by Steve Langford
Senior Pastor,
First UMC, Georgetown
Sept. 24, 2013

Last spring Rev. Yvonne Coon, associate pastor here at First UMC Georgetown, led a recovery experience called Growing through Divorce.  The focus of the workshop was allowing God to transform a painful experience – in this case the death of a love relationship – into an opportunity for personal learning and growth. 
As the workshop ended, Pastor Yvonne approached one of the participants, a new member of First Church, and asked her to consider serving as a co-leader of workshops going forward.  Little did Pastor Yvonne know that Terri Michelle had already asked herself the same question: Could she be a facilitator? The answer was yes. This was an opportunity she was eager to accept.
As Growing through Divorce is offered again, beginning this month, Pastor Yvonne and Terri Michelle will share their own personal journeys to help others on the road to healing and growth. 
In recognizing Terri’s abilities, Pastor Yvonne illustrates two key leadership principles:  First, we are all called to ministry.  Effective ministry involves using not only one’s gifts and graces, but also one’s life experiences.  Paul spoke of this reality in 2 Corinthians 1:4 – God comforts us in all our trouble so that we can comfort other people.  We offer the same comfort that we ourselves received from God
The second principle is the role of the pastor in identifying and empowering others to do ministry.  By identifying, equipping, and empowering others, ministry is given back to the laity and is multiplied.