Embracing God's Call from New Zealand to the United States
"During my time in New Zealand, I came to embrace my own pastoral call on a deeper level in a cultural context that generally places a higher emphasis and value on ordained ministry." -Rev. Amber Livermore
Rev. Amber Livermore recently returned from an assignment as National Youth Consultant for the Wesleyan Methodist Church in New Zealand. Now back in the United States, Rev. Livermore is transitioning into the pastoral role of Grace Fellowship Wesleyan Church in Princeton, Indiana on March 27, 2016.
Amber believes God called her to New Zealand as part of the foundation He was laying for her ministry in Princeton, Indiana. During her time in New Zealand, she anticipantly embraced her calling as a pastor. Her ministry in New Zealand helped Amber understand how to be a "leader of leaders" and offered Amber a perspective on the value of creating trust when building a diverse leadership team.
1 Samuel 2:17 reads, "Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, 'Thus far the LORD has helped us.'" Amber's experiences in New Zealand have given her an "Ebenezer" to look back on as she moves forward to lead Grace Fellowship Wesleyan Church.
Amber's experiences in New Zealand have given her an "Ebenezer" to look back on as she moves forward to lead Grace Fellowship Wesleyan Church.
One of the most valuable aspects of Amber's time in New Zealand was its cultivation of an enhanced prayer life. Reflecting on the experience, Rev. Livermore commented, "The church plant I was part of in my last year was birthed out of a prayer movement of young adults and youth who were meeting one evening during the week to pray, as well as every Saturday morning at 5 AM. I was blown away by their understanding of and faithfulness to focused prayer." This emphasis on focused prayer led her to rely on God to remove seemingly insurmountable hurdles when her "Consultancy skills could not be of any more use."
Amber reaped the reward of developing authentic Christian leaders as she handed off leadership of the upcoming Youth Camp in New Zealand; the new leaders were previously campers. Amber "realized healthy youth ministries can only be sustained in healthy churches, and healthy churches are led by healthy leaders who strive for overall fitness spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically; modeling this for the wider congregation."
Because of Amber's consultancy in New Zealand, her "congregation" was spread throughout the country. Amber recalled an experience in 2015 at the National Youth Convention when most of her constituents were together in one place. At this convention, Amber had the opportunity to serve communion to many of the members of her ministry. Reflecting on her experience at the youth convention, Amber stated, "I remember the moment very clearly. I offered this means of grace to pastors, leaders, and young people--serving most of them by name--and realized how much God had formed a pastor's heart in me. I could almost taste God's leading into this next phase of ministry even though I had no idea at the time it would be at Grace Fellowship in Princeton, Indiana."
Amber's goal is "to serve and equip God's people in the local church to be bearers of hope, through the way they love and engage with their God, through the way they love and engage with each other, through the way they love and engage with the community around the them, and through the way they love and engage the world."
Rev. Livermore is excited about her new role as the pastor of Grace Fellowship Wesleyan Church, as well as a new opportunity to be part of broader church leadership. Amber believes the local church is the hope of the world. It is her goal to "to serve and equip God's people in the local church to be bearers of hope, through the way they love and engage with their God, through the way they love and engage with each other, through the way they love and engage with the community around the them, and through the way they love and engage the wider world."
Jessica White is a Staff Writer for Education and Clergy Development, and the mother of two young daughters, Abigail and Josephine. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and taught second grade for three years before resigning to stay at home and raise her children. To read more about Jessica and the rest of ECD's writing team, click here.