“I don’t know how I got here.”
But, of course, she does.
Jan Price had always been a leader at Glen Lake Community Reformed Church – of women’s groups and Bible studies, of worship services during a pastoral vacancy. People had always told her how good a leader and teacher she was.
It took an older, wiser woman in the congregation to push the point: “You should go into the ministry.”
Laughter was Jan’s first response. And then came the objections. She was already a critical care nurse, a career that was meaningful to her. She had no extra money. She had no time. And what would an MDiv do to help her in her role in the church? Even when, shortly after this, she discovered the Commissioned Pastor program and thought it answered all her objections, she still had to wait: her church was without a minister, and therefore, without a mentor for her.
As soon as Andrew Bossardet came to Glen Lake, this newly minted minister “inherited this middle-aged woman” (at least that’s how she puts it). Jan likes to tease that “he must’ve swallowed a grown-up, because he’s one of the wisest people I know.”
His mentorship and her work with the CLC flipped some long-held ideas: “I always thought discipleship was knowing stuff, which didn’t change my life or my behavior. But it’s not learning content; it’s a process.” These days, “I don’t wait for people to come to me. I go to them.” She puts together groups with her as the only common denominator, and then gets the “privilege of watching how God in his Holy Spirit changes their lives.” As the leader, she no longer sees herself as imparting information, but as the guide for people who are “learning out loud” together. The questions she asks in one-on-one discipleship situations are different, too, bigger:
How can we develop a reflective life?
How can we be radically obedient?
So Jan is still a full-time critical care nurse at a local hospital, but she’s also on staff as the Pastor of Adult Discipleship at the church she grew up in. She may blame/credit Sharon Blanksma for nudging her into the ministry, she may prefer to talk about the work of the Holy Spirit than about her work, she may want to tell you more about the people who’ve made big life changes than about herself, but she’s grown a lot through the Commissioned Pastor mentoring process.
After all, she’s got to live out the answers to those big questions she poses, too.