“What else can I build?”
That was Eliza Bast’s response to completing the task of directing and designing the programming and infrastructure for The Point Community Center. She didn’t need the Commissioned Pastor program to help her be a “doer” – she’d always been that. In fact, it’s her “doer” personality that made the CP program so right for her: “I can be equipped to bring glory to God and I don’t have to wait for the ‘perfect time.’ ”
Which is good, because as the Director of Outreach for Centerpointe Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a wife and mother (currently in the middle of potty-training), a member of a vibrant small group, and a student in a master’s program, there’s no such thing as the “perfect time.” Besides, as she says, “I’m very much a person of action and I didn’t want to slow down ministry by doing seminary.”
What she values about the CP program is how it is deepening her understanding: “I want to understand church history so I can honor that while pressing toward transformation for the future, and so I can know how to pray for and communicate that transformation.”
This desire has led to an unusual favorite course of study: Government and Standards. For her, learning about the creeds and confessions has led to “formative dialogue about the heart of Jesus.” This course is helping her “understand the heritage of our faith and how the historical church expressed the heart of God,” which, in turn, is helping her “understand how the modern church is expressing the hands and feet of God.”
She also appreciates the “bedrock” of the CP program: spiritual formation. “I’m on my knees more, I’m aware of more.” But it isn’t her alone: “community and vulnerability has shaped me in a better way.”
“We’re all juggling regular jobs somewhere else, kids, life. To be able to break away and have these conversations, and ask questions, and be challenged in such a way that we’re encouraged – it’s been invaluable.”
This is a mixed metaphor, but, to describe a person of action who is seeking understanding, fitting: the firmer foundation Eliza is gaining through the program is acting like a springboard, catapulting her to the deepened ministry God was calling her to.