Gerard and his wife, Jessie Artigue
WHAT DOES MINISTRY CURRENTLY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
My ministry at Jacob’s Well is primarily focused on different forms of community life that are happening both organically and strategically within the community. Whether it is small groups, pastoral care needs, specific ministries, or impromptu gatherings, the team I work with finds ways to resource those different forms of life so that they better reflect the overall DNA of the church. One of our ministry groups helps refugees who have been relocated to Kansas City. We have a great group of folks who are passionate about reaching out to them, teaching them English and how to drive, and helping them navigate the governmental systems. I partner with this group by directing more people and resources their way and finding ways to encourage them in their work.
HOW IS YOUR M.DIV. IMPORTANT FOR YOUR MINISTRY?
The M.Div. has given me the tools to adapt and think critically about any situation that presents itself, regardless if I have had personal experience or training in that field. When those unfamiliar problems present themselves, the experience I have had in the M.Div. also helps me access the resources I need to do my job well.
HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO ATTEND NTS?
I decided to come to NTS because I wanted to further my theological education with a Wesleyan perspective and continue on in the Church of the Nazarene after I had completed it.
ASIDE FROM THE COURSEWORK & STUDIES THEMSELVES, WHAT ABOUT NTS HAS MOST POSITIVELY IMPACTED YOU?
NTS was not only concerned about my academic growth, but my spiritual growth as well. It was at NTS that I learned the importance of spiritual practices and disciplines that continue to shape and develop me as a minister. Furthermore, I have been able to share these different practices with my congregation in different settings and have watched them get just as excited about the importance of spiritual discipline in their own lives.
HOW DID YOUR TIME AT NTS SHAPE OR RE-SHAPE YOUR CALL?
NTS has continued to affirm in me the call to ministry that I first felt over 10 years ago and encourages me in my journey to work out that calling. If anything, I feel that NTS gave me the space to feel more open within my calling to various forms of ministry. I now feel more able to explore what my calling can look like than I did just four years ago.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANYONE WHO FEELS A CALL TO MINISTRY & IS CONSIDERING ATTENDING NTS?
The best thing to do is start taking classes, even if you begin through the in-service program. Calling can only take you so far before you will quickly realize that further training, both practical and academic, are necessary to your ministry.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER THOUGHTS YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME AT NTS?
Looking back, one thing I am most grateful for was that I did not immediately get a ministry position once I arrived in Kansas City. Working outside the church for my first two years gave me the opportunity to make friends with people I would have never met had I only been focused on church and school. Also, by not having an official ministry position right away, I had the opportunity to grow within our church as a member before I took on more responsibility as a staff member. This made my transition into leadership more seamless and allowed me to better understand what ministry entailed.
AS A NEW GRADUATE OF NTS, WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?
I plan on ministering at Jacob’s Well and exploring the different ways my calling can best be expressed.
Rev. Gerard Brown is a member of the NTS Class of 2010. Gerard ministers at Jacob’s Well Church in Kansas City, MO where he focuses his attention on missional formation.