Seeing Kami Mauldin’s passion for ministry, you might assume she’s a pastor. But instead, she’s a lay leader in her church congregation, with a vision that each member of the body has a unique and serious calling to ministry.
“Sometimes I really feel like a weird person, how excited I am about ministry,” laughs Kami. “I do have a ministry background, but that’s not what I do for a living now.”
Kami works in admissions at Wesley Seminary. She’s a wife and a mother, and serves at College Wesleyan Church in newcomer assimilation and small group leadership.
After graduating from Indiana Wesleyan in 2008, Kami served on staff with Youth for Christ in Tuskaloosa, Alabama for 4 years.
“I wasn’t in pastoral staff ministry at that time. I was working in a para-church setting reaching kids outside the traditional church setting. That may have fueled my later passion for lay leadership.”
After moving to Indiana from Tuskaloosa, Kami committed to serve as a leader at CWC, coming to appreciation the critical role lay leaders play in any healthy church.
1. We’re all called to be ministers of the gospel.
Just because your profession is not in ministry, doesn’t let you off the hook of service to the church.
“We’re all called to be ministers of the gospel,” Kami states. “We like to hand that responsibility off to others who have gone to seminary, but God’s call on them is not any different than my calling.”
Kami has realized that, whatever her 9 to 5 job may be, her vocation remains to be an active part of the body of Christ.
2. If we want to reach more people for Christ, we need everyone involved.
From Kami’s perspective, putting responsibility for ministry on pastors alone not only causes us to miss our own calling, but also limits the potential of the Church to reach others.
“If our goal is to reach as many people for Jesus as possible and we’re waiting for our pastoral staff to do that, it’s not going to happen,” points out Kami. “There just are not enough people in those positions.”
Kami’s time working for Youth with a Mission showed her that many are out of reach of a Sunday morning service. “The church is only reaching a small population of people as it is,” explains Kami. “We need every one in the church to reach out to their neighbor.”
3. Lay leaders raising up lay leaders.
Kami has a vision for the future of her community and congregation, that more Christians would realize the importance of their ministry calling.
“My goal is to raise up lay leadership,” Kami states. “If I’m one of the few lay leaders, that’s not going to get us very far. There are people in every congregation who are excited by certain things and want to serve. They just don’t know how to express it or who to contact.”
Raising up leaders as a lay leader herself is a new realm for Kami, but she sees hope for change.
“In the midst of all the negative things in our world, I’m very hopeful that there’s so much good happening. There are a lot of people stepping up and taking initiative across our community,” observes Kami.
She prays that her congregation will have a Kingdom perspective, seeing past the messy, here-and-now of ministry to the certain, redeemed end.
Kami has a word of encouragement for all of us in our vocation to ministry:
“Honor God in all of your work. Serve God and love people no matter what your job is.”
Gaby Garver is a 2016 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University. Having studied International Relations in college, Gaby’s passion is refugee assistance. She currently lives in Istanbul, Turkey, where she volunteers with refugees and teaches English lessons. Her favorite pastimes are cooking for friends and camping.