“I have a strong passion for the 21st century church and its place in the community. Every community has its institutions, schools, municipalities. I believe in the church becoming a strong establishment in our community.”

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Bonni Eastlack spent the majority of her life straddling two worlds: the corporate sphere and the church. A few years ago, God surprised Bonni with a call into full-time ministry. She followed.

Her method for bridging the gap between worlds? Discipleship.

Settled in a suburb of Philadelphia, Bonni knows business, and the life that comes with it. “I’ve been in the corporate world for a long time, and I feel a call to be in a community of professional people.”

Working with professionals, busyness is Bonni’s greatest ministry hurdle. “It’s very difficult in anything involving the church, to get servants, or commitments, or anything,” she admits.

Rather than adding enticing programs to her congregation’s to-do list, Bonni recommends something much less glitzy.

“It will begin with discipling Christians to a deeper walk.”

As she considers her own discipleship experiences, she laughs. It’s not as straightforward as it sounds. More often than not, her disciples turn out to be middle-aged mothers juggling three kids and a job. In her line of work, discipleship isn’t a predictable, weekly meeting; it’s a dynamic commitment requiring patience and a heart for people.

Bonni’s inspiration comes from her life verse: Proverbs 3:5-6. Its words have inspired her, and she wants to inspire others with them: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Bonnie’s heart for discipleship is augmented by a passion for evangelism.

“My greatest joy in ministry is seeing someone give their life to Christ! But, it’s the next step: they immediately want to grow. They absorb everything! When they learn something new, they take it and run with it! My greatest joy is watching someone find fulfillment in Christ.”

My greatest joy in ministry is seeing someone give their life to Christ! But, it’s the next step: they immediately want to grow.

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Bonni puts her business acumen to work transforming her local church into a “spiritual rock.” Every community has its institutions that anchor identity and cast vision. As Bonni sees it, the time has come for the church to be the foundational community-centering institution.

But change won’t come from exterior recognition. “It has to come from within someone,” Bonni tells us. Discipleship starts with commitment to the people around us, hectic schedules included.

But change won’t come from exterior recognition. It has to come from within someone.

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Gabriela Garver is a staff writer for Education and Clergy Development. Recently returned from a year studying in Istanbul, Turkey, Gabriela is finishing her undergrad degree in International Relations at Indiana Wesleyan University. After graduation, she hopes to work with refugee resettlement. When she’s not writing, Gabriela enjoys walks, talks, and road trips.