We were made to flourish. To see and know the good that God has for all of creation. We join God best when we are flourishing and leading others to do the same. In this way, God invites us to participate in the redemption of all of creation.
But as I look around, I see floundering, broken, unhappy, isolated, burned out people trying to love God completely on empty. I see people pushing through with fake smiles by sheer determination. I was that person.
I meandered my way into professional ministry. It was not a path I chose, but the path that was made. My husband had been a professional minister for all of our marriage, but it seemed it could not be so for me. So I functioned as the best “Twofer” I possibly could. I loved our people and our ministries, but they were only mine by association. By the time we had our third child and had served four different churches, I was ready to throw caution to the wind and finish my Bible degree (even though one dean of a Bible department told me their program was not for people like me.) I finished and convinced the private Christian school I was working for at the time to hire me to teach Bible—to girls of course! They did (when my husband agreed to come on staff, too) and thus a ministry of my own began. But God was at work on something more.
Now, I serve as the Children’s Family Minister at North Davis Church of Christ in Arlington, TX. The same month I began professional ministry I received a phone call from Rhesa about my interest in a mentoring group for women in ministry. This birth of a new calling grew in its infancy with the special nurture and care of Spiritual Direction. My eyes were opened to a new way to see God and the world that God loves. Thus, it set my course on a path to know how to care for myself and my people. I have since completed my M.Div and have experienced the gift of receiving direction from several different spiritual directors and have studied the value of spiritual direction and formation.
Margaret Guenther, in her book, Holy Listening, compares spiritual direction to a midwife serving beside one about to give birth. Just as a mother needs someone to stand by her side through labor pains, we often need support to go through life’s challenges in ministry. The midwife doesn’t give birth for you, but stands by your side caring for and nurturing you along the way. That is what Eleven:28 does. Thus, I am both indebted to and extremely passionate about helping Eleven 28 serve those who are serving others. I am incredibly grateful to be serving alongside others who desire the same.
Summer has been working with children in many capacities over the last 20 years including teaching in preschools, directing children's music programs, and developing and administrating an after school program for community latch key kids. She also taught Bible at Alabama Christian Academy in Montgomery, Alabama. She now serves as the Children's Family Minister for North Davis Church of Christ in Arlington, TX. Summer received her B.A. in Biblical Teaching from Amridge University and her M.Div. at Lipscomb University. She is living into her dream of working in ministry and she loves to facilitate conversation and relationship development with others on ministry journeys. Summer enjoys her husband of over 20 years, Bret, and her three teenage children, Micah, Anna, and Rebekah. You can catch her traveling, playing golf, watching movies, and meeting at On the Border to discuss life ANYTIME!