor gave me the privilege of meeting many other pastors/leaders in the denomination. It gave me a good sense of the vision and mission of GCI. I am grateful to Tim Sitterley for his trust in where God was leading me and affording me the opportunity and the autonomy to pursue what God had been placing on my heart in how to serve the church.