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Apr  2014 02
Twila Gibbens speaks with Vocation Matters class

Twila Gibbens, pastor of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Tulsa, OK, spoke with the Vocation Matters class on Friday, March 28.

Gibbens shared her personal experience in ministry, including joys, frustrations, and priorities in ministry. Because the class introduces students to practices of developing and sustaining vocations, she also shared about her background before becoming a pastor and how she came to realize and accept her passion for preaching.

“Teaching wasn’t enough,” she said. “Talking about social issues wasn’t enough. Preaching was what I loved.”

One student, Steven Williams, was still contemplating how to apply what he had learned in the discussion the following Tuesday afternoon. He was intrigued by some of Gibbens’ stories about challenges in ministry.

“It was encouraging,” he said. “It reinforced that ministry is a dynamic process.”

Williams was also inspired by Gibbens’ image of herself as “a storytelling preacher.” He said a storytelling approach to preaching would allow him to tailor his message to a particular setting or group of people.

“I would like to be able to preach in a storytelling fashion,” Williams said. “I feel like that would make my preaching and ministry capability more adaptable and flexible.”

Students were invited to ask Gibbens questions about life in ministry. Gibbens said she was surprised by how insightful many of the questions were, noting that many students were speaking from their own experiences in ministry.

“The searching student will keep asking these questions all their careers,” she said.

Gibbens said she said she enjoyed speaking with the students, adding that she enjoyed speaking “off the cuff” with the class.

“Since I have experience, I’m happy to share it,” Gibbens said.


Browse more posts by: Communications Office, Phillips Admin/Staff
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