In This Issue...
- A Theology of Humor by Cheryl Taylor
- Ministering With Humor by Stephanie Nance
- Christian Leaders Having Fun? by Pam Morton with Kathy Jingling
- The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter by Dwenda Gjerdingen, MD, MS
New Beginnings Assembly
Kernersville, North Carolina
By Abigail Gunasegaran
When Myra Thomason received the call of God, she was serving in a part-time staff position at First Assembly of God in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. God had given her a strong gift of teaching, but Myra struggled to discard the stigma placed upon her as a woman by her upbringing and background. Where she was from, the idea of women preachers was unacceptable. A woman's ministry was in the church nursery or children's ministry.
It was during this time that a missionary friend reminded her of the Parable of the Talents saying, "If you have been called by God to teach His Word and you don't, what are you going to say when you get to heaven?"
Myra replied, "Men won't let me." It was in that moment that she realized the lie behind those words.
Myra prayed about it but still struggled to come to terms with her calling as a female church planter. "In my core of core, I knew God didn't have a problem with it," she says.
Myra began to dig into the Scriptures to further understand God's plans for women in the ministry, and it was then that she came to the confident conclusion that God does indeed call women to serve as leaders within the church.
Myra prayed about it but still struggled to come to terms with her calling as a female church planter. "In my core of core, I knew God didn't have a problem with it."
New Beginnings Assembly launched on Super Bowl Sunday in 2007, with about 65 people in attendance. For 3 1/2 years they met in a public high school until they moved into their new building in November 2010.
Although Myra is now a successful church planter and pastor, she still faces struggles every now and then. "Being a female planter adds to the mix of challenges," she says.
The area that Myra planted in is extremely conservative, and many are still not accepting of her role as a woman preacher. On numerous occasions people have refused to attend her church simply because of that. While Myra understands that she cannot force them to change their minds, her goal is to influence their opinions through her life's example.
As a church, New Beginnings Assembly is setting an example in their community as well. Besides volunteering within the community, the church is also currently fully funding Impact Triad, a youth center that offers a free after-school program for at-risk youth. "We are here for the world. The world is not here for us," says Myra.
Myra's valuable advice to future church planters is that they should know their call and follow God. "Be willing to be broken past where you've been broken. Don't be afraid to trust God in the unknown," she says.
Used with the permission of the Church Multiplication Network.