Last Sunday I watched a young woman get ordained to go into the ministry at church. Mary Seidler received a call to serve several churches in Poland and she answered that call after faithfully serving for 14 years at my church. I remember when Mary came to Kansas City from California with her guitar, wearing flip flops and board shorts.
I watched Mary mature from an uncertain, insecure, awkward 18-year-old misfit to a woman who is passionate for Christ and His church. I believe Mary’s maturity in Christ to answering a call to the nations offers insight into how you can position yourself for destiny. Here are 5 qualities that stand out to me in Mary’s life.
Mary served. I never got the feeling that Mary was chasing ministry, needed a ministry or a title. She served as a worship leader in a ministry that impacted my three children. I remember Mary asking my son, 10-year-old Alex to help her with worship. Today, he helps lead worship at his school and has ministered at several churches. I never heard one complaint from Mary about having to come up with a fresh lesson or song every Thursday night for the kids. Or when she helped park cars with her high heels in freezing cold weather when she was a school-of-ministry student. Mary always had a great attitude and served without complaining.
Mary was content. Sometimes I’ve picked up a vibe from a children’s ministry worker that they are looking for a better gig. Or you get the feeling that ministering to your kid is a stepping stone to a more coveted position such as “youth pastor” or “pastor.” Mary was happy with leading kindergarteners through fifth graders in worship. This is not a glamorous ministry but vital nonetheless. She has profoundly touched the lives of hundreds of children that went through Firehouse, the ministry she served in. My 12-year-old daughter, D’Andra, still sings her songs today.
Mary responded to God. I remember sharing my testimony at a school of ministry chapel about how I decided to not date for a season when I was a young Christian. Mary decided after that message to quit dating. I was stunned at how quickly she responded. I wanted to talk her out of it because I thought she may be going overboard but God stopped me. The Holy Spirit spoke to me to let her be passionate for Him. He was more than able to speak to her. I’ve watched her adjust her life and priorities at lightning speed to answer God.
Mary cared about people. Most single women hang out with other single women. Mary reached out to my family by inviting us to dinner. Mary was 18 and she served a couple cans of Hormel chili, boiled hot dogs and macaroni and cheese on paper plates. We laughed at the meal but my sons who were 2 and 5 at the time devoured the meal. Most women wait to have the perfect home or apartment with the perfect plates and table settings before they will entertain. Mary worked with what she had and we instantly adopted her into our family.
Mary reached out to families, kids, teenagers and was even concerned like a big sister about a wayward young man in our church. Mary cares about the whole church. She reaches out to those who seem to be overlooked because they’re quiet or don’t fit in. I remember conversations about one family that she was very concerned about because they weren’t invited anywhere. Mary didn’t limit her heart to those who shared her marital or economic status. She reached a microcosm of the world in her own church.
Mary was generous. One day Mary stopped at my house and asked how I was doing. I was having contractions while I was on bed rest. She told me to get in the car because today I was delivering this baby. Mary spent several hours with me at the hospital praying and commanding my baby to come forth. D’Andra graced the world a few hours later with her presence.
I’ll never forget the generosity of her time, her hospitality and her heart for our family. Today Mary owns a home and she is packing to go minister in Poland.
Mary’s journey offers insight into how you can position yourself to fulfill God’s calling on your life. Serve. Be content. Respond quickly to God. Care about people with only a love that Christ can give. Be generous with your time for people and God. Do these 5 things faithfully and God will amaze you at where you’ll be in years to come.
Leilani Haywood, editor of Spirit Led Woman, frequently contributes to Charisma. Follow her on Twitter @leilanihaywood.